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Monday, January 26, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 16.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily


Revenge of the creatures

I love my poodle, don't eat meat and support animal rights. But I admit to feeling uneasy during I Am an Animal (Monday, 7 p.m., HBO), a portrait of Ingrid Newkirk of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. >More
 Christianity in the classroom

In the rural town of Dover, Penn., teachers made the mistake of teaching science in science class. The good Christians on the Dover school board wondered why the teachers were allowed to explain Charles Darwin's theory of evolution without nodding to the book of Genesis. In 2004, the board voted to require Christianity in science class, cleverly disguised as the pseudo-science of "intelligent design." Concerned parents sprang into action, bringing a lawsuit against the board. Good Christians sprang into action too: They sent death threats to the concerned parents. >More
 I don't get it

I love the crude animated series South Park and The Simpsons. So why do I hate the crude animated series Family Guy (Sunday, 8 p.m., Fox)? I watched the special 100th episode to compare and contrast. Yes, all three series satirize American family values. But South Park and The Simpsons do so with wit. Here's the best punchline Family Guy can come up with: "This is a bigger waste of time than Ringo's songwriting!" >More
 You're a strange man, Charles Schulz

Along with the work of Louis Armstrong and Mark Twain, Peanuts is one of the United States' most original products. Charles Schulz's comic strip is at once simple and profound, melancholy and hilarious, and its pleasures are equally available to children and adults. Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and Lucy are among the most vivid characters in our literature, and Schulz continued to discover truths about them - and about life on planet earth - for 50 years, until he died in 2000. >More
 A risky gamble

In Viva Laughlin (Sunday, 7 p.m., CBS), Ripley (Lloyd Owen) is a smooth-talker who's building a casino in Laughlin, Nev. He's got perfect hair and sky-high dreams, but he's dealt a bad hand when his partner turns up murdered. (Brace yourself for gambling metaphors -- I'm just getting warmed up.) >More
 A whole new me

Samantha (Christina Applegate) awakens from a coma with amnesia. Her parents sit with her in the hospital room, but they're not much comfort. Her self-absorbed mother videotapes herself enacting "grief" with an eye to a guest slot on Extreme Makeover. When her distant father realizes that Samantha doesn't recognize him, he hands her his business card. Samantha Who? (Monday, 8:30 p.m., ABC) is a very good comedy about very bad people. >More
 Revenge of the creatures

In Life Is Wild (Sunday, 7 p.m., CW), a New York veterinarian (Brett Cullen) moves his blended family to South Africa so he can fulfill his dream of healing every animal in the world. >More
 Night of the living dead

I'm always hoping for something different in the new TV season - something other than another cop, doctor or lawyer show. Well, be careful what you wish for.

 The devil gets his due

Funny, scary and poignant, Reaper (Tuesday, 8 p.m., CW) is the fall season's best new series. You must start watching it immediately so it gets good ratings and stays on the air. If you don't, I swear I will hunt you down and make your life a living hell. >More
 Setup, punchline

And here we thought the old-fashioned sitcom was dead. Back to You (Wednesday, 7 p.m., Fox) proves that the genre still has life in it, banishing painful thoughts of 'Til Death and George Lopez. >More
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