Monitor Picks

Five things we think you'll really like

The Bigger chill

Soap and suspense is the recipe du jour on since "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" dominated last year's TV ratings. Fox's Reunion (premieres Thursday, Sept. 8) is an intriguing pot boiler of murder, mystery, and high school mayhem, with just the right dash of piquant, young faces. The story follows the characters from their graduation in 1986 to the present: one is killed and the others are suspects. Each episode is another year in the two-decade arc. It's a reunion you won't want to skip.

Color us impressed

If you're struggling with what to paint the spare bedroom - how to pick colors for the accent wall and trim that work with the main tones - there's a world of coloristas that can help. At, designers of all stripes recommend their favorite combos, complete with corresponding values that you can bring to your local paint store. With this kind of help, you'll want to paint the town.

The shill game

If you missed it last spring, pick up Susan Linn's Consuming Kids, new in paperback (Anchor Books, $14). Linn, a Harvard psychiatry instructor, puts readers face-to-face with the imagery fired at youths every day in a stroboscopic slideshow of sex, sugar, tobacco, and violence. She's confrontational without that preachy undertone common among critics unfamiliar with the cultural forces they decry.

Call of the wildcard

The next three days will bring clarity to who will still be playing baseball in October. Across both leagues, teams vying for their divisions or wildcard slots will be slugging it out: The Yankees play three in Oakland (Sunday night on ESPN); the Indians take on the Twins; Philly will try to filibuster the Nationals; and the Mets hope to reel in the Marlins. Wild, indeed.

Anyone for desert?

This screen adaptation of Clive Cussler's Sahara, now on DVD, is so implausible that it weaves a plot of international intrigue with the discovery of a Civil War Ironside in the North African desert. It's such a guilty pleasure that you may feel impelled to rent "Citizen Kane" as penance for enjoying such hokum.

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