What to Watch Feb. 19 - 25
Star Trek: Beyond the Final Frontier (Mon., 9PM ET, History)
Space ... it's still the final frontier. Watching this special celebrating 40 years of Star Trek, I'm struck by how forward-looking the show was. Sure, the uniforms were totally '60s and the plots were super cheesy, but the concepts were light years ahead of their time. Mr. Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy, narrates, with stars William Shatner, Patrick Stewart and Kate Mulgrew sharing insights into their various incarnations of Trek. Plus, see footage from last October's auction of Trek memorabilia.
American Idol (Tue., 8PM ET, Fox)
Is it just me or are this year's top 24 contestants almost completely unmemorable? Looking over their photos, I strained to recall each one. Actually, one did stand out -- the beatboxing guy, Blake. But can he sing? I think the judges were right in saying this season is more up for grabs than any since season one. This week, experience six hours of Idol overload, with the top 12 boys performing tonight, the girls taking their turn tomorrow and a two-hour results show Thursday. Phew!
Jericho (Wed., 8PM ET, CBS)
CBS took a real gamble by splitting the season of its hit first-year show. It's one thing to do that to a a veteran like Lost, with familiar characters and long-running plots -- and viewers still grumbled about that. Last week's Jericho recap special made me realize just how much I'd forgotten. In an interesting and risky move, the show doesn't return directly to the action; instead, it airs a flashback episode that sheds light on what Jake and Hawkins were doing the day preceding the bombs.
The O.C. (Thu., 9PM ET, Fox) series finale
California, here we come -- one last time. The adventures of punch-happy Ryan Atwood and his adoptive family, the Cohens, come to an end. The O.C. lasted only four seasons, but it yielded fresh stars, catchy dialogue and a new musical landscape. In the finale, the Cohens must decide whether to rebuild after the earthquake or move on, while Ryan and Seth prepare for college on opposite coasts. Plus, Julie's getting married (again) and Kirsten welcomes a new Cohen (perhaps a girl?). And nobody misses Marissa.
1 Vs. 100 (Fri., 8PM ET, NBC)
The best part about 1 Vs. 100 is seeing who joins the mob every week. The game show can round up the wackiest people to be part of the 100. Take tonight's lineup, for example. There's psychic Allison Dubois (the basis for 'Medium'), Oscar-winning hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia (perfect match for the mob -- get it?), blogger Perez Hilton, sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer and some Playboy playmates.
The 79th Annual Academy Awards (Sun., 8:30PM ET, ABC)
Thank goodness the Oscars are here -- it means awards season is over. Can anyone take more inane red-carpet commentary or boring, heard-it-before speeches? Let's face it, everybody knows Helen Mirren, Forest Whitaker, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson will take home gold. As for the top prize, it (unfortunately) looks like Babel might win the crown, but I'm still rooting for the hilarious, touching underdog Little Miss Sunshine.
Wildcard - The Marines (Wed., 9PM ET, PBS) series premiere
Learn what it's like to live the marine "warrior culture" from the first intense moments of boot camp. Ooh-rah!
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