The god of television is, in my imagination, a rugged cowboy type who looks and sounds a lot like Lorne Greene during the Bonanza era. Whatever tube deities you worship, it is time to give them thanks for the extraordinary programming bounty they have provided us on Sunday night. Amen and pass the remote.
This is a feast beyond all reckoning - or recording, for that matter. Just don't make the rookie mistake of filling up on Shahs of Sunset reruns before the main courses are served. And what a buffet we have to choose from.
Most of you are probably going to go right for the Game of Thrones roast. Hard to resist. You may find the second serving of the dish even spicier than you remembered. Jon Snow and the Night's Watch discover very quickly that there are all kinds of family arrangements when they venture north of the Wall.
The Killing also returns for a second season. Perhaps you've already had your fill. Viewers complained that AMC's murder mystery wasted their time last year. The show's writers must have been listening. There isn't enough rain in Seattle to wash away all the blood in this two-hour opener. The guilt, however, seems waterproof.
If it's storytelling you're after, I understand this Charles Dickens guy can spin a yarn. Masterpiece Classic begins a two-part adaptation of Great Expectations on Sunday. Miss Havisham, one of Dickens' great loonies, is played by none other than Gillian Anderson of X-Files fame. Cut the wedding cake, Scully.
Maybe you're looking for lighter fare. How about Reba McEntire presiding over the Academy of Country Music Awards along with Blake Shelton? Reba is the watercress of hosting: easy to swallow but more suitable as a garnish than a meal. Guess who's part of the ACM festivities? Lionel Richie. While you weren't paying attention last week, Mr. Dancing on the Ceiling became a country act. I kid you not.
Want to order off the menu? On Celebrity Apprentice, Arsenio Hall without warning goes so psycho that he scares even Teresa Giudice. This is a woman, I would remind you, who is comfortable driving Jersey's Garden State Parkway during crazy season (i.e., any month with a consonant in it).
This is a night you will be telling your grandchildren about. And they'll look up at you and say, "Really? You skipped The Shahs of Sunset for that?"
Anyway, the next time someone hands you that dour "300 channels and nothing on" malarkey, you reply, "TV isn't a wasteland; it's a Bonanza. Lorne have mercy."
Off duty. On Unforgettable this week, a suspended Carrie (Poppy Montgomery) was tailing her boyfriend in her own car, a brand-new black custom Mustang with hood scoops. Very inconspicuous. In the next scene, her superior, Det. Burns (Dylan Walsh), races to a crime scene in an almost identical new muscle car, this one department-issued with police scramble lights installed.
Most days I take the bus to work at the newspaper. I knew I should have signed up for the police. Crime does pay.
Naked came the guru. Best line of the week came on an otherwise distressingly poor episode of 30 Rock. Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) has suggested to Jack (Alex Baldwin) that maybe meditation might help him de-stress. He responds, "Meditate, Lemon? I once pantsed Deepak Chopra while Craig T. Nelson taped it. I don't meditate."