Tuning in: On TV this week.
North Shore (Fox, 8-9 p.m.): Packed full of summery images, the new series takes place on the beaches of Hawaii. The weekly melodrama has a decent cast and tries awfully hard to portray class distinctions among a fancy resort hotel's clientele and its workers. It all seems a bit too pat, the characters too broadly drawn. Still, it's better than reruns. And the scenery is luscious - better than a travelogue.
Into Character (AMC, 10-10:30 p.m.): Most of us love the movies, so this series helps those gung-ho movie buffs to realize their dreams of emulating their favorite movie characters. One guy wants to be Lou Diamond Phillips in "La Bamba" and sing to a big crowd. Another wishes to emulate the Roy Hobbs of "The Natural." What will happen when he steps up to the plate in a professional game before 8,000 fans? Let this "make-over" begin.
Frontline: The Plea (PBS, check local listings): Most of the criminal cases each state prosecutes never come to trial. If they did, the courts would collapse under the weight of them. So the plea bargain (pleading guilty to lesser charges) has become a tool to send miscreants to jail. Alas, sometimes the tool is misused, sending some innocent people to prison.
Monk (USA, 10-11 p.m.): The season première finds detective Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) in New York with his nurse, the captain of the San Francisco police department, and his lieutenant. They are looking for a man who may shed light on the murder of Monk's wife. Nothing deters Monk as he solves murders no one else in the police department can.