Please Hammer, don't hurt 'em


“Top Chef Masters”
Wednesday 10pm, Bravo

The chefs that act as guest judges on food competition “Top Chef” are among the bitchiest critics I’ve ever seen. Frequently, the contestants on the show will comment that they wish the culinary master pissing in their corn flakes had to work under their intense conditions. Those wishes have been granted. Twenty-four big-wig chefs from across the country will compete in this new show, which features a tournament-style set-up. Fans of “Top Chef” will recognize several of the players—French master Hubert Keller, molecular gastronomist Wylie Dufresne and Chicago restaurateur Rick Bayless, to name a few. The judging panel is equally impressive: New York Magazine’s Insatiable Critic Gael Greene, British food journalist Jay Rayner, and Saveur editor James Oseland. New York City TV personality Kelly Choi handles hosting duties.

“True Blood”
Sunday 9pm, HBO

They don’t call it the “dirty South” for nothing. Season 1 of “TB” was possibly the filthiest thing I’ve ever seen on TV. There was hot, naked sex almost every episode, in almost every permutation. Human on human, vampire on human, human on dog-man; it was intense. In Season 2, telepathic waitress Sookie (Anna Paquin) will find herself in the middle of a love triangle between her vampire boyfriend, Bill, and Eric, the charismatic vampire sheriff. We’ll get to meet the vamp queen of Louisiana, played by Evan Rachel Wood. Stupid Jason gets sucked into a crazy anti-vamp cult. Hopefully we’ll find out what’s going on with Tara and that social worker/half-goat woman who wanders around with car-sized pigs. And some hellish new monster will torment the not-so-good people of Bon Temps.

Sunday 10pm, A&E

In a recent episode of “The Fashion Show,” one of the teams decided that their “must-have” look was a pair of silver harem pants, better known in the ’90s as Hammer pants. And apparently there is a legitimate push in fashion to bring them back to the retail rack. If the Hammer pant is making a comeback, the Hammer man cannot be denied. M.C. Hammer made a fortune in the early ’90s with his groovy, danceable raps. He had blown it all by the mid-’90s and had resorted to has-been reality-TV hell by the new millennium. And now he’s a pastor. This new reality show chronicles Hammer and his family as he attempts to regain his superstar lifestyle.