A look at the returning network TV shows:
As much as we're rooting for the New Haven woman on "The Bachelor: Rome," this is one horrible development for a TV editor who tries to never watch such drivel. But it's my job to watch it now, since Ellen DeMaio successfully advanced to the final 12 women. The prince seems affable enough, except he's an Italian prince who doesn't know any Italian. Managgia.
Prison Break killed off its youthful fugitive last night, which was graphic but not fully unexpected. Then the companion Fox show "Vanished" seemed to kill off its main FBI agent. Geez Louise, does no one get a five-year contract anymore? Prison Break is so over-the-top unbelievably contrived that it's good; we enjoy the ride even when it asks you to believe that the vice president of the U.S. becomes president through assassination, and also runs a ruthless and murder-filled conspiracy involving a framed man, the Veep's (faking-death) brother, a slain governor, a slain reporter, the framed man's murdered wife..." But the show knows how to take you on an involving ride for an hour, so we go for it (even when "T-Bag" is at his snarling worst).
Desperate Housewives: Yesterday's darling of the ladies (and those in touch with their feminine sides). Now it's mostly passe, athough creatively it seems to be rebounding a bit from last season.
Grey's Anatomy: New queen of the ladies' shows! I try to watch this from time to time but I can't stand Sandra Oh's Kabuki face or Ellen Pompeo, for that matter. I like Katherine Heigl, whom I've met, and would watch her if she was 50 percent of the show. And if the show were science fiction. Of course that would make it "Roswell," which was canceled.
Lost: Like "Prison Break," it is complete and utter nonsense spun creatively into an involving hour. I guess you can't talk about jumping the shark after a polar bear romped through the first few episodes and no one bolted.
Nip & Tuck: Older people are asking me about this show since they saw Rosie O'Donnell hump it on "The View," apparently (or they saw a promo). Here's the thing: This show is pay-cable soft porn being aired on basic cable when kids can see it. Very nasty stuff. If you have any sensitivity to crude content, avoid it like a neocon dodging responsibility.