Monitor Picks

Orphaned Cubs

It's not the Windy City's frigid winters that develop a Chicagoan's thick skin. And it's not the deep dish pizza. It's the Cubs. The most long-suffering sports fans in America still rabidly support a team that hasn't appeared in a World Series in 98 years. Now their tale (the fans', that is) is told, in a sad and funny documentary Wait 'til Next Year, currently in heavy late-night rotation on HBO.

Not all lawyers are sharks

James Woods is the titular character of "Shark" (CBS, Thursdays, 10 p.m.), a courtroom drama about a fearsome lawyer whose rat-tat-tat delivery is the ultimate workout for a stenographer's fingers. But outside the job, the shark seems more like a dolphin during affecting scenes with his estranged teen daughter. Who knew Woods could be so lovable?

U2 can help New Orleans

U2 and Green Day's ripping cover version of The Saints are Coming, performed during the recent reopening of the New Orleans Superdome, is available as a 99-cent download at Rhapsody.com. The money goes toward Music Rising, a campaign to help musicians affected by Katrina.

Hooked on hoops

The NBA doesn't tip off until Halloween, so 'til then, fans will have to settle for NBA 2K7, which features the most realistic basketball of any video game. The Xbox 360 title is drawing raves for its variety of play modes (scout a team, build a franchise) to its detailed re-creation of Madison Square Garden. (Rated E for everyone).

Til the cows come home

Duck and his cohorts are back (along with a befuddled Farmer Brown) in "Dooby Dooby Moo," the latest children's book from Doreen Cronin and Caldecott honoree Betsy Lewin. This time, the barnyard is determined to take home first prize at the County Fair talent show: one (slightly used) trampoline. If crooning cows and pigs performing interpretive dance don't tickle your funny bone, check out the legal disclaimers in fine print.

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