“Who Do You Think You Are?”
Friday 8pm, NBC
I very much enjoyed the first season of this genealogy-based documentary show in which celebrities learn about their ancestors. Did you know Sarah Jessica Parker’s great-great-something-or-other was one of the accused during the Salem Witch Trials? Well, you do now. This season we get to follow the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Kim Cattrall (apparently one of her forebears was a bigamist!), Lionel Richie, Ashley Judd, Vanessa Williams, Rosie O’Donnell, Tim McGraw (his ancestors used to pal around with George Washington) and Steve Buscemi.
“Super Bowl XLV”
Sunday 6:30pm, Fox
This year it’s the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the Green Bay Packers. Since I don’t follow any team, I use a sophisticated method to select my favored squad for the big game. Part 1: Fashion. The Packers’ jerseys remind me of the pinnies I had to wear in high-school gym class, which was a living Hell; advantage Steelers. Part 2: Logo. Green Bay’s is basically a “G” in an oval. Pittsburgh has three pretty stars that I’m sure have some deep symbolic meaning. 2-0 Steelers. Part 3: Hotness. After surveying the team members’ headshots I would sleep with 20 of the Packers but only 12 of the Steelers (I have very low standards). Score Packers. Part 4: Mascot. The Packers have some weird baby-like football player, while the Steelers have a butch steelworker named Steely McBeam (!) who reminds me of disgraced New York governor Eliot Spitzer crossed with a Village Person. Steelers FTW! Not that I really care. I’ll be watching “Puppy Bowl” over on Animal Planet, as usual.
“The Chicago Code”
Monday 9pm, Fox
I know: another cop show. But this new drama is less a procedural, and more a complicated serial look at the gritty underbelly of corruption in the big city, like “The Wire” or “The Shield.” That last comparison is particularly apt since “Shield” creator Shawn Ryan is also heading up this series, putting his knack for rich, complex characters to use in the Windy City. Jennifer Beals is a long way from her “Flashdance” leg warmers as the new police superintendent determined to bring down the corrupt politician who got her the top job (Delroy Lindo). But lest you think it’s all political sword fights and back-room deals, there are plenty of car chases, shootouts, and messed-up cops and robbers to keep things interesting.