“Off the Map”
Wednesday 10pm, ABC
Shonda Rhimes, the producer behind “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice,” goes for a hat trick with another drama about sexy doctors having sex with each other. “Off the Map” at least has a novel twist: It’s set in a remote South American village, so expect some unexpected medical cases due to the rain forest flora and fauna, and moral dilemmas that come from working in an undeveloped land. The cast is stacked with impressive up-and-comers, including Mamie Gummer (you might know her mom, Meryl Streep), Zach Gilford (“Friday Night Lights”), Caroline Dhavernas (awesome on the tragically short-lived “Wonderfalls”), and Rachelle Lefevre (the evil ginger vampiress in the first Twilight flick), plus UVA grad Jason George.
Monday 10pm, MTV
At first I was excited that we were getting an American adaptation of “Skins,” the craziest, most brilliant, stupidest, most offensive, genuinely touching teenage drama I’ve ever seen. Then I heard MTV was doing it, and visions of “Jersey Shore” danced in my head. After watching the preview, I remain ambivalent. The pilot basically copies the UK original point for point, just with new names for some of the characters and one major tweak (gay boy Maxxie is now a lesbian named Tea). The remainder of the first season will reportedly deviate from there, but the American actors—all of them amateurs, just like the original version—appear to lack the spark, wit, and guile of their British counterparts.
Monday 10pm A&E
I cannot get enough of A&E’s docudramas, like “Hoarders” and “Intervention.” I have lost entire evenings after being sucked into the lives of the completely dysfunctional, and marveling at how they either successfully get their shit together, or choose to allow their lives to fully collapse. After bringing us amazing moments like mummified kitten corpses and naked, strung-out sister fights, the channel turns its attention to the morbidly obese. And I mean obese: The man profiled in the premiere weighs nearly 650 lbs. “Heavy” follows two subjects per episode, explaining what contributed to their severe weight gains, giving them expert health and fitness guidance, and checking in over six months to see how much weight they’ve lost. Expect this to be more inspirational than “Hoarders,” feature fewer opossums, and act as a good motivator to get your (and my) ass off the couch and sprinting toward the gym.