This Week In TV: Meat Cat and Oprah as Mediator

I'm adjusting to the rain, hoping for sun, and wondering why I keep dreaming about Meat Cat. This was the week in TV Land:

Lost is back! The show's sixth and final season opener drew a bigger crowd than last year's, and the episode itself was a tight, fantastic set-up for this season's main concern, i.e., what the hell do you do when you splinter the timeline. The mystery-adventure show is some of the best pop TV out there right now. It's this decade's version of The X-Files or Twin Peaks in that it derives more energy from the pursuit of truth than attaining it. Watching the premiere on Tuesday, I was reminded how much fun the show can be. The series finale is set for Sunday, May 23, with a two-hour episode.

• Jon Stewart swung by the Fox News dungeon lair studios last week to hang out on The O'Reilly Factor, the cognitive dissonance of which has to be seen to be believed. The whole thing was pretty choppy and seemed to favor shorter sound bites; at least when Stewart has to cut an interview short, they direct viewers to the Web site for the full version. You can apparently watch the whole thing online at Fox News, but as I have yet to steel myself to check that out, you'll have to make do with this:

• The Super Bowl was last night. As of this writing, the game's still going, but here's where I confess that I'm just not that interested in pro sports. I forget scores, games, players, you name it. Just never been my thing. As a TV event, the Super Bowl is also probably the most American thing I can think of: People gather around their sets across the country just to have a chance to watch commercials. It's the only time of year when we say, "Screw the pretense. I want to be pandered to." The blog-o-tube-isphere will be all about those ads today, too. One of the most ominous (to me) was the one for David Letterman's Late Show that featured Oprah Winfrey and Jay Leno. Is this supposed to be Leno's attempt to show he's indeed as hip as Conan O'Brien? That he loves Letterman, too? That Oprah is somehow a mediator for fallen talk show titans? Whatever. I guess people think that you can only make interesting ads once a year. Here it is:

• NBC's still a fourth-place network, but their Thursday comedy block is getting stronger. Each of their Thursday comedies saw a ratings bump last week, with Parks and Recreation hitting a season high of 4.9 million viewers. Too bad DJ Roomba wasn't around to see it. Seriously, though, this two-hour chunk is the best thing they've got. This week's Community was hilarious and sweet, and 30 Rock still has the market cornered on meta-slapstick.

• This is where I come out and tell you how much I like Psych. Is it the best show on TV? Not really. But it's far from the worst, and it's also consistently entertaining, thanks to the chemistry between James Roday and Dule Hill. It can get a little clogged with earnest pop culture references at times, but it's a good escapist show, and a great way to unwind.

Looking forward to this week, there's more Lost, How I Met Your Mother, and NBC comedies. HBO's The Black List: Volume Three airs tonight (Monday) as part of their tribute to Black History Month. (Houston residents should also check this out.) The season finale of Heroes airs Monday, as well, so that NBC doesn't have to worry about it once the Vancouver Olympics start on Friday. If you plan on watching the Olympics, more power to you. I'll be doing anything else.

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Daniel Carlson
Contact: Daniel Carlson