TV tonight: 'Mother,' 'Following,' 'Top Gear'
Posted February 3, 2013
How I Met Your Mother/Rules of Engagement | CBS, 8 ET/PT
As is often the case, the evening's opening hour on CBS comes with pluses and minuses attached. On the plus side, you have an episode of How I Met Your Mother that features the return of Robin's Canadian pop-star alter ego Robin Sparkles and featuring cameos from such famous Canadians as Alan Thicke, Jason Priestley, Paul Shaffer, Alex Trebek, k.d. lang and Luc Robitaille. On the minus, you have an episode of Rules of Engagement that - well, actually, that's the minus side all by itself.
The Following | Fox, 9 ET/PT
And then there's this incredibly creepy new Fox drama, which has an hour that puts its virtues and its vices in stark relief. This is a series designed to shock you out of your seat, and tonight's outing about a Poe-masked follower with a fondness for flames certainly does fulfill that things-that-go-bump-in-the-night mission. Indeed, its final scene is one of the most perversely chilling ever to be included in a broadcast series. Still, in its efforts to scare us, The Following needs to be careful not to undermine our faith in the competence of its main character, Kevin Bacon's Ryan Hardy. The show keeps telling us he's an excellent (if, in his personal life, flawed) agent, but he's tricked twice tonight in ways that call that insistence into question. We should be surprised all the time. He should be surprised a bit less frequently.
Top Gear | BBC America, 9 ET/PT
Homeland, alas, won't be back until fall, but you don't have to wait that long to see its star, Damian Lewis, on TV. He's the guest on the season premiere of Britain's Top Gear, getting behind the wheel as the show's "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car." For those interested in somewhat less reasonably priced cars, the show also features a Pagani Huayra Hypercar, which sells for somewhere over $1 million. You could ask how far over, but really, does it matter?
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