Titans Article #17

Hits and Messes

(from Entertainment Weekly)

EW.com picks the best new shows to watch this week. Ken Tucker says ''Titans'' and ''Gilmore Girls'' are two must see series making their TV debuts

The new TV season begins this week, as you undoubtedly discovered last night. (I hope you didn't have the misfortune of tuning in to NBC's ''Tucker'' -- what a repulsive little piece of vulgar trash.). Tonight, the Fox network will attempt to lure you away from your civic duty to watch the first Presidential debate by debuting ''Dark Angel,'' and I say: Skip it. It's not that ''Dark Angel'' is terrible: Star Jessica Alba, as a genetically supercharged hero of the future, exerts a certain charm, and producer James Cameron has pulled out the stops in this elaborate, expensive looking two hour premiere. But the show will be back next week, in its regular one hour format, with a smaller special effects budget -- THAT'S the episode that will tell you whether ''Dark Angel'' is worth watching every week.

On Wednesday, I think any proper American should be in front of the set to watch the two hour season premiere of ''West Wing,'' but tune in to NBC an hour early, if you can, to catch the debut of ''Titans,'' a triumphant revival of a dead genre: the nighttime soap opera. Yasmine Bleeth and Victoria Principal are supercatty and fun

On Thursday, I implore you to check out the WB's ''Gilmore Girls,'' at 8 p.m. New episodes of ''Friends'' won't begin till Oct. 12, so this is the week to see this adroitly written, light drama about a single mom (Lauren Graham) and her smart daughter (Alexis Bledel). Finally, strong women of two generations in the same show!

Friday brings two solid CBS efforts. First is the remake of ''The Fugitive,'' starring Tim Daly -- it harks back to the David Janssen original with just the right amount of updating. Following it is one of the season's most underrated new shows: ''C.S.I.,'' with William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger as canny crime scene investigators. Musts to avoid this night: two ABC sitcoms, the creepy ''The Trouble With Normal'' (four male paranoids pester their female therapist -- gee, what a riot) and the already tired looking ''Madigan Men,'' starring Gabriel Byrne and a slew of clichéd Irish jokes.

This is a TV season with no overriding trend, other than a very low quotient of even passable sitcoms and this odd but accurate general rule of thumb: If a show doesn't feature a star you know, you can skip it. Exception to that rule: ''The Geena Davis Show,'' premiering next week; boy, is that one a stinker.