TV -- The Amazing Race 9: Television's least-aggravating reality series returns at 9 p.m. Tuesday with a two-hour premiere on CBS. Eleven two-person teams compete in a race around the world, which includes stops in Moscow and the Middle East (hopefully, none of the contestants will end up in hostage videos). Our money's on the retired husband and wife from Colorado. If reality TV has taught us anything, it's always go with the old, bickering folks with too much time on their hands. They've got nothing to lose.
TV -- DMC: My Adoption Journey: Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, the spectacle-sporting half of Run-DMC, found out five years ago, when he was 35, that he was adopted. As he searched for his biological mother, VH1's cameras were there. The expedition (airing at 9 p.m. Saturday) is the network's first outing in the new VH1 Rock Docs series. Along the way, DMC gets tangled in bureaucratic paperwork, upsets his adoptive family, and discovers that sucker MCs should call him sire.
BOOK -- Letters to a Young Artist: Pulitzer nominee -- and West Wing actress -- Anna Deavere Smith penned this snappy volume as encouragement and inspiration to budding writers and performers. She touches on race, sex, and politics, but neglects the most crucial piece of advice: Stay away from any project that involves a former cast member of Full House, Gary Busey, or anyone who was in Mötley Crüe.
MOVIE -- Neil Young: Heart of Gold: Jonathan Demme made one of the all-time great concert films, the magnetic 1984 Talking Heads' piece Stop Making Sense. His latest documents a pair of Young's shows from August, when the music legend was in Nashville promoting the CD Prairie Wind. Like the album itself, the movie is an introspective look at an artist coming to peace with his mortality (Young had a brain aneurysm last year). No big suits, but plenty of heart.
CD -- My Flame Burns Blue: Elvis Costello's first-ever live album comes on the heels of a pair of disparate projects in 2004: an orchestral piece and a twangy rock record. And the concert CD is just as genre-defying. Recorded with Metropole Orkest, a classical and jazz combo from Holland, Blue reworks such Costello faves as "Clubland," "Watching the Detectives," and "Almost Blue" into string- and horn-drenched scorchers that put the focus on the songwriting part of his singer-songwriter tag.
COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE -- Domino: This fact-based action flick (now out on DVD), starring Keira Knightley as model-turned-bounty-hunter Domino Harvey, is high on style and short on character development. The movie never really explains why a rich, pampered Beverly Hills girl would put her life on the line day after day, other than for the sheer thrill of it. It's a cheap cop-out on director Tony Scott's part, and it makes bounty-hunting look terribly blah. Where's Boba Fett when you need him?