Have you been wandering aimlessly through the television abyss, feeling entertainment-deprived, wondering when all the new programming (delayed by the writers’ strike) will return? As we patiently await new episodes of our favorite shows, I’ve created a list of my currently-airing favs – yes there is still good programming airing right now – in addition to the spring programs and films I’m eagerly anticipating.
What I’m watching now:
-- In Treatment . Watching this intense HBO show about the same people attending therapy sessions with the same therapist (and the therapist himself seeking therapy) week after week is akin to having a bracingly cold cup of water tossed in your face. Among the patients who regularly visit therapist Paul Weston (the gloomy Gabriel Byrne) is a warring married couple comprised of a successful businesswoman and mother of one who wanted to abort her pregnancy and her under-achiever husband who didn’t. There’s also an Olympic-caliber, suicidal teen gymnast and a perfectionist Navy pilot. Then there’s Weston himself, whose wife, the mother of his two kids, has taken up with another man after years of feeling ignored by Weston.
(Currently airing, a half-hour each weeknight. Also available through HBO On Demand.)
-- John Adams . When I watch Laura Linney’s depiction of Abigail Adams in this HBO mini-series -- pregnant for the umpteenth time and chopping her own firewood while her husband John leaves her and their children for months at a time -- I thank God that I wasn’t a mom in the 1700s. During an outbreak of smallpox, she asks a doctor to administer a dangerous inoculation to her and the children by inserting material drawn from a deceased smallpox victim into a freshly cut wound. After seeing those scenes, I realize that I don’t possess that requisite hearty New England stoicism (even though I am a New Englander, a distinctly 21st century New Englander).
(Currently airing on Sundays and available through HBO On Demand.)
-- Medium . So you may not be into the supernatural, but there’s a real, down-to-earth family drama tucked inside this NBC program about communing with the dead, where both of the middle class parents of three -- Allison (Patricia Arquette) and Joe DuBois (Jake Weber) -- have lost their jobs and are struggling to keep their house and make ends meet. They’ve had to ask his mother for money and dramatically cut back on expenses.
(Currently airing on Mondays. Episodes online on the NBC web site  .)
-- Lost . This ABC drama  is smart and mind-numbingly complex. After each new episode this season, after I greedily lapped up answers to some questions about what the heck is really going on in this show about plane wreck survivors marooned on a mysterious island, other new, even more confounding questions are dumped in my lap, leaving me more confused than I was before.
(Currently airing on Thursdays. Episodes online on the ABC web site .)
-- Canterbury’s Law . Somewhere I read someone refer to the lead character in this Fox new legal drama as “House in heels.” It’s an apt comparison. In this freshman drama, Julianna Margulies stars as Elizabeth Canterbury, who runs a tiny Rhode Island law firm and is haunted by the unsolved disappearance of her young son, who vanished from a playground when she took a call on her cell phone and looked away for a moment. And when I tell you that the program is from the same folks who created FX’s “Rescue Me,” you’ll know it’s gritty and tough. (Currently airing on Fridays. Episodes online at the Fox web site . )
-- The New Adventures of Old Christine . Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Christine Campbell is flawed, funny and says things I sometimes wish I had the stones to say. Plus, the CBS comedy is good for a much needed laugh after watching super-serious shows about therapy, the American Revolution, communing with the dead while staving off debt collectors, plane crash survivors living on an island that kills pregnant women and a grieving-mother-now-bare-knuckled-attorney.
(Currently airing on Mondays. Clips from previously aired episodes are available online at the CBS web site.)
What I’ve got marked on my calendar:
-- Baby Mama . Good sense tells me that I shouldn’t be amused by this movie, a Tina Fey vehicle set to release on April 25. Its premise is, at first blush, an eyebrow-raising one. A thirtysomething woman poured all her energies into her work and became really successful . . . only to learn that her fertility had precipitously declined and that even though she may be ready for a child, her body’s not. After a doctor tells her she cannot conceive, Fey’s character finds a surrogate mother in the person of Amy Poehler. There are so many problems with this film’s premise (men, after all, don’t get “punished” for pursuing career), but that being said, I could not resist the trailer. I’m a big fan of Fey’s, and when you toss in Poehler’s character’s culture clash (Fey’s character is well-to-do, Poehler’s is not so much) I couldn’t help but laugh. Hopefully this movie won’t disappoint.
-- Sex and the City Movie . This opens May 30. And I cannot wait. I need a new SATC fix. The two replacement series which feature hip-career-gal-pals  don’t hold a candle to the original.
-- Grey’s Anatomy Returns .
Screw what Charlotte Allen wrote in her now-infamous Washington Post essay  decrying how “stupid” women have become, holding up the success of “Grey’s Anatomy” as a primary exhibit demonstrating how women are sentimental, girlish fools. (“. . . [T]here's the chick doctor television show ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (reportedly one of Hillary Clinton's favorites). Want to be a surgeon? Here's what your life will be like at the hospital, according to ‘Grey's:’ sex in the linen-supply room, catfights with your sister in front of the patients, sex in the on-call room, a ‘prom’ in the recovery room so you can wear your strapless evening gown to work, and sex with the married attending physician in an office.”) Balderdash. I’m on the record  as saying that “Grey’s” raises some really intriguing issues  about working moms, particularly with the character of Dr. Miranda Bailey, who, in the last new episode aired before the writers’ strike, was left by her husband because of her work-a-holic ways. When the second half of the season begins on April 24, I’ll be there.
-- Other shows in which I have a passing interest. Two ABC dramas, “Brothers & Sisters”  which resumes on April 20 and “Desperate Housewives”  which comes back on April 13. Here’s to hoping that Felicity Huffman’s character Lynette Scavo on “Housewives” gets her mojo back.
Spring has sprung people. It’s a whole new TV season . . . plus baseball is back. And all is good.