The Week in DVR: ABC Goes ’90s, The Rock’s Rundown, Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Monday: Castle
If you’ve tuned into ABC even once during the last month, chances are you’ve seen a promo for Castle. Call us cynical, but we think the network protests too much. Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Desperate Housewives) stars as Richard Castle, a mystery writer tasked with solving crimes in the company of a sexy and combative detective, played by Stana Katic (who’s popped up on a host of television shows, from Heroes to ER). Based on the commercials, everything about Castle looks dated and contrived; it feels like the pilot was shot in 1996 and left on a bookshelf to collect dust for thirteen years. Still, we’re only human, so the power of endless advertising has won us over. We’ll give Castle a chance, under the assumption it won’t be around for long. [ABC, 10 p.m.]

Tuesday: The Untouchables
Like film fans all over the world, we’ve been gushing over the trailer for Michael Mann’s Public Enemies since watching it online last week. That Mr. Mann has shot a period piece as if it were a kissing cousin to Collateral Miami and Vice is a testament to the man’s genius and originality. It’s a given that Public Enemies will look great, but whether it succeeds as a narrative as well as Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables remains to be seen. Mr. De Palma has always been a hack, but this potboiler of a movie manages to rise above the overwrought junk on his résumé. [AMC, 1 a.m.]

Wednesday: American Idol
Normally we spend Wednesday nights in a Lost-related coma. But since our maddening mistress is on holiday until March 18th (the Sawyer-centric “LaFluer” runs again this week so you can get another chance to see Lost’s resident con-man spooning with Juliet), we’ll take this opportunity to check in on American Idol. We have no clue about what has been happening on the show—is there really a contestant going by the name of “Anoop Dog”?—but during this elimination broadcast both Kanye West and Kelly Clarkson are scheduled to perform. That’s enough to get our attention. Quick question: is it possible for the song of the summer to be released in the middle of winter? If so, Ms. Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You” has that title all sewn up. [Fox, 9 p.m.]

Thursday: The Rundown
In a profile on Dwayne Johnson (née “The Rock”) in The New York Times over the weekend, The Rundown gets a brief mention as one of the former WWE star’s box-office “disappointments.” That’s too bad. Though Mr. Johnson is certainly beyond starring in anything so testosterone-heavy nowadays—he’s set to play the Tooth Fairy this Thanksgiving!—we’ve always found The Rundown to be quite a fun watch. Sure, it’s ground-chuck action, but sometimes ground-chuck tastes pretty good. [FX, 8 p.m.]

Friday: Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Mistakenly written off by some because of Judd Apatow overload, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is one of the saddest comedies to come out in quite some time. Oh, don’t worry, the film is hilarious—the Murderer’s Row supporting cast includes Russell Brand, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Jack McBrayer and Paul Rudd—but thanks to star Jason Segal, the jokes are tempered by a true beating (and broken) heart. This month, Vanity Fair compared Mr. Segal to Buster Keaton, but that doesn’t seem right. If Forgetting Sarah Marshall is any indication, he’s more like Jack Lemmon. [More Max, 10 p.m.]

The Week in DVR: ABC Goes ’90s, The Rock’s Rundown, Forgetting Sarah Marshall