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'Idol' finds a way to reject those hapless singers twice

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McClatchy Newspapers (MCT) - We won't spend too much time on "American Idol," but there are a couple quick things, and none are the new Judges Magic Save rule, though I will gripe that it forces viewers to re-watch the song they already hated most from performance night.

Highlights

By Rick Kushman
McClatchy Newspapers (www.mctdirect.com)
3/16/2009 (1 decade ago)

Published in TV

OK, this is why I shouldn't have started with that. Now I have to explain. Just in case you didn't know, this year the "Idol" judges get to save one singer _ if they want _ who was voted off the island.

Sure, it's anti-democratic, a little. Maybe it'll change the show. Maybe it gives Simon too much power. Or none of that. Don't really care. There is this, awkward setup, though: The about-to-be-ejected singers of the week must sing again, then wait to see if the judges will bestow mercy on them (the judges can only do it just once this season and before the final five).

So, in effect, a rejectee like, say Jorge Nunez last week, got told America doesn't like him, sang again for the judges, then got told the judges don't like him either. Nice for the self-esteem. Then, I think, Ryan Seacrest hit him with a pie.

Anyway, my original points are:

_It's clear four judges is way too many judges. Kara says exactly what Randy says, except in grammatically organized sentences. But Randy was there first and I say, sorry, Kara, you look lovely tonight but the performance was boring.

_Paula was way weird last week, and that's saying something. Early in the show, she was _ and it's hard to write this _ perceptive. Then with a couple singers to go, she went nutso. She was weepy over Adam Lambert. He looked a little scared she'd come over the table and adopt him.

_Remember how they always tell singers never to do Michael Jackson because he's so unique and special and a freako? (The last part is me). So last week, the theme was the music of Michael Jackson, then the judges dissed half the crew for picking the wrong song. And Seacrest hit them with a pie.

So much to nitpick. Is this show fun or what?

OK, here's the rest of What to Watch (or Not) this week, and there's a lot going on.

Tuesday:

"The Mentalist" (9 p.m. on CBS): Patrick Jane gets temporarily blinded by a bomber who's after him. That, of course, only enhances his powers. Meanwhile, agent Van Pelt has a boyfriend, and agent Rigsby gets jealous. Oh, the hijinks.

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (10 p.m. on NBC): Carol Burnett guest stars as a dancer turned strip club owner who may or may not be one slice short of a sandwich. And Stephanie March returns for six episodes as prosecutor Alexandra Cabot.

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Wednesday:

"Better Off Ted" (8:30 p.m. on ABC): This new show is better than the title, but it'll depend on your taste for dry, sometimes absurdist comedy, and your capacity at the moment for irony about life in soul-less cubicles for a soul-less corporation. There are some genuinely funny bits, and a couple that seem a half-step off. On the other hand, these days, you're happy to see anyone with a job.

Thursday:

March Madness (8 p.m. on CBS): The NCAA men's basketball tourney is like a national holiday, at least in terms of the amount of work that doesn't get done. It runs most of the day on CBS, so soap fans or "CSI" lovers, just relax and your shows will be back soon.

"The Office" (9 p.m. on NBC): Michael plans to celebrate his 15th anniversary in true Michael fashion _ like an idiot. But Dunder Miflin has a new, demanding and by-the-book VP coming to town, and he's not in a party mood. Will Michael even notice?

Friday:

"Battlestar Galactica" (9 p.m. on Sci Fi): It's the two-hour series ender for one of television's most layered, mesmerizing and underrated shows. If you've never seen this bold and wonderful series, I'm jealous cause you can rent the DVD and start from the beginning.

Sunday:

"Big Love" (9 p.m. on HBO): It's season-finale Sunday on HBO, starting with "Big Love." This complicated family has had a complicated year, the series has dialed in its storytelling, and the show had a real run-in with the Mormon Church. HBO is definitely getting its money's worth from its current highest profile drama.

"Flight of the Conchords" (10 p.m. on HBO): Another season ender. Jemaine and Bret get evicted and move in with their top, and only, groupie, Mel.

"Eastbound & Down" (10:30 p.m. on HBO): This quirky, profane and very funny series (Will Ferrell is a producer and it has his comic sensibility) ends its first _ but hopefully not last _ season with Kenny leaving his life as a gym teacher to take a job back in the big leagues.

___

Rick Kushman: rkushman@sacbee.com

___

© 2009, The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.).



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