Welcome to Watch List, where we identify five things on TV to watch while you stay at home and burn the toast. That’s two straight rounds in the toaster you’ve failed. Time to try your hand at other skills, maestro. LET’S GO!
TERRIERS – 10:00PM (FX) FX’s new series was created by Shawn Ryan, the same dude that gave you, “The Shield.” And that’s a good omen, because very little else about this show seems all that original or interesting. It revolves around two low-rent private investigators. And one of them – I know this will shock you – used to be a cop! For rilly! Who would have guessed? Donal Logue plays one of the leads, and he’s gotten a whole lot skinnier since his “Grounded For Life” days. I didn’t realize it was him until after I saw the trailer, and then when I found out, I didn’t know if I should be excited or bored. But Ryan has worked similar magic on seemingly stale genres before, taking the standard cop show, along with a TV vet in Michael Chiklis, and turning it into something wildly tense and original. Don’t put it past him to pull it off again. ANTICIPATION: MILD!
TOP CHEF – 10:00PM (Bravo – an NBC/Universal network) Well, now I have no clue what to think. It seemed Tiffany had vaulted to the head of this mediocre “Top Chef” season until last week, when she was barely edged out of the competition in a judgment that I guess was fair, but that again highlights the weakness of eliminating contestants strictly by what they made that week, and not on a cumulative basis. Tonight is part one of your “finale,” although really I never count finales that are in parts. Part two of the finale? THAT is the finale. Don’t go telling me a finale can come in 17 different installations. You could start the season with the finale that way. Oh, and I have no clue who’s coming out on top at the end of this one. Maybe Ed or Angelo. In the end, it may not matter. ANTICIPATION: SINGAPORE!
MAN VS. WILD – 9:00PM (Discovery)Bear Grylls, fresh off having his femur nearly shattered by his own cameraman, takes two “lucky” fans out with him into the Canadian wilderness to brave extreme cold and presumably lots and lots of angry bears. Last time Bear had company on this show, he was bringing Will Ferrell along in a surprisingly touching episode. Ferrell’s presence helped illuminate just how insane Bear is. On his own, he kinda makes it all look easy. Then someone else joins him and begins sucking air after two feet. It helps to be reminded just how much of a nutbar that guy is. ANTICIPATION: CRAZY!
HARD KNOCKS – 10:00PM (HBO) Last episode of the year! Let’s go get a g—damn snack! ANTICIPATION: CURSEY!
CAT LADIES – 10:00PM (Animal Planet) This new documentary series profiles four women who really, really enjoy living with their cats. No word on if your ex-girlfriend is among them, but I think it’s a fair bet. ANTICIPATION: MEOW!