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Wednesday Notebook: "The Unusuals," "Cupid," 'DWTS"

By admin Published: April 8, 2009

A few notes on viewing tonight and last night, after the jump.

"The Unusuals," the police show premiering tonight on ABC, isn't bad. And the cast, with Amber Tamblyn at the center, is quite good. But watching it, I couldn't help but think about "Hill Street Blues" and "NYPD Blue" as the still-unsurpassed models for the modern cop show. Even something like "The Shield," as great as it was, built on those two shows. And, based on the pilot, "The Unusuals" is not quite in that league, nor is it something that I am quite ready to promise an hour of my weekly viewing time. But neither am I walking away from it. There are moments -- including a scene near the end -- where it does admirable work.

"Cupid," which I liked in the premiere, was even better in last night's episode. As unabashedly romantic as it is, there's a tartness to its view of the course of romance which I like a great deal. And every time its plotting gets a little predictable (didn't we all know that the old man was her daddy, and didn't you sense that the video was cut off abruptly?), it spins things around enough -- and has two strong enough central characters -- that it keeps me watching and smiling. More, please.

Caught just the end of last night's "Dancing With the Stars" last night and was disappointed to see David Alan Grier go, although his departure makes clear that he did not have a very strong voting base. Still, he was a better dancer than LT (whom I thought was in danger) or Steve-O (who always seems to be at risk), and I think he had better long-term possibilities than the ever-uncomfortable Ty Murray. Oh, well.

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