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Saturday, December 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 27.0° F  Light Snow Fog/Mist
The Daily

TELEVISION

Psych: Santa's big score

Psych is my choice for TV's most underrated show. James Roday and Dulé Hill have chemistry to burn as con men who run a psychic detective agency. Every hour delivers laughs, thrills and drama as the partners bumble their way toward solving a crime. The dialogue kills, the characters jump off the screen, and the plots even squeeze a bit of poignancy in between the irony. Where oh where are the Emmy awards? >More
 Season's 'greetings'

Stephen Colbert shines as an egotistical host on his mock right-wing news program The Colbert Report. Colbert satirizes the Fox News worldview while pretending to embody it. He makes war-loving, tax-hating, God-slinging, gay-baiting conservatism look absurd -- even more absurd than it does on The O'Reilly Factor. The Colbert Report is undoubtedly a work of genius. >More
 Filth: Down with dirt

The late Mary Whitehouse was an old-school Christian who spent almost 40 years trying to keep "filth" off England's BBC-TV. Now, in the TV movie Filth (Sunday, 8 p.m., PBS), the BBC has the last word on its longtime adversary. You might expect the word to be "nyah-nyah," but that wouldn't make for a very interesting production. With her censorious views of sex, racy language and liberal thinking of all kinds, Mrs. Whitehouse is easy to mock, especially from a 2008 perspective. >More
 Babysitter of the gods

Supernanny stars British nanny Jo Frost, and the "super" is no exaggeration. The woman can heal any rift, as she proves in this week's episode. >More
 Laughing all the way

All day long, I despair over the state of the U.S. Then, at 10 p.m., I laugh about it. The Daily Show has a gift for making comedy out of national tragedy. Comedy Central's mock newscast lays bare the hypocrisy, mendacity and idiocy in politics and media, fighting absurdity with absurdity. >More
 Fashion casualties

In the reality series Stylista (Wednesday, 8 p.m., CW), 11 aspiring trendsetters vie for an editorial position at Elle magazine. They must impress self-important editor Anne Slowey, who does her best asinine-tyrant act for the cameras. "I only take iced lattes with a small straw," she tells a quivering contestant who dares to bring her breakfast. The scene is right out of The Devil Wears Prada, except that Meryl Streep does Slowey better than Slowey does Slowey. >More
 Color commentary

Finally, a worthy successor to the late, lamented Chappelle's Show. In Chocolate News (Wednesday, 9:30 p.m., Comedy Central), the talented comedian David Alan Grier purports to explore current affairs from an African American perspective. What he really does is lampoon black culture, stereotypes about black culture, and the white culture that traffics in those stereotypes. >More
 Hollywood hell

I panned The Starter Wife TV movie last year, which is hard to believe now that I've seen its new incarnation as a series (Friday, 8 p.m., USA). This time, the production strikes me as a masterpiece, an inside-Hollywood satire worthy of Entourage. All I can say is: My new medications must be working like a charm. >More
 Dead and dumb

In The Ghost Whisperer's season premiere (Friday, 7 p.m., CBS), Jennifer Love Hewitt returns as a woman who solves supernatural mysteries by talking to spooks. Why this is best accomplished in skimpy negligees I've never known. This week, Hewitt's Melinda helps a psychologist who died in a fire along with a sexy patient. Then the psychologist comes back to life. The patient doesn't, but he can hear her ghost talking to him. Melinda can both hear and see the ghost, and she hopes to ask it who started the fire. But that won't be easy, not the way the damn thing keeps disappearing at dramatically convenient moments. >More
 The sound of excitement!

The new season of The Amazing Race (Sunday, 7 p.m., CBS) begins with edge-of-the-seat excitement. Eleven pairs gather in Los Angeles to kick off the race around the world. The host reveals their first destination - Brazil - and they're off! Accompanied by a soundtrack of deafening drums and screeching brass, the pairs jump in their cars and speed off to the airport! But they're slowed by L.A. traffic! And the airline ticket lines are excruciatingly long! Then they endure the endless flight to Brazil as the soundtrack reaches a fever pitch! >More
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