The winter of our content


 “Past Life” 

Tuesday & Thursday 9pm, Fox
On the one hand, kudos to Fox for not using “Idol” to try to launch another terrible reality show. On the other, this new drama is yet another procedural. However, it has a twist: it’s about a pair of odd-couple investigators who look into crimes that may involve people who have been reincarnated. If you just rolled your eyes, join the club. But consider that it’s from a writer of the critically acclaimed “Friday Night Lights,” and that it has the irascible Richard Schiff (Toby from “The West Wing”), and he makes everything better. Just like bacon. Hey, maybe he was a pig in a past life!
“Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” 
Thursday 8pm, CBS
This May will mark 10 years since the debut of the original “Survivor.” Say what you will about the show—it certainly has seen better days—but it remains a pop culture touchstone, a ratings draw, and it forever changed the television landscape by popularizing the reality competition. To commemorate its 20th season, the show is going back to the well—again—for another all-star round. Many of the series’ most recognizable players are back, including “heroes” Colby (“Australian Outback”), Cirie (“Panama”), Rupert (“Pearl Islands”), and Stephenie (“Palau”), plus “villains” Jerri (“Australian Outback”), “Boston” Rob (“Marquesas”), “Coach” (“Tocantins”), and last season’s resident shit, wee Russell. Noticeably absent is the original “Survivor” villain, Richard Hatch, who was invited to participate but whose petition to leave house arrest to shoot the show was denied. Pay your taxes, people!
“Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics” 
Friday 7:30pm, NBC
Lots of people diss the Winter Olympics, belittling them as a pale reflection of the original-recipe summer games. To that I say balderdash. The Winter Olympics are awesome! Hockey is so much more entertaining than soccer! Speed skating is so much more intense than running! It’s a toss up between figure skating and gymnastics, but downhill skiing, ski jumping, snowboarding, bobsled—these things are freaking dangerous, and a total thrill to watch. So yeah, I can’t wait. From February 12 to 28 my ass will be glued to my couch, I will wave my tiny American flag, and cheer whenever one of those commies falls. (Note: any non-American athlete is a communist in my book. So much for the Olympic spirit.)