The Week in DVR: Lost Returns, Ruffalo’s Brando and Reasons to Watch 24

Monday: 24
Remember all that stuff you read about 24 taking it easy on the torture during its seventh season? Well, scratch that. Prolonged exposure to Jack Bauer could turn a nun into a Geneva Conventions violator. Just look at what happened to F.B.I. agent Renee Walker (played by Annie Wersching) during the season premiere: One minute, she’s telling Jack to control himself; the next, she’s at a hospital cutting off a suspect’s oxygen supply in an attempt to get him to spill information. Thus far, the new season of 24 seems like a rehash of all the previous ones, but stupider and more outlandish.

Monday: 24
Remember all that stuff you read about 24 taking it easy on the torture during its seventh season? Well, scratch that. Prolonged exposure to Jack Bauer could turn a nun into a Geneva Conventions violator. Just look at what happened to F.B.I. agent Renee Walker (played by Annie Wersching) during the season premiere: One minute, she’s telling Jack to control himself; the next, she’s at a hospital cutting off a suspect’s oxygen supply in an attempt to get him to spill information. Thus far the new season of 24 seems like a rehash of all the previous ones, but stupider and more outlandish. However, thanks to the aforementioned Ms. Wersching (she’d fit in perfectly on Fringe as a replacement for the wooden Anna Torv), Cherry Jones, Carlos Bernard, Rhys Coiro (“Billy Walsh” from Entourage) and Mary Lynn Rajskub, there are still plenty of reasons to tune in, even if the mechanics of the show have atrophied. [Fox, 9 p.m.]

Tuesday: You Can Count on Me
Kenneth Lonergan’s tale of an estranged brother and sister is one of our favorite movies from the last decade—a genuinely touching and simple look at familial strife. Mark Ruffalo and Laura Linney star, and are predictably fantastic. Mr. Ruffalo was compared to a young Marlon Brando in the reviews for this film, and Ms. Linney nabbed herself an Oscar nomination for best actress. You Can Count on Me also features the best performance ever by a Culkin: Macaulay’s little brother, Rory, plays Ms. Linney’s curious son to impish and adorable perfection. [HDNet, 8 p.m.]

Wednesday: Lost
It’s been nearly eight months since we last had new episodes of Lost to obsess over and, frankly, the show can’t come back fast enough. But after catching the first 30 minutes of the two-hour season premiere at the Paley Center over the weekend, we’re slightly concerned. Put it this way: If you like convoluted discussions about time travel and quantum physics, then this is the show for you! But, if your nose is bleeding from reading that last sentence, then you could be in for a long and arduous haul. [ABC, 9 p.m.]

Thursday: Hard Eight
Paul Thomas Anderson’s first film is famous for the behind-the-scenes issues the wunderkind director had with the now-defunct Rysher Studios over the final cut. But beyond that, Hard Eight is an interesting watch simply because of what it points towards. Even if it’s one of his lesser works, all of Mr. Anderson’s gifts are on display here: the long, gliding shots; the Michael Penn and Jon Brion music; and the cast of repertory P. T. Anderson Players, including John C. Reilly, Phillip Baker Hall, Melora Walters and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Speaking of the cast, it’s amazing to see Samuel L. Jackson in a role that doesn’t require him to scream for the rafters. Hard Eight is a reminder that Mr. Jackson actually used to be a good actor. [Showtime Extreme, 2:45 p.m.]

Friday: The Heartbreak Kid
The much-maligned Farrelly Brothers remake of the Neil Simon classic wears thin at times and features one too many grossout jokes (mostly at the expense of a very game Malin Akerman, doing her best Cameron Diaz impression). But at the center of The Heartbreak Kid is one of Ben Stiller’s best comedic performances, and a wonderfully charming Michelle Monaghan as the object of his affection. Plus, the brothers end their movie with the best final line of dialogue (“Fuck me”) and music cue (David Bowie’s “Suffragette City”) this side of There Will Be Blood. Yeah, it’s that good. [Woman Max, 4:40 p.m.]