1 CBS' "Supergirl" had fall's most-watched series premiere last Monday — and it's also network TV's best rookie offering of the year. Viewers expecting the title character to treat the Justice League of America as a dating service and transform the Fortress of Solitude into an appletini bar will have their sexist stereotypes shattered into a million pieces of Kryptonite. There's a galaxy to save — and the mature, formidable heroine (played by former "Glee" star Melissa Benoist) does it with believable inner and outer strength without ever abandoning the plucky, wholesome nature of a grown-up Laura Ingalls. Sit back, relax and enjoy the flight. (7:30 p.m. Mon., WCCO, Ch. 4)
2 "Sheltered childhood" has a horribly dark meaning in the movie "Room." Five-year-old Jack has lived his entire life without ever leaving the room where his mother's abductor took her seven years earlier. "Room" is sweet and hard, thought-provoking and heartbreaking — and much of the emotional weight rests on the fragile shoulders of Jacob Tremblay as Jack. Not since Leonardo DiCaprio in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" has a child actor been so deserving of an Oscar nomination.
3 Issued 20 years ago, Son Volt's "Trace" was such a quintessential debut record that many folks thought Jay Farrar's new group, not Jeff Tweedy's Wilco, would be the band to watch after Uncle Tupelo broke up. Rhino Records just issued a two-disc deluxe edition, with a fine live recording from the band's definitive alt-country era alongside above-average demos and outtakes. Farrar's supporting cast was mostly a Minnesotan crew, including bandmates Jim and Dave Boquist, pedal-steel wiz Eric Heywood and producer Brian Paulson. Too bad Heywood is the only one doing the anniversary tour.
4 Howard Axelrod's memoir "The Point of Vanishing" is beautiful in its intensity, searing in its pain. Axelrod, 20-year-old golden boy at Harvard, stops by the gym to shoot hoops, and just like that, his life changes. A teammate's finger in Axelrod's right eye severs his optic nerve, blinding him permanently and wreaking havoc with the way he interacts with the world. His eventual solution is to withdraw from the world in order to figure it out anew, and his place in it. It's a breathtaking read.
5 Paolo Ventura of Milan, Italy, builds dioramas of imaginary cities, photographs them, then paints and collages the photos. Assembled into big puzzle-like vistas, his "La Città Infinita" — the infinite city — is an enigmatic place, a cinematic dreamscape populated by lonely, often sinister characters. Weinstein Gallery in south Minneapolis is hosting Ventura's first American exhibit outside New York. (weinstein-gallery.com)