Do Not Watch This Show!

“The World According to Paris” (Wednesday, 9 p.m., Oxygen) is the latest reality series to chronicle the life of brain-dead party girl Paris Hilton. Oh, sorry –“singer/actress/author/fashion designer Paris Hilton,” as she pompously describes herself in the intro. On the eve of her 30th birthday, Paris says she’s ready to grow up, and one can only assume she means progressing from a sixth- to a seventh-grade mentality. She spends her days making catty comments about other women, bickering with her boyfriend over infantile jealousy issues, and pouting whenever a representative from the adult universe demands reasonable behavior from her. “I…

They Write The Songs

Have you ever wondered why most pop music sounds so bad, given all the talented musicians to choose from and all the money that goes into each song? “Platinum Hit” offers a clue (Monday, 9 p.m., Bravo). In this reality competition, Jewel, Kara DioGuardi and other music-industry bigwigs put a dozen composer-performers through a series of tests to identify the next big hitmaker. From the get-go, the personalities are toxic, just as you imagine they are throughout the business. “I am a musical genius,” proclaims a mohawked guy named Nick, proving it by writing his first song in five seconds.…

Impaired Judgment

Everybody seems delighted with the new version of “American Idol,” from the media to the fans. On the eve of the season finale (Tuesday & Wednesday, 7 p.m.), I still haven’t figured out why. There have been a few solid singers, but no spectacular ones to rival the Adam Lamberts or Fantasias of previous seasons. And to me, new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are no substitute for Simon Cowell. If they made an insightful comment during this season’s run, I missed it. A typical moment came on Carole King Night, when Casey Abrams destroyed “Hi-De-Ho” with corny growls…

A ‘Hit’ Series

In some ways, life is good for “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” in the season premiere (Monday, 8 p.m., Bravo). Teresa has gotten a great reception for a cookbook, and her sister-in-law Melissa is looking forward to her son’s christening. “I can’t wait to welcome my son into God’s kingdom,” she says. But dark clouds gather – and, hey, it wouldn’t be “The Real Housewives” if they didn’t. Hotheaded Joe, who’s Melissa’s husband and Teresa’s brother, stews over perceived slights before the christening. “My blood has done me wrong,” he insists, imagining that Teresa has disrespected him. Joe chooses…

Monster in Chief

Three things are certain in this life: death, taxes, and the fact that Lady Gaga will put on a good show. It’s hard to be bored during “Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden” (Saturday, 8 p.m., HBO), with its delirious beats, crazily shaped costumes, sexy dancing and glittering sets. And yet, I can’t deny feeling uncomfortable in certain parts. Lady Gaga explicitly presents herself as a “queen,” and she hands down orders to us, her “little monsters.” “Now dance!” she demands, and the audience obediently complies. Just when you think the master-slave conceit is all…

Rule Britannia!

The media have already proclaimed the April 29 nuptials of England’s Prince William and Kate Middleton “the wedding of the century” (Friday, 4 a.m., NBC, CBS, Fox News, MSNBC, E!, etc.). Apparently there won’t be anything to compare to it in the next 89 years, so you’d better pay attention RIGHT NOW, hadn’t you? TV is more than happy to help, with frothing-at-the-mouth coverage of this seemingly bland couple and their very undramatic decision to marry after eight years of normal dating. In 1981, the media went gaga over a similar non-event, the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer,…

Extra-Special Education

“Beyond the Blackboard” (Sunday, 8 p.m., CBS) is another entry in a disreputable movie genre: the white middle-class teacher who goes into the ‘hood and, against all odds, gets through to the previously unreachable disadvantaged kids. I’m personally inclined to distrust these glorified stories, having been a teacher myself in a disadvantaged neighborhood with less than glorious results. But I admit falling for “Beyond the Blackboard,” despite the cookie-cutter plot: young teacher Stacy (played by Emily VanCamp and based on a real person) works wonders with homeless kids despite a rocky start. She brings in fruit cups, paints the room…

Hurts So Good

Where has Paul Reiser been hiding? The star of the beloved 1990s series “Mad About You” is a natural-born sitcom comedian, and he hasn’t lost a bit of his endearing nervous energy in “The Paul Reiser Show” (Thursday, 7:30 p.m., NBC). Written and produced by Reiser, it’s a “Curb Your Enthusiasm”-style slice-of-Hollywood-life in which the star plays a version of himself. (In case you miss the connection, Larry David of “Curb” guest-stars to hilarious effect.) There’s nothing funnier than Reiser being Reiser: getting hysterical over trivial things, as his voice modulates up and down an operatic scale; trying, and failing,…

Security and Insecurity

Usually only one sitcom works for every couple dozen that premiere. “Breaking In” (Wednesday, 8:30 p.m., Fox) is that one. It finds the perfect blend of acting, writing and directing to achieve a craziness all its own. Cameron (Bret Harrison) is a college nerd who uses his amazing hacking skills for such trivial benefits as finding himself a faculty parking spot. But a sleazy hipster named Oz (Christian Slater) imagines Cameron in a more glamorous role: an in-house hacker for his security firm, which attacks corporate firewalls to find breaches. Cameron has his doubts, especially when he meets his nutty…

Not Readily A Parent

Just when you think all the good reality ideas are taken, here comes “Pregnant in Heels” (Tuesday, 9 p.m., Bravo). It’s about “mommy concierge” Rosie Pope, who caters to preposterous pregnant women on New York City’s posh Upper East Side. These women tend to be selfish, status-conscious narcissists, and Rosie knows it – hence her charm. She satisfies their every whim, then rolls her eyes in private talks to the camera. It’s hard to believe her customers will stick around when they hear these insults on TV, but “Pregnant in Heels” should at least have a hell of a single…