HD Highlights: August 15

Season Premiere: Anger Management (TV2, 8.30, 5.1) Charlie Sheen plays a baseball player with anger issues-turned-anger management therapist who decides to return to therapy after a bad run-in with his ex-wife’s new boyfriend. “The accomplishment here is that tight writing and editing, a solid cast with good timing and Mr Sheen’s chops as the ne plus ultra of sitcom performers, make the whole thing feel, if not entirely fresh-then crisp,” the Wall Street Journal said. “The laughs can carry the show, so they seriously don’t need the canned laughter and traditional TV sitcom sets,” the New York Daily News argued. “It keeps it all too safe. But so far? Not so bad.” But Variety dubbed it “a Frankencom, stitched together from pieces of other comedies” and TV Guide likened it to “an obnoxious drunk uncle who’s not as funny as he thinks he is”. ✭✭✭

Season Premiere: Cougar Town (TV2, 9.00, 5.1) Grayson surprises Jules with a sparkling secret; Ellie frets that little Stan is turning into a ‘devil child’, or even worse, he could grow up to be like Laurie. If you were turned off by the first few episodes of this Courteney Cox comedy, a reconsideration is overdue, reckons the AV Club: “The third-season premiere, which airs tonight, doesn’t serve as a reboot. But it could easily serve as a retroactive pilot … Cougar Town can’t erase those first half-dozen episodes any more than Parks and Recreation can erase its first, lopsided season. But there’s a certain joy in watching a show figure out its problems on the fly and then emerge the better for its struggles. And this season shows most of those struggles long in the past, replaced primarily by pure pleasure.” ✭✭✭

❑ Castle (TV One, 9.30, 5.1) When a contestant on a hit competition show is found murdered in her dressing room, Castle and Beckett must navigate the case’s many twists and twirls without stepping on each other’s toes. ✭✭✭

❑ The Slap (TV3, 9.35) As a man approaching the end of his life, Manolis hates what the slap is doing to his family. His wife is full of vitriol, Hector and Aisha are being torn apart, and Aisha is still furious with Harry. ✭✭✭✭

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