Wednesday, February 18, 2004

TV Best Bets



Gannett News Service

Must-see

Everybody Loves Raymond, 9:30 p.m., Channels 12, 7.

Raymond is that rare comedy that keeps getting better, smarter, sharper, funnier.

This season, it's given some dark turns to its already acerbic family. It has done so, however, brilliantly.

In this transplanted rerun, Ray and Debra find themselves telling lies that soon require more lies. They become good at it - then realize that may not be a good thing.

The Bachelorette (9 p.m.) and Celebrity Mole Yucatan (10 p.m.), Channels 9, 2.

Even if you haven't been keeping up with these shows, it's fun to leap into the final moments.

Now Celebrity Mole wraps up, with Mark Curry, Dennis Rodman and Angie Everhart remaining. This is, at least, the tallest lineup in reality history. Tonight, we'll see who wins and who was the mole, secretly undermining the others.

Before that, Bachelorette has its second-to-last episode.

Meredith Phillips takes three guys on overnight dates, before choosing two for the finale.

The other one will join 22 previous rejects, in a reunion special at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Worth watching

In Search of Shakespeare, 8 p.m., Channels 48, 16. As William Shakespeare's fame grew, this well-made hour tells us, he faced mixed views of a poet's role. Some people wanted activism and protest; one strident poet had to hide under the toilet, to avoid being captured and killed. Others felt that romance and comedy were enough. Shakespeare shifted between the two, taking semi-concealed verbal jabs at the aging Queen Elizabeth. This hour, the third of four, offers a fascinating look.

My Wife and Kids, 8 p.m., Channels 9, 2. Michael and his wife want to change their looks. He hopes to do it quickly, before an appearance at traffic court.

It's All Relative, 8:30 p.m., Channels 9, 2. The young couple is pressured to set its wedding date.

King of Queens, 9 p.m., Channels 12, 7. Under medication at the hospital, Doug begins mumbling about women other than his wife.

The West Wing, 9 p.m., Channels 5, 22. As a rescue team races to help American airmen, Leo recalls his own crisis in Vietnam. He was rescued by a heroic friend - who is now in government trouble.

Sex and the City, 9 p.m., HBO. With the final episode coming Sunday, here's a chance to catch the most recent one.

Law & Order, 10 p.m., Channels 5, 22. A veteran, outspokenly anti-war, is killed. Now cops try to decide if that was because of his views.




FOOD
Oysters on parade for Mardi Gras
Where to buy oysters
Classic oyster recipes
Lore of the oyster
Rum cider packs warm punch
Smart Mouth
Frozen breads catch on
Extinct burger has its copycats
Trade Secrets
Simple steps make leaner burger cutlets

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Brubeck makes music with a message
Energy, relevance power 'Justice'
News veteran Kaplan to run MSNBC
Tale << winks>> at life's dangers

PEOPLE
'Neo-soul' label doesn't impress Erykah Badu
Birthdays
Jones grabs ring at All-Star game
Douglas declares Oscar nomination is its own victory
'Friends' star leblanc welcomes baby girl

HEALTH
SparkCincinnati hopes to ignite city of fitness
Body and Mind
Implant relieves bladder problems

PLANNING AHEAD
Get to it!
TV Best