Super Nanny sets things right

SUPERNANNY
Friday, 9 p.m. (ABC)
    “Super” is not an exaggeration for British nanny Jo Frost. The woman can heal any rift, as she proves in this week’s episode. Jo arrives at the woeful Manley home, where Mom and Dad hate each other and the two kids are monsters. She immediately perceives that civilizing the parents is job one. She gets them to talk about their feelings and declare a truce for the children’s sake. Then she teaches them gentle-but-firm disciplinary techniques, and voilà: The monsters turn back into kids again.{mosimage}
    Has anybody considered sending Supernanny to the Middle East to work with the Shia and Sunni?

BROTHERHOOD
Sunday, 8 p.m. (Showtime)
    Missing The Sopranos, I decided to give Showtime’s mobster drama another try. Brotherhood is about two Irish-American siblings mixed up in dirty business in Providence, R.I. The new season has everything     The Sopranos had: corruption, violence, cusswords, regional accents, local color, gritty scripts, impressive acting. Everything, that is, except the magic.

MASTERPIECE
Sunday, 9 p.m. (PBS)
    “God on Trial” is set in a Nazi concentration camp barracks, where inmates stage a mock trial to determine God’s guilt or innocence in the Holocaust. You can easily imagine the potential problems with this conceit, and “God on Trial” doesn’t avoid a single one. It’s less a drama than a pat theological debate, with barely characterized believers and skeptics offering their arguments in turn. The concentration camp setting doesn’t make the debate seem more powerful and important; it just makes the producers seem more tawdry. They use the Holocaust to add urgency to their cornball philosophizing.

SUMMER HEIGHTS HIGH
Sunday, 10:30 p.m. (HBO)
    HBO has been accused of losing its comic touch, and this new series provides more evidence. Summer Heights High is a mock documentary about a British high school in which creator Chris Lilley plays three roles: a stupid rich girl, a stupid delinquent and a stupid drama teacher who seems unaware of how untalented (and how gay) he is.
    Does HBO think we’ve never seen a Christopher Guest film? Lilley takes exactly the same approach to self-important pinheads, minus the laughs. I must immediately rent Waiting for Guffman to cleanse my palate.

ROOKIES                                                                                                                                                    Tuesday, 10 p.m. (A&E)
    This reality series follows newly graduated cadets from the police academy. We ride with them and their field training officers as they hit the mean streets for the first time.
    A cadet named Mark is not happy to be paired with a female officer. “No man wants to take orders from a female,” he says. “We’re the man — we’re supposed to be giving orders.”
    Mark blows a routine traffic stop, practically fainting from fright as he approaches a car on a quiet suburban street. He neglects to collect phone numbers at an accident scene, mistakes an ID card for a driver’s license, forgets to use his police radio during a crisis, and lets a domestic-disturbance call slide into chaos.
    If this is what happens with men in charge, then please, God, let women give the orders.

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