A pair of producer Shonda Rhimes’ shows return tonight ... and both of them have problems.
Grey’s Anatomy (8 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4) ran out of ideas several seasons ago and has degenerated into loud, obnoxious drivel. This is a show that I inexplicably keep watching - perhaps hoping it will get good again - and then complain about bitterly during and after every episode.
Have you seen the promos ABC has been running for this episode? All the characters screaming at each other? It’s horrific to watch.
And Scandal (9 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4) is a preposterous show. I was not kind to it when it premiered this past spring, calling it "ludicrous" and "overwrought to the point of being ridiculous."
My TV critic pal Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette hit it exactly right when he described the show as "’The West Wing’ populated by characters out of ‘Gossip Girl.’"
Gee, I wish I’d written that.
But here’s the really ridiculous part. I actually watched all the first-season episodes. "Scandal’ is not a good show, and yet I found myself getting caught up in the ludicrous plots.
I don’t know how long this will last. But I’m sort of hooked at the moment.
Elsewhere on TV ...
NFL (6 p.m., NFL Network): Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens. And with real refs!
The Big Bang Theory (7 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Howard’s on the space station, and he still gets caught in the middle of a fight between his mother and Bernadette. (Season premiere)
The Last Resort (7 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): This is the single best pilot of fall 2012 - a taught, exciting adventure that goes in unexpected directions.
Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Thursday (7 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): Election-themed comedy.
The X Factor (7 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): Auditions continue.
High school football (7 p.m., Ch. 14): Bingham at Lone Peak
Women’s college soccer (7 p.m., BYUtv): Utah Valley at BYU
Project Runway (7, 10 and 11 p.m., Lifetime): I like this show, but this sounds sort of stupid - the designers create clothes for babies.
Two and a Half Men (7:30 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Walden plans a big surprise for Zoey. (Season premiere)
Up All Night (7:30 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): Reagan tries to adjust to being a stay-at-home mom; Ava runs into her former accompanist (guest star Sean Hayes).
Person of Interest (8 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Reese asks the police for help finding Finch, who’s been kidnapped. (Season premiere)
Grey’s Anatomy (8 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): The doctors deal with the aftermath of the plane crash. (Season premiere)
The Office (8 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): Roy’s wedding stirs up issues for Pam and Jim.
Glee (8 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): Blaine runs for student body president - against Brittany; Kurt lands the internship of his dreams.
Parks and Recreation (8:30 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): Leslie passes a city-wide tax on huge sodas.
Elementary (9 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Debut of a very promising crime drama featuring a modern-day Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) solving crimes in New York City.
Scandal (9 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): The truth about Quinn’s past is revealed. (Season premiere)
Rock Center (9 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): A report on sexual assault in the military.
Louie (11 p.m., FX): Louie struggles through the holidays. (Season premiere)
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