Friday, October 13, 2006

Vegas Throat

Major League Baseball
All the Damned Time (Fox)

Nobody’s watching it (well, slightly more nobodies than are tuning into The CW), so I certainly hope Fox gets an assload of cash from Major League Baseball to throw this annual October beanball straight at their “hot” new fall shows. Actually, no I don’t: Vanished? Title says it all. ‘Til Death and Happy Hour? Didn’t even expect ‘em to make it through September. Justice and Standoff? Uh … which one had the Office Space guy and the Firefly chick? That one sucks only moderately. And don’t forget Spike Feresten … oh, you already have.

Desire, Fashion House
Weeknights (MyNetworkTV)

When new syndication fare comes along that makes you fully appreciate the masterful writing and production of daytime soap operas (tune in sometime; it’s amazing how many veteran characters still look better than you did back in the Bush 1 days), maybe it’s time to consider The Greg Behrendt Show … OK, nothing that drastic. MyNetworkTV’s telenovela knockoffs Desire and Fashion House (about desire and fashion, I believe) are almost as sexy as giving yourself a late-night “stranger” after chugging a pint of peach schnapps. But only almost.

Las Vegas
Friday 10.20 (NBC)

Season Premiere: Speaking of soap operas, what’s going to happen on the fourth-season opener of Las Vegas? Yes, it’s really been on for four years—focus, people! At the end of last season, Ed (James Caan) had taken a bullet before Delinda’s sham wedding, but the more pressing question (Ed’s not dead, baby) is: What’s going become of those implausible Boston-to-Vegas crossovers with Crossing Jordan now that NBC has bumped Jordan for yet another game show, the short-bus hit 1 vs. 100? Perhaps I’ve put far more thought into this than the network. Scary.

Saturday 10.21 (NBC)

New Timeslot: Saturday night’s all right for … nothing but reruns. The last time any network bothered to program Saturday primetime with new material, some chubby young thing was going down on Bill Clinton—that’s right, this weekend (Bubba’s still got it). NBC has kicked new under-performer Kidnapped to the Saturday-night curb; Medium will take over its vacated Wednesday slot in November. Why let Kidnapped play out its remaining 10 episodes instead of just canceling it? Brace yourself: They’ve run out of Law & Order repeats! The end is nigh!

Breaking Bonaduce, Celebrity Paranormal Project
Sunday 10.22 (VH1)

Season Premiere/Series Debut: Hey, I’m just as surprised as you are—what’s left to break, Bonaduce-wise? In “sober” Season 2, says VH1, “Danny transfers his obsessions with substances to an obsession with his wife, Gretchen.” You may have been better off with the curbside Screwdrivers, Dan-O: Gretch and Dr. Gary are just bringing you down, man! Embrace the darkness! And bring the cameras! As for Celebrity Paranormal Project, if you can’t wait to watch Rachel Hunter, Gary Busey, Gilbert Gottfried, Traci Bingham and David Carradine pile into the Mystery Machine and chase ghosts, Mr. Bonaduce would like to make a discreet purchase from you.

House of Carters
Mondays (E!)

Here’s an idea: Fuck the Carters. Fuck Nick, Aaron, the sisters, fuck the whole stupid, spoiled, talentless, screechy family. And especially fuck those two pinheads who psychoanalyze each episode in the “Carters on the Couch” section of Most of all, fuck me for actually going there and watching it.

South Park, Freak Show
Wednesdays (Comedy Central)

The first two episodes of the second half of South Park’s 10th season, “Make Love, Not Warcraft” (tweaking online gamers) and “The Mystery of the Urinal Deuce” (ditto, 9/11 conspiracy theorists), were pure genius; no other series—animated or not—can touch it for sheer pop-cultural immediacy. Comedy Central’s other new cartoon, Freak Show (which debuted along with the latest South Park batch on Oct. 4), is somewhat weak-sauce in the writing and animation, but features quite possibly the greatest superhero “freak” ever conceived: The Log Cabin Republican. Does he have power-texting abilities?

American Dreamz
A dark comedic hit-piece on American Idol and President Dubya? How was this not a hit? American Dreamz is almost up there with Wag the Dog in terms of brazenly nailing a political system and a pop culture gone annoyingly dumb; maybe it’ll become a cult item when it all finally goes to hell.

Big Love: Season 1
Catch up on all the fuss, Utah! HBO’s intro season of a Sandy polygamist (Bill Paxton) and his three secret wives is surprisingly tense and comic, if not yet up to Sopranos levels of family-on-the-fringe drama. But, once Deadwood is gone (sigh), Big Love will become the Buzz TV Series. Mark it.

The Break-Up
Vince Vaughn. Jennifer Aniston. Jason Bateman and Jon Favreau. Shoulda been hysterical. What the fuck? The Break-Up plays like an Oxygen TV movie with higher star wattage, long on Relationship Drama and short on actual laughs—hell, even Mr & Mrs. Smith was funnier. Upside: An Old 97s concert.

La Femme Nikita: Season 5
The final season, as demanded by the fans: The 1997-2001 cable series was sleeker and darker than hot-spy successor Alias, and star Peta Wilson was more icily intimidating with a single look than Jennifer Garner ever was with an AK-47.

More New DVD Releases (10.17)
Cheaper by the Dozen 2, CSI: NY: Season 2, Starsky & Hutch: Season 4, That ‘70s Show: Season 5, They All Laughed, Wanda Sykes: Sick & Tired

Nobody’s Watching
For a sitcom that never was, Nobody’s Watching is generating as much Internet noise as any currently on the air (sorry, Tina Fey). “Derrick & Will” may never make a great TV comedy, but the Webisodes are time-killing office gold.

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