You should always talk about: Ricky Gervais.
Start by watching tonight's Golden Globes, where he will preside over Hollywood's booziest party. Then go and buy yourself a DVD copy of "The Invention of Lying," one of last year's most underrated comedies, about an alternative world in which everyone tells the truth. (Tuesday)
Oh yes, you will want to talk about: the new season of "24."
Why? You will want to know why I say that the birth of Jacqueline Bauer is a thrilling revelation. What? Who? Jacqueline? You'll see what I mean. Pay attention to this week's fourth hour. (Today and Monday)
You aren't talking about: "Return to Cranford."
But you should! The sequel to the acclaimed 2008 "Masterpiece Classic" finishes its run on PBS tonight, and the DVD of the series starring Judi Dench is out this week too. And just like that, we're back in the follies and fortunes of the charming English village that's awaiting the arrival of a railway and . . . Oh, just trust me. (Tuesday)
Will we want to talk about: "Creation"?
Paul Bettany in anything -- even "The Da Vinci Code" -- is worthwhile. Here he stars as Charles Darwin, who is depicted as a man who loses faith in God following the death of his beloved 10-year-old daughter. To cope, he plunges into his defining work, "The Origin of Species." (Friday)
It could be good to talk about: "The Buried Life." It's like "The Bucket List," only MTV style. Specifically, four young guys set out to accomplish the top 100 things they want to do before they die, from crashing a party at the Playboy mansion to toasting a stranger's wedding. Why it might not be that bad? For every item they check off their list, they help someone else with theirs . . . reuniting estranged family members, et al. Even a quasi-tear-jerker will be a welcome change of pace from "Jersey Shore." (Monday)
-- Denise Martin