Mary Katharine Ham

Everybody Hates Chris (CW Mondays 8/7c): Based on Chris Rock’s childhood, this comedy based in 1980s New York City, is fundamentally about family—a good family. Chris is the oldest of three children in a household that might be short on money but is never short on values. His father Julius works several jobs at a time to support the family while his mother Rochelle rules the household with no small helping of high expectations and serious punishment for anyone who gets out of line.

Plots focus on Chris’ struggles with adolescence, fitting in at his mostly white school (Chris does several bus transfers a day to attend a better school than the one in his neighborhood, at his mother’s insistence), and his parents’ constant battle to teach their children right from wrong in an environment that doesn’t always help them out.

As an example of the example Julius sets for his kids, this is the subplot for last week’s episode:

Julius secretly tries to find extra work when he must use his vacation days.

House (FOX Tuesdays 9/8c) and Scrubs (NBC Thursdays 9:30/8:30c): You’ll probably think I’m crazy claiming I see conservative messages in medical shows. But, as a conservative, my point-of-view is so seldom represented on TV in a positive light, that I’m sometimes mightily delighted by seeing it treated with mere fairness.

Last season’s “House” saw at least one moral dilemma that deeply affected the famously misanthropic, atheist medical genius. When asked to perform risky surgery on a baby in the womb at the risk of a weakened mother, Dr. House refuses until convinced by his superior. During the surgery, when the mother starts to slip, he’s poised to cut the baby’s umbilical cord (a move that would have surely killed it) until the baby reaches out of the open womb to grab his finger.

The scene was an obvious allusion to photographer Michael Clancy’s famous fetal surgery photo , which has touched hearts around the world, and the unborn child made an impact on House as very little does.

Last season’s “Scrubs” featured a similar scene, in which Dr. Turk was operating on a baby in utero, but “Scrubs” has long been one of the networks’ fairest political shows. The series boasts the rare achievement of having produced a simultaneously funny and totally unoffensive treatment of the Iraq war in a 30-minute comedy form. A challenge and a treat. Don’t miss this consistently fair comedy in its last season.

The Ghost Whisperer (CBS Fridays 8): I don’t often watch “The Ghost Whisperer,” but I’ve always thought Jennifer Love Hewitt seemed like a sensible young actress, and I may be adding the show to my regular list now. I have it on good authority that the show was a sensitive tribute to the troops last week:

Tonite, I watched a special episode of Ghost Whisperer titled "Haunted Hero".

It was a dramatic, touching, sad, moving, authentic, honorable, elegant, dignified, uplifting beautiful, emotional, and evocative tribute to our troops.

Mark Tyler Jacob plays Matt, a soldier who, after serving in Iraq, returns to Grandview with a medal in hand and to a heroes welcome, but who is haunted by noisy nightmares and deeply troubled by suppressed and confusing memories of the night he lost his men.

Those memories come to life for Melinda, a Ghost Whisperer, who finds herself experiencing that same fatal battle over and over.

The show also cast several vets back from Iraq and Afghanistan in the episode to lend authenticity and help check facts.

Back to You (FOX Wednesdays 8/7c): This sitcom, starring two of Hollywood’s most prominent conservatives, represents a sort of full-employment program for Tinsel Town right-wingers. Kelsey Grammar and Patricia Heaton play local news co-anchors in a throw-back, multi-camera sitcom filmed in front of a live studio audience. The format and concept are so traditional, the show is almost a joke within a joke—an ironic commentary on the lost sitcom format. The show is clever at times, but has yet to come into its own. Luckily, the pedigree is so good and the actors so talented, I’m counting on it to become a favorite.

Happy viewing, folks! Write me back with recommendations of your own, and I’ll update on the Townhall blog.

Mary Katharine Ham

Mary Katharine Ham is editor-at-large of, a contributor to Townhall Magazine.

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