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New Fall Season: "The Michael J. Fox Show" is a nice surprise

"The Michael J. Fox Show"
Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. on NBC (This week it will run two episodes starting at 9 p.m.)

Michael J. Fox is a one-time NBC star who is returning to the network. He is a happily married father. He also has Parkinson's disease.

On "The Michael J. Fox Show," Fox plays Mike Henry, a one-time NBC star who is returning to the network. Mike Henry also is a happily married father. And he also has Parkinson's disease.

The show, premiering with two episodes Thursday, is all very meta and self-referential. And in the first few minutes, I wasn't sure it was going to work at all. But then it really surprised me. This show grows on you, and the second and third episodes are even stronger than the pilot. That's a good trajectory for a new show to be on.

Tonight's "Treme" finale packs emotional wallop

I've thoroughly enjoyed this first season of "Treme" on HBO, but I have to admit it never fully grabbed me the way I wanted or expected, or the way some other dramas have right out of the gate.

That is, until I watched tonight's Season 1 finale.

For the 90-minute finale, airing at 10pm, David Simon's chronicling of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina comes together in such a beautiful way, that I found myself thinking about the episode for days after I'd watched it (a first for me this season). Tonight, some of the characters get closure, painful as it may be, some embark on hopeful new beginnings, and some are left facing a fresh new hell on earth.

"Treme": What it means to miss New Orleans

There's this funny sequence in the second episode of "Treme", (HBO, 10 p.m tonight):
Three young tourists in post-Katrina New Orleans get sent to a bar in a dicey neighborhood to hear music and experience the authentic nature of the city. There they encounter good music, good cue and a bony man with too many gold teeth and a ready grin.

I won't give away what happens, but elements of their experience are akin to how "Treme" made me feel in only three episodes: immersed, giddy, and longing for more.

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