On Location

Even if most television shows are filmed there, not all are set in Los Angeles … or New York or Las Vegas. Take these three shows that premiere this month, for example.

THE SHOW: Life Is Wild, the CW
THE SETTING: A game reserve, South Africa
THE PREMISE: A New York City father decides his family needs to find togetherness. But instead of choosing to spend Sunday afternoons in Central Park, he opts to move everyone to South Africa, where he can put his veterinary expertise and Brady Bunch-style lecturing skills to work.
THE ADVANTAGE: It is cheaper to film in South Africa (where the series is actually shot) than in Los Angeles. Plus, lion cubs - so cute!

THE SHOW: Women's Murder Club, ABC
THE SETTING: San Francisco
THE PREMISE: A James Patterson novel series comes to life. Angie Harmon stars as a homicide detective who pals around with a group of women - including an assistant DA, a medical examiner, and a reporter - having brunch, drinking wine, and solving crimes.
THE ADVANTAGE: Set in San Francisco, this show will remind you of Charmed, except without the sisters, the magic book, and the trampy outfits.

THE SHOW: Viva Laughlin, CBS
THE SETTING: Laughlin, Nevada
THE PREMISE: Based on a British show called Viva Blackpool, this series follows one man's attempt to run a casino in the Vegas-lite world of Laughlin. Hugh Jackman serves as executive producer and makes regular appearances. And there are song-and-dance numbers interspersed throughout each episode. Yes, really.
THE ADVANTAGE: Set in Laughlin, this show will remind you of CSI, except with Hugh Jackman instead of Gil Grissom and without the magic acts and the trampy outfits.

Men Behaving Nicely. And Not.

This month brings us some of the worst good guys in television history.

"Men," says Dylan McDermott on ABC's new show Big Shots, "we're the new women." Or so the network of Desperate Housewives, with its overbearing, overdramatic female leads, would have us believe. Two of ABC's newest shows - Big Shots, which premiered late last month, and Carpoolers, which premiered October 2 - are focused on groups of men who share their feelings. Constantly. And with each other.

On Big Shots, one character goes to couples' therapy with his wife and also attends therapy sessions with his mistress. On Carpoolers, a show that's exactly what it sounds like, a group of guys who carpool and chat incessantly, a character named Gracen (played by Fred Goss) cries during the morning commute. Out loud. While singing Air Supply's "All Out of Love."

Actually, he doesn't so much cry as sob. The song reminds him of when he first became a man, so to speak. In TV seasons past, his friends would've mocked him for this. Instead, the other carpoolers simply nod knowingly and sing along in support.

It's nothing new for men on TV to be hapless dolts; there are a number of them on CBS sitcoms from earlier in this decade. Take King of Queens, for instance. But to be crying chumps? This is what our tele-men have come to?

Maybe not. Also joining this month's morass of males is a former member of Jackass, the, according to USA Network, "indomitable Steve-O - a member of a dying breed of live-life-to-the-max daredevils who is disgusted with the alarming number of [wimpified] men" in America. This includes, we assume, Dylan McDermott.

In Dr. Steve-O, Steve-O himself travels the country at the request of girlfriends, wives, and others who are fed up with their male pals' wimpy behavior. To cure them, Steve-O prescribes a series of dares. (That's a scary thought when you recall that Steve-O once had his posterior pierced together for a TV stunt.)

Is Dr. Steve-O ridiculous? Sure. Is it needed, given the other new men on TV this month? Well, that just depends on how you feel about Air Supply.