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Archive for Wednesday, November 30, 2011

‘Daughter’ will feel the hate of critics

November 30, 2011

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A laugh track-driven multi-camera throwback, “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” (8:30 p.m., Fox) substitutes unoriginal, mean-spirited one-liners for any conversation resembling human interaction.

Jaime Pressly, who was so brilliantly cast in “My Name Is Earl” as a sharp, self-absorbed survivor, goes against type here as Annie, a survivor of a strict religious upbringing who allows her brat of a daughter, Sophie (Kristi Lauren), to run wild, dress like a tramp and upbraid her with cruel taunts. You wait for her old “Earl” character to emerge and start slapping the ungrateful girl, but, alas, you will wait in vain.

Annie’s best friend and wacky neighbor, Nikki (Katie Finneran), was a fat outcast in high school and is similarly insecure. She acts like an emotional doormat around her mean-teen daughter, Mackenzie (Aisha Dee).

In short, both women have spoiled their kids and have re-created the kinds of kids who taunted them in high school. Where does a show go from here?

‘‘Hate” arrives just in time for critics to include it on their “Worst of 2011” lists. And it may give “The Paul Reiser Show” a run for its money as the worst new show of the year.

• “The Exes” (9:30 p.m., TV Land) follows in that network’s tradition of recycling stars of familiar series and placing them in comfortably predictable situations. See: “Hot in Cleveland” (9 p.m., TV Land).

Kristen Johnston (“3rd Rock”) portrays Holly, a socially insecure divorce lawyer who serves as a kind of den mother for her sad male clients, allowing them to rent an apartment she owns after they’ve lost their houses in their settlements. Her tenants include the womanizing Phil (Donald Faison, “Scrubs”) and shy nerd Haskell (Wayne Knight, “Seinfeld”). Into their lives walks series star Stuart (David Alan Basche), a super-fussy, hyper-emotional ex-husband who is supposed to remind us of Felix Unger in the way this show is supposed to be a new version of the “Odd Couple” — make it the “Odd Triple.”

Tonight’s other highlights

• Tony Bennett headlines a crowded hour of talent on the 14th annual “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” special (7 p.m., NBC).

• The top seven perform on “The X Factor” (7 p.m., Fox).

• Kermit and pals star in the 2008 special “A Muppets Christmas” (7 p.m., CW).

• “Trek Nation” (7 p.m., Science) examines the legacy of Gene Rodenberry.

• Participants in a football riot end up in court on “Harry’s Law” (8 p.m., NBC).

• Phil takes Haley to visit his alma mater on “Modern Family” (8 p.m., ABC).

• “The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!!” (9 p.m., CBS).

• A boy from a secretive community vanishes on “Law & Order: SVU” (9 p.m., NBC).

• Scandal leaves the Graysons reeling on “Revenge” (9 p.m., ABC).

• A visit from a historically significant murder victim on “American Horror Story” (9 p.m., FX).

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