On the Idiot Box: "A Young Doctor's Notebook," "Trophy Wife" and more

By Craig D. Lindsey
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 2 | Posted Oct. 8, 2013

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A Young Doctor's Notebook

Wednesdays, 10pm, Ovation

Captive audience: Fans of dark comedy and gallows humor, fanboys and geek girls who would get moist over the sight of Don Draper and Harry Potter in the same space.

Moment of truth: Leave it to the British to cast Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe together in this four-part series, based on stories from Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov, filled with graphic sight gags and mercilessly black humor. It’s set in early 20th-century Moscow; Hamm’s sullen physician takes a trip back in time to visit his younger self (Radcliffe), when he was the resident doctor of a remote Russian village. This is definitely not for the squeamish—blood and limbs are literally tossed around for comic effect—but it reminds us how doctors can face pain themselves while they’re ridding others of it.

Emmy or phlegmmy: Emmy.

Tuesdays, 10pm, BET

Captive audience: Reality-show geeks, BET watchers, people who know all of Kevin Hart’s routines by heart.

Moment of truth: Kevin Hart and his gang of “mitches” return for a second season of hyper-hilarious, reality-show satire. And now that that weak link Robin Thicke isn’t around since he’s making pop-star moves and failing to prove to everyone that he didn’t rip off Marvin Gaye, the show is better than ever. Rapper Nelly joins the crew full-time this season, successfully blending into the spiteful, ego-tripping silliness Hart and his famous frenemies engage in. Even if you have no idea who Hart or any of these B/C-listers are, you should still watch if you have a thing for laughing hysterically.

Emmy or phlegmmy: Emmy.

Tuesdays, 9:30pm, ABC

Captive audience: People who actually get along with their exes, folks who are fed the fuck up with Modern Family.

Moment of truth: The reaction this new sitcom has gotten from audiences and critics is amusing me more than the show itself. Apparently, people are surprised that star/producer Malin Akerman’s title character isn’t so much a brain-dead bride, but a daffy gal trying to fit into an already-cluttered family, which includes Bradley Whitford as her randy hubby and Marcia Gay Harden and former SNL castmember Michaela Watkins (who I’m sure ad-libs all her lines) as his disapproving exes. A good cast, a funny premise and the kids aren’t annoying—hell, no wonder people are shocked they like this.

Emmy or phlegmmy: Emmy.

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