Best Bets: "Bachelor," "Big Love" Return

Sunday, Jan 3, 2010  |  Updated 8:15 PM PDT
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Best Bets: "Bachelor," "Big Love" Return

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Chris Hansen of "The Bachelor"

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TV
"The Bachelor" is back, featuring pilot Jake Pavelka, who was rejected by "Bachelorette" Jillian Harris in 2009. Despite the gag-inducing show subtitle, "On the Wings of Love," people who tune in to this show know what to expect. Limos, hot tubs, slinky dresses, fantasy suites, catfighting and backstabbing, and in the end, a proposal that probably never makes its way to the altar. There, saved you a whole season of watching. (Oh, who are we kidding? This is good guilty pleasure TV.) (Season premiere Jan. 4, 8 p.m., ABC.)

As if polygamy wasn't enough of a controversial topic, HBO's "Big Love," about a man with three wives, is adding a provocative gay storyline this season. Show co-creator Mark Olsen told Entertainment Weekly that the writers were highlighting "certain aspects of the (Mormon) church's relationship with its gay members" and that he believed it would "cause no (small) amount of controversy." Tune in and see for yourself when the critically acclaimed series returns. (Season premiere Jan. 10, 10 p.m., HBO)

If you're not watching "The Good Wife," tune in as the show returns from holiday break. The legal drama may have sounded gimmicky at first, with Julianna Margulies playing the cheated-on wife of a now-jailed politician, but it's engrossing and well-written. Margulies' character has gone back to work in a law firm after her husband starts serving his sentence. Chris Noth adds depth to the cheating husband role and Margulies' co-workers, and snooty mother-in-law, round out the cast. "Good Wife" is a good show. (Returns Jan. 5, 10 p.m., CBS.)

MOVIES
Who did movies cast in gawky teenage boy roles before Michael Cera came around? He's the go-to guy now, and leads another film with his starring role in "Youth in Revolt," based on C.D. Payne's novel. Cera's character, Nick Twisp, falls in love with an uninterested girl and creates an alter ego to try and pursue her, leading himself into big trouble. (Opens Jan. 8.)

DVD
Inspired by the beloved children's book, "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" features the voices of Neil Patrick Harris, Andy Samberg, James Caan and ... Mr. T? Said the Washington Post: "Any moviegoers possessed of funny bones will laugh their fool heads off." (On DVD Jan. 5.)

MUSIC
"American Idol" returns in a week, and in a timely coincidence, "Idol" alum Katharine McPhee is about to release her second album, "Unbroken." The album's first single, "Had It All," reached No. 27 on the adult contemporary charts in September. "Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi was one of the song's co-writers — talk about keeping it all in the family. (Out on CD Jan. 5.)

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