Fall TV: A ROOT Guide

Watch this. DVR this. Definitely skip that.

We’re a couple of weeks into the fall television season, and if you’re like me, you can’t focus on one show long enough to get with the program. Missed the first few episodes of what is supposed to be a cool show? Step into the world of television via the Internet. But before you explore Hulu and YouTube, here’s a roundup for all the TV junkies who’d rather surf channels than ride the wave. All times are Eastern.


Watch This: The Cleveland Show (Fox) at 8:30 p.m.

In this African-American Family Guy, the head of the family, Cleveland, is voiced by a white man, but the show’s hilarious. And just like Family Guy, there are plenty of slick culture references. Watch Cleveland “ghost ride the whip.”

Watch This: Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO) at 9 p.m.

This season? The cantankerous Larry David (also the show’s exec producer) coaxes the cast of Seinfeld to join in on the fun. Also: Vivica A. Fox is gone for now, and Larry wants his wife back.

Skip This: Desperate Housewives (ABC) at 9 p.m.

Haven’t paid attention to this nighttime melodrama since Alfre Woodard and Mehcad Brooks were kicked off Wisteria Lane.

Watch This: Mad Men (AMC) at 10 p.m.

It’s a highly stylized ‘60s period drama. The show’s directors and producers have paid super-close attention to detail. But some critics say it’s missing an appropriate amount of racial context. While the critics debate, tune in—and make your own “Mad Men” avatar.

DVR This: Mario’s Green House (TV One) at 6 p.m.

TV One is slowly but surely stepping up its original-series game. But its reality show, Mario’s Green House, which documents the attempt by Mario Van Peebles’ family to build an eco-friendly home, is way too scripted. However: his father, Mr. Sweet Sweetback himself, is must-see TV. At 77, he hasn’t lost any of his spunk—or his ability to mack on women. Watch the promo.