We need help


“American Idol” 

Tuesday, 8pm; Wednesday 9pm, Fox

There was a moment in the last week of the semi-finals where I thought we could possibly salvage this miserable season. But then Lilly Scott, Katelyn Epperly and Alex Lambert got sent home. They each had flaws, but they were musicians with unique voices and points of view. Instead we got stuck with a Top 12 featuring barely passable karaoke from Katie Stevens, one-trick pony Andrew Garcia, under-seasoned Aaron Kelly and the baffling presence of Lacey Brown and Paige Miles. At least Tim Urban has those impressive shirtless pics for us to drool over. I’m hard-pressed to pick a winner—I suspect current It Girl Crystal Bowersox is going to plateau around week three or four—but here’s hoping Siobhan Magnus continues to grow and surprise us. Like Obi-Wan, she is our only hope.


“Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” 

Friday 8pm, ABC

You may recognize Oliver from “The Naked Chef,” or one of the umpteen TV shows or cookbooks he slapped his name on over the past decade. A couple years ago Oliver became outraged at the eating habits of children in the United Kingdom, so he launched an initiative to educate families about healthy eating. That translated to this new TV series, in which he focuses on the town of Huntington, West Virginia, and tries to get its parents and kids to eat better. I’m all for it, but the reality is, unless healthy food is as cheap, tasty, and easy to find as candy bars and McDonald’s, it’s a real uphill battle.


“Hoarding: Buried Alive” 

Sunday 10pm, TLC

This documentary series is pretty much an exact duplicate of A&E’s “Hoarders.” Each episode follows two people with extreme hoarding disorder, as the cameras capture the self-imposed horror of their everyday lives. We’re talking people whose houses are about to be condemned because they’ve collected so much trash, families that have passed down these behaviors for generations. Then the show brings in expert therapists and organizers in an attempt to clean up not only the mountains of clutter, but also the deep psychological issues that contributed to the problem in the first place. The shows treat their subjects with a level of empathy, but there’s still an undeniable freak-show aspect to the proceedings. But step back a little and I think most of us know somebody who is arguably heading down this path. It’s a good wake-up call.