'Hi, MTV Calling. Want To Do Something Stupid?'
It's Disco Week on Idol, and if you don't enjoy karaoke versions of Gloria Gaynor or KC and the Sunshine Band hits there is nothing to worry about. That is, unless you receive a call from Justin Timberlake's new MTV show. Then you'll have to go climb or jump something for money.
The Phone [10 PM, MTV]
Justin Timberlake executive-produced the MTV reality competition debuting tonight. In each episode, four strangers are called with instructions to complete a potentially dangerous task ("Press one if you accept this mission"). The winner gets $50,000. Timberlake has said "We plot each show around a movie plot...and they become the main character in this movie." Unless that movie is Hope Floats or Labyrinth, we'll take a pass.
The Unusuals [10 PM, ABC]
This usually airs on Wednesdays, but Cupid has the night off. ("Cupid has the Night Off" is the second single on my upcoming album.) To call this police procedural "quirky" would be like referring to Sean Penn as "political." Amber Tamblyn plays a character from a rich family who has chosen a life as wide-eyed cop Casey Shraeger. This week she is asked for a favor that could affect another case while neurotic-comic relief Banks (Harold Perrineau) and Delahoy (Adam Goldberg) foul up an undercover sting.
Devil's Playground [12 AM, National Geographic]
Lucy Walker documents the Amish rite of passage "rumspringa," where teenagers are allowed to experience the "English world" before deciding whether to commit to a life of humble piety and join the church. It's a really great show to watch at Midnight: You'll learn a few things, fall asleep a couple of times, but you'll have a wonderful feeling that the biggest decisions in your life involve sandwiches.
Grey Gardens [7:15 PM, HBO]
We've already seen it (and truly enjoyed it), but here's another chance to see the performance of Drew Barrymore's life in the dramatization of the lives of the Beales of Grey Gardens. Also, if you haven't seen the Albert and David Maysles film this is based on, then you should probably stop what you are doing right now (unless you are an important surgeon) and watch that immediately.