Forget Valentine’s Day. Tonight we celebrate our greatest, most enduring and generally least complicated love affair. That between people and dogs.
Not everybody loves the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (8 p.m., USA, concludes Tuesday). Some say it puts too much emphasis on purebred dogs at a time when there are millions of mutts and abandoned shelter dogs of all stripes awaiting adoption. Others argue quite forcefully that the breeding standards displayed and enforced by shows like Westminster have created generations of sick, weak dogs who suffer a multitude of congenital ailments.
But like millions, I am a sucker for this annual rite featuring 2,500 dogs representing 185 breeds. I’m also continually amused by the sight of trainers and owners, usually middle-aged, not quite svelte and invariably sensibly dressed and shod, trotting awkwardly behind their prized show dogs. On the other hand, I’m easily amused.
May the best pug win!
• Late last week Hugh Laurie and series producers announced that this season of “House” (8 p.m., Fox) would be its last. “House” has achieved a rare combination of critical and popular acclaim, winning Emmy, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, Writers Guild, Humanitas and People’s Choice awards.
Laurie and the show’s producers have said they wanted “House” to end before its creativity flagged. In a release, they stated that House “should never be the last one to leave the party.”
I am not the only viewer, critic or fan to believe that this medical series jumped the shark a few years back when the persnickety Gregory House and his frequently exasperated boss, Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein), became lovers. There will be plenty of time to argue whether “House” will go out on top. But everyone can agree that it had a long and impressive run.
Tonight’s other highlights
• Auditions continue on “The Voice” (8 p.m., NBC).
• A mad bomber resurfaces on “Alcatraz” (9 p.m., Fox).
• A diplomatic disaster on “Hawaii Five-O” (10 p.m., CBS).
• The glossy musical theater world takes a backseat to paperwork and messy adoption procedure on “Smash” (10 p.m., NBC).
• When they learn that a murder suspect is linked to a conspiracy, Castle and Beckett join forces with the CIA on “Castle” (10 p.m., ABC).