“The Beautiful People”
Tuesday 10pm, Logo
The makers of this show describe it as “The Wonder Years” meets “Absolutely Fabulous.” “Beautiful People” is based on the memoirs of Simon Doonan, now the creative director of stylish department store Barney’s, and occasional talking head on VH1’s pop-culture shows. The series follows Doonan’s 13-year-old self as he grows up as a flamboyant gay man desperate to get out of his tiny English suburb and away from his quirky, dysfunctional clan. For reasons I’m not entirely clear on, the show transposes Doonan’s teen years to the late ’90s. (Simon is actually in his 50s.) But if nothing else, it should allow for some delicious jokes at the Spice Girls’ expense.
Wednesday 8pm, ABC
There’s something intrinsically entertaining about watching other people getting hit in the nuts. How else do you explain “America’s Funniest Home Videos” now being on its 20th season? (Well, there is Bob Saget’s contract with Satan. But he’s been off the show for years now. Saget, I mean. Satan clearly has a new puppet—Bergeron.) “Wipeout” takes advantage of that maxim by essentially yanking the Japanese buffoons from “Most Extreme Elimination Challenge” and replacing them with chubby Americans. Twenty-four contestants are put through a Goldbergian obstacle course for a shot at a $50,000 prize. (That’s pretty small potatoes for potential humiliation over several episodes.) John Henson, undoubtedly the worst “Talk Soup” host ever, provides the commentary along with “SportsCenter”’s John Anderson.
Monday 10:30pm, Showtime
Edie Falco first scored mainstream attention on gritty HBO dramas “Oz” and, of course, “The Sopranos.” So for the next phase of her career the unconventional leading actress decided to take a spin in comedy with an extended guest arc on “30 Rock” Season 2, where she proved to be both hilarious and charming. Her new show, “Nurse Jackie,” combines her comedic chops with her dramatic strengths. The dark comedy follows Falco’s titular nurse as she wades through a broken healthcare system, dealing with asshole doctors, horrible patients, and a support staff that’s given up on all of the above. Her somewhat skewed morality—it’s OK to steal from bad people; go ahead and forge a dead patient’s signature if it means his organs get to someone who needs them—puts her in good company with Showtime colleagues Dexter Morgan and Nancy Botwin.