Some horrible shows bother me more than others.
"1600 Penn" (9:30 p.m., NBC, TV-PG) returns, or rather premieres, in its regular time. The pilot episode (8:30 p.m.) aired as a sneak preview in December.
There's nothing new about using the White House as a venue for broad humor and slap-
stick. HBO's overwrought "Veep" comes to mind.
Way back in 2001, "South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker promised to churn out a quickie White House sitcom based on the winner of the 2000 election. The result was "That's My Bush!" a deliriously silly and often scabrous take on Washington politics combined with a sendup of situation comedies. More of a lark than a full-
fledged idea, "Bush" was not a great show, but it was a thousand times more clever and
innovative than "Penn."
"Penn" arrives with another Stone/Parker connection. Josh Gad, who plays Skip, the hapless son of President Dale Gilchrist (Bill Pullman), made a name for himself in the hit Broadway musical "The Book of Mormon," written by the "South Park" creators, along with Robert Lopez.
Fatally, this is really "The Skip Show." In all three epi-
sodes made available for re-
view, his overbearing clueless-
ness dominates the proceedings.
Jenna Elfman gets a few seconds here and there to express slap-sticky exasperation as first lady and second wife, Emily. The first daughter, Becca (Martha MacIsaac), should rise to the occasion as "perfect girl becomes pregnant" tabloid fodder, but even she's suffo-
cated by Skip's performance. There are two youngsters (Benjamin Stockham and Amara Miller), but they barely have time to introduce themselves. Pullman orbits the proceedings as the lovable, doddering dad occasionally dragged away from the domestic shenanigans to rubber-stamp drone strikes on terrorists.
At its best, this Gad vehicle is like any number of bad Jack Black movies, where that star is allowed to simply run wild. Sometimes Skip is like a young man impersonating a puppy -- or perhaps a young man possessed by the spirit of a 6-month-old Labrador retriever. Come to think of it, that would be a better idea for a sitcom.
---The new docu-series "Double Divas" (10 p.m., Lifetime, TV-PG) chronicles the workings of Atlanta's Livi Rae Lingerie, a boutique specializing in custom-made bras for women of all sizes. Tonight: The owners must engineer an undergarment for a woman who claims to possess the world's largest bust.
---Jack enlists Devin as a character assassin on "30 Rock" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
---Storms, both real and metaphorical, force realignment on "Last Resort" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
---The 18th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards (8 p.m., CW) glances back at the best films of 2012.
---A supermodel needs help on "Person of Interest" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).
---Lice infiltrate Dunder Mifflin on "The Office" (9 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).
---Bailey's big day may not happen on "Grey's Anatomy" (9 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
---"Project Runway All Stars" (9 p.m., Lifetime, TV-PG) travels to Paris.
---A bad penny follows Sherlock all the way from London on "Ele- mentary" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---An old friend comes in handy on "Scandal" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
---Liza Minnelli and Jane Lynch sit down with Kathy Griffin on "Kathy" (10 p.m., Bravo).
Victor Mature, Susan Hayward, Michael Rennie and Anne Bancroft star in the 1954 sword-and-sandal epic "Demetrius and the Gladia tors" (8 p.m., TCM).
---Comic books deciphered on "The Big Bang Theory" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG),
---Howie Mandel hosts "Mobbed" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-PG).
---The guys travel to a New York fashion show on "Two and a Half Men" (8:30 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---The gang honors the Gloved One on "Glee" (9 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14).
---Josh Brolin is scheduled on "The Daily Show With Jon Stew art" (11 p.m., Comedy Central).
---Ryan Gosling, Kevin Hart and ZZ Ward appear on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS).
---Cyndi Lauper, Gary Valentine, Fortune Feimster and Ryan Stout are booked on "Chelsea Lately" (11 p.m., E!).
---Ben Gibbard sits down on "The Colbert Report" (11:30 p.m., Comedy Central).
---Michael J. Fox and Allison Williams appear on "Late Show With David Letterman" (11:35 p.m., CBS).
---Jay Leno welcomes Ryan Seacrest, Keith Urban, Randy Jackson, Anthony Jeselnik and For King and Country on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC).
---Dr. Mehmet Oz, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:35 p.m., ABC).
---The cast of "30 Rock" and John Cale visit "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (12:35 a.m., NBC),
---Craig Ferguson hosts Tim Allen and Margaret Cho on "The Late Late Show" (12:35 a.m., CBS).
Kevin McDonough can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.