Lori’s List: ‘Sherlock,’ ‘The Following’ and ‘American Idol’
By LORI RACKL TV Critic January 12, 2014 7:04PM
(L to R) Kiernan Shipka (“Cathy”) and Ellen Burstyn (“Olivia Foxworth”) star in the all-new Lifetime Original Movie, Flowers in the Attic, premiering Saturday, January 18, at 8pm ET/PT on Lifetime. Photo by James Dittiger
Updated: January 14, 2014 5:27PM
“AMERICAN IDOL” (7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, WFLD-Channel 32): After last season’s low-rated bickerfest between dueling divas Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, “American Idol” is changing its tune. Season 13 has Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez joined at the judges’ table by newcomer Harry Connick Jr., whose deep musical knowledge and self-deprecating sense of humor comes through loud and clear in the audition rounds, where he gives J. Lo a lesson in pentatonics and repeatedly explains to “Idol” hopefuls who he is (hint: not Chris Isaak). Last season, after pretending the guitar was never invented, “Idol” is embracing the instrument, allowing contestants to strum along during tryouts for the first time in show history.
“FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC” (7 p.m. Saturday, Lifetime): Maybe it’s because I was an impressionable teenager when I first read V.C. Andrews’ novel, but I remember it being eerier and more suspenseful than Lifetime’s version. This tale of a twisted family’s misguided quest for love and money is still creepy and atmospheric enough to make for pulpy television fun. Kiernan Shipka (“Mad Men”) exudes the right blend of innocence and sophistication as young Cathy, while Ellen Burstyn (“Political Animals”) is sufficiently scary as the grandma from hell. The weak link is Heather Graham, who seems to think she’s playing Charlotte from “Sex and the City.” Rating: ★★½
“THE FOLLOWING” (Sunday after the 5 p.m. NFC Championship game, WFLD-Channel 32): The bloody cat-and-mouse chase rages on with the return of Fox’s slash ’em up, serial-killer thriller that pits a former FBI agent played by Kevin Bacon against James Purefoy’s charismatic cult leader, Joe Carroll. A whole new crop of crazies populate the sophomore season, but the murder and mayhem is laced with a been-there- done-that feel. The season two preview debuts Sunday before the frightfest moves to its regular time slot, 8 p.m. Mondays, on Jan. 27. Rating: ★★½
“SHERLOCK” (8:58 p.m. Sunday, WTTW-Channel 11): We’ve waited nearly two years to find out how Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) survived his swan dive off the roof of St. Bart’s Hospital. That reveal — and much more — packs the frenetic season three premiere of this whip-smart, contemporary take on London’s super-sleuth and his partner in crime-solving, Dr. Watson (Martin Freeman). The most humorous episode to date, Sunday’s premiere can be occasionally confusing, but it’s consistently entertaining. Rating: ★★★★