'My Boys' enters the comfort zone

'My Boys' enters the comfort zone

Some shows excite viewers and others repel them. In the end, some are created for comfort — something to slip into like a favorite shoe. The comedy "My Boys" (10 p.m., TBS, TV-PG) is just entering its sophomore season, and it already has that old-sneaker feeling. And that is precisely its charm and its limitation.

For the uninitiated, "Boys" stars Jordana Spiro as the pretty Chicago-based sportswriter P.J. Franklin. Most of her pals are guys and all of her habits — creating fantasy-baseball rosters, playing poker and hanging out at dive bars — make her just like one of the boys. Last season ended with P.J. and her platonic roommate Brendan (Reid Scott) locked in a romantic embrace. Will this change everything? I'll never tell.

P.J.'s miserably married brother (the affable everyman Jim Gaffigan) has moved to the suburbs, so now he can add commuting to his list of complaints. Her sportswriting rival, Bobby, has been "promoted" to covering NASCAR, but nobody seems to consider it a promotion or NASCAR a sport. Mike (Jamie Kaler) has settled too comfortably into unemployment, and the furtive Kenny (Michael Bunin) seems to have found himself a girl (Nicole Sullivan).

OK, the sports-metaphor voice-over is laid on a tad thick. The Chicago tourist attractions seem pretty obvious. And must Brendan wear a Ramones T-shirt in every scene? He's a rock DJ. We get it! Much like P.J.'s circle of friends, you'd think you'd want to outgrow "My Boys" and move on to something more sophisticated. But at a time when new sitcoms are so rare and so few are worth watching (if you don't believe me, check out the excruciating "House of Payne" and the mystifyingly lame "Bill Engvall Show"), "My Boys" stands out. Besides, who wants to get rid of an old shoe when it's so darned comfortable?

Only one more night for Christmas in July. Chris and his dad take second jobs to earn holiday cash on a sweet repeat episode of "Everybody Hates Chris" (8 p.m., CW, TV-PG). And in what must be the most wretched Christmas episode ever, "Two and a Half Men" (9 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG, D) manages to mingle mistletoe with casual jokes about incest. Also, Whoopi Goldberg stars in the 2001 made-for-TV movie "Call Me Claus" (8 p.m., Lifetime Movie Network).

"History Detectives" (8 p.m., PBS) looks at artifacts linked to Howard Hughes' plane crash. Stephen gets a second chance on "Kyle XY" (8 p.m., Family, TV-PG). The streets heat up on "The Closer" (9 p.m., TNT, TV-14, V). The final three turn up the heat on "Hell's Kitchen" (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14, L). Last week's episode repeats at 8 p.m. Musicians perform in hopes of a record deal on the special "Six Degrees of Martina McBride" (9 p.m., ABC). Margene proves exhausting on "Big Love" (9 p.m., HBO, TV-MA). The final episode of "Simon Schama's Power of Art" (10 p.m., PBS) profiles Mark Rothko. The entire series is now available on DVD. Baby-sitting can be murder on "CSI: Miami" (10 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14, V). Scheduled on "Dateline" (10 p.m., NBC): A trial comes 10 years after a shooting. Murder at an oil rig on "Saving Grace" (10 p.m., TNT, TV-MA, L, S, V). "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" (10 p.m., Travel Channel) enters a new season with a trip to Shanghai.

Alastair Campbell is on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" (11 p.m., Comedy Central) ... Andy Samberg and the Bravery are on "Late Show With David Letterman" (11:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jennifer Lopez, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova are on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... LeBron James, Timothy Olyphant and Velvet Revolver appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (12:05 a.m., ABC) ... John Leguizamo, Ann Curry and Marc Broussard chat on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" (12:35 a.m., NBC) ... Drew Carey and Nellie McKay are on "The Late Late Show" (12:37 a.m., CBS).

Kevin McDonough, a syndicated columnist who lives in Narrowsburg, can be reached at kmcdonough@unitedmedia.com.