Monitor Picks

Five thing we think you'll really like.

Put the puck in the network

Hockey hasn't been kind to network TV. Nationally televised games tend to battle Ronco infomercials in the ratings. Starting Saturday, NBC hopes to score with viewers as it begins the first of six Saturdays of regional NHL coverage. The best matchup: The first-place Detroit Red Wings face the New York Rangers, whose winger, Jaromir Jagr, leads the league in points. (Check local listings.)

Gondolier glamour

Casanova transforms 18th-century Venice - home of the original love canal - into the staging ground of the most delightful romantic comedy we've seen in ages. It's here that the titular character (Heath Ledger) trades in his womanizing ways to woo a feminist philosopher named Francesca (a beguiling Sienna Miller). The film is rated R, but it's remarkably chaste considering its subject matter.

Get to know Jack

As much as we love the holidays, it was a dead zone for television (except for that thrilling Rose Bowl). Fortunately, the New Year has brought with it fresh programming, including new episodes this week of "Lost" and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." And if you don't know Jack (Bauer), meet him Sunday at 8 p.m. EST when 24 starts a new mayhem-filled day.

Yoohoo for Youtube

If what's on television doesn't excite you, take matters into your own hands. Youtube.com allows anyone to post original movies for all the world to see, or to watch what others have created. Channels include sports, humor, education & instructional, and pets & animals (see some of the zaniest cat antics ever). It's a big world out there. Thankfully there are a lot of people pointing video cameras at it.

Pop music for adults

Songwriter Imogen Heap is best known as the voice of Frou Frou, the duo who scored a hit with "Let Go" from the "Garden State" soundtrack. Her latest solo CD, "Speak For Yourself," sparkles with electro-pop that's by turns playful and forlorn. Catch her on tour (see imogenheap.com).

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