If all we knew about teenagers was how they are portrayed on television, we would conclude that the human race is completely without hope. Fortunately, real teens are just a bit more complex and thoughtful than they appear on shows like My Super Sweet 16.
A six-part documentary-like series called High School Confidential, which premieres this evening (WE, 10 PM), focuses on twelve girls at a high school in Overland Park, Kan. Filmmaker Sharon Liese followed them from the time they entered till their graduations, so viewers will watch them evolve and deal with the crises typical of the age group. The first hour deals with Cappie, who begins high school as conscientious but gradually becomes a partier, and Lauren, a high achiever whose life is upended by a major health crisis.
Canterbury's Law (Fox, 8 PM): Julianna Margulies is one of those actors who has so much good will built up that I'm always going to want to check out what she's doing next. In this new series, she plays defense attorney Elizabeth Canterbury, who pulls strings to help her clients. In the pilot, she fights to take the case of a suspected child murderer, a possibly surprising stance given that her own child is missing. Criminal defense attorneys haven't been the heroes of many shows since Perry Mason was on the job, so we'll see how this goes over.
Kyle XY (ABC Family, 8 PM): As the prom approaches, Kyle deals with complications caused by the emergence of Sarah (Ally Sheedy--nowthis is good casting).
Little People, Big World (TLC, 8 and 8:30 PM): In half-hour one, Matt takes the stand in his defense, something you don't see every day in a DUI case. In the second half, Matt plans a date for his 20th anniversary, while Zach adjusts to dating a taller girl.
The Bachelor: Where Are They Now? (ABC, 8 PM): Where they are is "unmarried," mostly. To whet our appetites for the upcoming season, we get an update on some Bachelors and would-be wives of seasons past, as well as profiles of new Bachelor Matt Grant and Bachelorette DeAnna Pappas.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony (VH1 Classic, 8:30 PM): Inductees this year include surf-rock pioneers the Ventures; third-banana British Invasion act the Dave Clark Five; ex-cougar John Mellencamp; Canadian eccentric Leonard Cohen; and middle-aged British woman Madonna.
The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS, 8:30 PM and 9:30 PM): In the first episode, New Christine arranges a blind date for Christine, who ends up getting along very well with the much younger man. At 9:30, Christine is shocked to find that Richard and the new missus have bought the house she had always dreamed of living in.
Flavor of Love 3 (VH1, 9 PM): Flav asks the ladies to compose a bedtime story and read it to a group of children. I'm not sure if this is a test of maternal skills, or a sneaky way of finding out how many of these women can read and write.
Jon & Kate Plus 8 (TLC, 9 and 9:30 PM): A pair of new episodes focus on twins Cara and Mady, who must feel a bit overlooked. In part one, the girls begin music lessons and prepare a concert for the family; in the second half hour, they begin cooking classes. Aha! This is all part of Kate's secret plan to turn over the kitchen to her 7-year-olds!
New Amsterdam (Fox, 9 PM): A homeless veteran says he killed a psychiatrist, but Amsterdam doubts that's what happened; as a result of the case, Amsterdam now believes he is closer to meeting his true love. Being on TV always impresses the women.
October Road (ABC, 9 PM): A two-hour season finale, and even considering the disruption of pilot season you have to assume this is really the end for the show that has given us both TV's worst character (Phil) and worst actor (Odette Yustman). Nick gets a job offer that would take him away from Knightsridge; Hannah is arrested for clocking Ray's ex; and Eddie's ex returns to town.
Paradise Hotel 2 (MyNetworkTV 9 PM, Fox reality 1 AM): Stephanie is pulled in two different directions; at Pandora's Box, someone is singled out as a provocateur. Imagine that.
Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious (CW, 9 PM): After makeovers, the girls hit the red carpet. Also, three of the contenders are asked to perform on roller skates. Don't they have enough trouble singing un-wheeled?
In Treatment (HBO, 9:30 PM): With Laura no longer a patient -- I can't see that as a permanent thing -- Paul's Monday is freed up to talk with his children.
Ancient Discoveries (History, 10 PM): Archaeologists are learning much about the people who lived on what is now Manhattan thousands of years ago, including the discoveries of wild debauches and blood sports as entertainment. But on the bright side, the population was a lot lower so the waits for cabs were more reasonable.
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (Travel, 10 PM): Several years removed from his days as an everyday working chef, Bourdain accepts a challenge to return to the New York restaurant Les Halles to work a double shift.
Medium (NBC, 10 PM): Joe's mother (Kathy Baker) tells Allison a troubling secret; an arson murder teams Allison with Scanlon and Devalos.
Swarovski Style Rocks (Bravo, 10 PM): Fashion Rocks has a sponsor now, it appears. Uma Thurman and the always impeccably dressed Samuel L. Jackson host this event from London, with Joss Stone and Alicia Keys among the performers. Keys is getting about as ubiquitous as the Black Eyed Peas were a couple of years ago. She's on every show there is.
The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom (TLC, 10 PM): A former chef-turned-fulltime mom goes back to work, while her husband tries to handle their sons on his own.
Cheerleader U. (WE, 11 PM): The second season begins with a focus on defending cheer champs from the University of Central Florida. Did they rest on their laurels in the off season? See, if these were male athletes we'd know how they celebrated their success: by sleeping with cheerleaders.