It’s time to set your TiVos…

There are a number of new (and returning) shows making their season debuts this month. Here is a list of the scripted shows that premiere in the next two weeks (through 1/19):

SCRUBS (ABC)
1/6/09 at 9:00 PM & 9:30 PM
8th season premiere

NIP/TUCK (FX)
1/6/09 at 10:00 PM
5th season winter premiere

10 ITEMS OR LESS (TBS)
1/6/09 at 11:00 PM
3rd season premiere

DAMAGES (FX)
1/7/09 at 10:00 PM
2nd season premiere


Read the rest after the jump...

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Old Show, New Season: “10 Items or Less”

If you saw my review of the “10 Items or Less: The Complete First and Second Seasons” DVD set, then you already know that, although I like the show, I just feel like it ought to be funnier than it is. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” has proven over and over again that ad-libbed television can be hilarious, but in its first two seasons, “10 Items or Less” repeatedly demonstrated where its strengths lay – in its characters and its premises – but kept getting mired in punchlines that were only funny because they were weird, thereby seriously cutting into its replay value.

Unfortunately, Season 3 is already starting out with one strike against it, due to the departure of Jennifer Elise Cox from the cast. She was a great comedic foil for John Lehr as Leslie’s longtime crush, Amy Anderson, but I guess the producers must not have been able to figure out what to do with her character once she left Super Value Mart and came to work at the Greens & Grains. Instead, we’re introduced to Amy’s replacement at Super Value Mart: Mercedes P. Jones, played by Kim Coles (“Living Single”). She’s proven in the past that she’s a gifted comedienne, but aside from a brief bit about why her character has picked up the nickname “The Velvet Hammer,” her contributions to the 3rd season premiere are predominantly limited to reacting to other people’s lines and offering up generic sassy dialogue. Let’s hope she’s given more of an opportunity to shine creatively in future episodes.

The good news, though, is that the premiere is pretty damned funny even without utilizing Coles, and the reason why can be summed up in two words: turkey bowling.

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