Monitor Picks

Five things we think you'll really like

Mac is back

Paul McCartney plays all the instruments on "Chaos and Creation in My Backyard." Perhaps as a result of the isolation in the studio, the album is introspective and dominated by autumnal moods, especially in songs such as "Riding to Vanity Fair," a stirring elegy that glides on ominous cellos and chiming glockenspiel. Beatles fans will dig the cheerful "Friends to Go" and the "Eleanor Rigby" stomp of "Promise to You Girl."

Until the Oscars, this'll do just fine

Emmy voters tend to favor series that are past their prime-time slots (enough of the "Will & Grace" and "West Wing" nominations already). A hipper sensibility should prevail at this year's awards (Sunday, 8 p.m. ET, on CBS) as "Lost," "Desperate Housewives," and "Arrested Development" are nominees.

Is there a comic in the 'House'?

Americans who only know Hugh Laurie from TV's "House" would be startled to see the irascible medical genius bumbling amiably about London as the dim Bertie Wooster. "Jeeves & Wooster," available on DVD, costars the excellent Stephen Fry as Jeeves, Bertie's unflappable valet. Celebrate Laurie's Emmy nod with a look at his lighter side.

Weis guy

Notre Dame began the college football season by knocking off Pittsburgh (then ranked No. 23) and Michigan (then No. 3). Not bad for a Fighting Irish team that hasn't done much fighting in recent years. It's all thanks to Charlie Weis, who helped the New England Patriots win three Super Bowls. Saturday the Irish play undefeated Michigan State (NBC, 3:30 p.m. ET).

Adams family album

Ansel Adams trekked through national parks with 40 lbs. of camera gear (what would he make of a pocket-sized digital camera?) and came back with photographs that shimmer with fantastic tonal range. The Ansel Adams show at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts (set to tour Toronto, Detroit, and Denver) is exhaustive, and given 180 images, a little exhausting. But breathtaking images and oddities - such as a children's book he photographed - make it worth a visit.

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