In the Motherhood tweaks modern attitudes    

    {mosimage} In the Motherhood (Thursday, 8 p.m., ABC) is the rare sitcom that “gets” the way we live now. Gets it — and skewers it mercilessly. The subject is modern mothers and modern attitudes. Jane (Cheryl Hines) is recently divorced, trying to balance career, dating and child-rearing with the help of an earnest male nanny (Horatio Sanz). She fails spectacularly in contrast to her sister (Jessica St. Clair), who strives to live by the perfect politically correct rules with her own family. Then there’s Rosemary (Megan Mullally), who lives by no rules. She’s a wickedly self-centered wiseass with no use for the values we currently hold dear.                                                                                                                                                If you lack a sense of humor about “enlightened” parenting, environmental awareness, organic food and enforced sexual-harassment training on the job, stay far away from In the Motherhood. The rest of us are in for a treat.

Reno 911
Wednesday, 10:30 p.m. (Comedy Central)
     The hilarious COPS parody begins a new season, and watching it is the surest way to cheer yourself up during a recession. The hapless officers in the Reno Sheriff’s Department plan undercover stings with names like Operation Cobra Fist, realizing only later that “cobras don’t have hands.” They cultivate informers who speak in impenetrable street code: “There’s a big diarrhea embargo goin’ down at midnight.” They have morning briefings that set a dubious tone for the day. “Let’s not all go running out of the building when we hear the ice cream truck,” says Lt. Dangle (Thomas Lennon). “It doesn’t look right.”
     Reno 911 is the quintessence of deadpan humor — that is, until it goes wildly over the top, as when a crackhead flees officers while wearing a cow suit. In my opinion, the show is…
…wait a minute, I think I hear the ice cream truck. Gotta run.

Party Down
Friday, 10:30 p.m. (Starz)
     Another premium network tries to match HBO’s half-hour comedies of humiliation, like Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage and Extras. All the ingredients are there — the low-key ensemble, the casual profanity, the awkward scenarios — but the soufflé fails to rise.
     Ron (Ken Marino) is the team leader of a catering crew, one of those fools who don’t perceive how foolish they are. He makes jokes that aren’t funny, but he thinks they are; and we’re supposed to think that’s funny. Would you be surprised to learn that this strategy doesn’t result in high comedy?
     Ron works with a group of losers, including an untalented writer working on a screenplay about wormholes. Sad to say, but the wormhole project might be more entertaining than Party Down.

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