Tubegazing: 'Skating with Celebrities' and 'Courting Alex'
Skating With Celebrities (Fox, Mondays, 8 p.m. EST): Fox has a definite knack for knocking off other people's ideas - in this instance, ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" - and taking them one crazy step further. It's weird enough watching Deborah Gibson and her fellow neophytes being graded next to Olympic champions, but it's downright painful to stand idly by as former gold medalist Bruce Jenner slams repeatedly into the ice in a valiant effort to partner with fellow Olympian Tai Babilonia. Those hip bruises are real! On the other hand, it's also edifying to watch the whole group of beginners actually step - or in this case, skate - up to the challenge. Just like the Olympics, each couple has to complete mandatory technical feats such as a spin with three rotations. And they all do it, so maybe there's hope for the rest of us to improve our skills on ice.
Courting Alex (CBS, premières Monday, Jan. 23, 9:30 p.m. EST): "Courting Alex" brings the charming Jenna Elfman back to prime-time comedy. Call it "Dharma returns as Greg." This time, she plays the uptight professional waiting for Prince Spontaneous to bring her to life. While the show creaks under heavy-handed reminders about the need to stop and smell the roses - not to mention plotlines such as Alex jumping on the back of a cute guy's motorcycle in the middle of a workday just to infuriate her father - one hopes the show will rise to match the twinkly Elfman's considerable charms as a comedienne.