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Primal Screen

Primal Screen: Ashley Judd is our new, favorite undercover mother

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Interior Therapy can get bogged down in details, just like Jeff himself. For example, it’s not always exciting to watch the construction crew grind through its work. I think Jeff needs to spice things up a bit here, if I may be brutally honest.

In Plain Sight (9pm Fri, USA)
U.S. Marshal Mary Shannon (Mary McCormack) returns for the fifth and (boo!) final season of In Plain Sight. The season premiere is a typically gripping story about a guy who needs government protection after witnessing a murder. The episode is also typically funny and touching. Mary returns to work after two cataclysmic events: shooting a suspect and then going into labor. She’s now a single mom who must somehow balance her baby and her rough-and-tumble job. Motherhood seems to have softened her, but whenever things get too sappy she comes through with a bitingly sarcastic comment.

That’s what I love about In Plain Sight. It gets into heavy-duty emotions without taking itself too seriously. When the series ends, I’ll certainly miss McCormack’s outsized character — big gun, big mouth, big heart.
I’m sure Mary would consider that sentiment too sappy. Insert bitingly sarcastic comment here.

Fashion Star (8:30pm Tue, NBC)
This new reality series pits 14 fashion designers against each other to create a clothing line. Nothing unusual about that, but Fashion Star distinguishes itself from similar shows through pure shamelessness. Each week, buyers from major retail stores set up their billboards onstage and make offers on the designers’ creations. The clothes you see on the screen will go on sale online and in stores immediately.

In other words, Fashion Star is nothing more than a commercial, using the designer competition to make the whole thing seem vaguely like entertainment. The conceit is that we viewers have the privilege of buying clothes created by people who might be future fashion icons!

What’s next — Investment Star, in which we have the privilege of buying swampland that might be future prime real estate?

Dean Robbins covers television entertainment for the Current. Read his longer complete column each week only at sacurrent.com

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