The Olympics are fun and exciting (I like to see the bobsled and luge events, and especially curling) but with the wall-to-wall coverage, sometimes you just want to watch something else. The other major networks don’t seem to be trying very hard to provide alternatives, so here’s my attempt to counter-program the Olympics.
Monday, February 10
Top Gear (8:30-10 pm, BBC America)
Hey, it’s back! Kind of sneaked up on me. The guys begin this season by trying to prove that the hot hatchbacks of their youth are better than cars available today, while Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham on Downton Abbey) takes the Reasonably Priced Car for a spin around the test track.
Also tonight: coverage of the 138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show runs from 8-11 pm on CNBC; the finals are tomorrow night, also from 8-11 pm but on USA.
Tuesday, February 11
The Goldbergs (8-9:30 pm, ABC)
I didn’t give this ‘80s-set sitcom much thought when it premiered in the fall. Its ratings have been moderate at best, but fairly consistent. ABC is airing three repeat episodes tonight, giving viewers seeking an Olympics alternative a chance to sample the show.
Wednesday, February 12
L.A. Confidential (6:40-9 pm, Starz)
Excellent adaptation of the James Ellroy novel about corruption in the LAPD in the early 1950s, with Russell Crowe (in arguably his breakout role), Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger (who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar), James Cromwell, and David Strathairn.
Thursday, February 13
This Old House Hour (8-9 pm, PBS)
This winter’s project is a home right nearby in Arlington, MA. This week’s segments include fitting a box spring up a narrow staircase, something many area residents have personal experience with.
Friday, February 14
House of Cards (Netflix)
Season two of Netflix’s political drama starts streaming today, so you and your valentine can spend the long weekend snuggled up on the couch binge-watching. (A third season was recently announced.)
Saturday, February 15
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (9-11:15 pm, Sundance)
A couple breaks up, and the man decides to have the memories of his former girlfriend erased from his brain. Weird but well told story starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet.
Sunday, February 16
30 for 30: Four Days in October (8:30-9:30 pm, ESPN)
I imagine most local fans won’t mind reliving the 2004 American League Championship Series between the Yankees and Red Sox.
Also tonight: the NBA All-Star Game is on TNT from 8-10:30 pm.
The Naked Gun (1988)
Once upon a time the guys who made the movie Airplane! had a spoof sitcom called Police Squad. It was only on for six episodes, but it was memorably funny and eventually they created this crazy, nutty movie (and two less enjoyable sequels) around the show’s main character, Lt. Frank Drebin, played by the great Leslie Nielsen. I’ve heard rumors that a reboot may be in the works, but it would have to have the original creative team involved to be worth doing or watching.