Sunday, November 26, 2006

Bringing Back Sexy ... Back

Scrubs Thursday 11.30 (NBC) Season Premiere: It’s taken six years for Scrubs to land a regular spot on NBC Thursday—too bad the property’s been devalued from Must See to Maybe I’ll Download It From iTunes. But, the new two-hour lineup of My Name is Earl, The Office, Scrubs and 30 Rock is the strongest comedy block NBC has stacked since the Clinton era (with the hit-or-miss 30 Rock occupying the traditionally weak pre-ER slot), and not one of ‘em has a canned laugh track … yeah, let that sink in.

The Librarian 2: Return to King Solomon’s Mines Sunday 12.3 (TNT) In 2004’s not-bad The Librarian: Quest for the Spear, Noah Wyle (ER) starred as Carson Flynn, a brilliant academic who takes a job at a library that secretly houses fabled objects like the Holy Grail, Excalibur, Pandora’s Box, the next Guns N’ Roses album, et al. The gig required the geek to travel the world, Indiana Jones-style, and recover such items—with a gorgeous female adventurer who owns nothing but tank tops handling the rough stuff. This time around, Flynn is slightly more cocksure (uh oh) and his original tough-Girl Friday (Sonya Walger, perfect in Quest) has been replaced by a whiney archeologist (Gabrielle Anwar, barely registering). Even worse, half the movie is just them walking endlessly through National Geographic scenery. Consider this the Temple of Doom to Quest’s Raiders of the Lost Ark—Part 3 has to be better.

Big in 2006 Awards Sunday 12.3 (VH1) A pop-culture brain-drain trophy toss that at least acknowledges that Paris Hilton is a “celebutard” guilty of “crimes against intelligence” and less repugnant/more talented JonBenet “killer” Mark David Karr is a “daffy creep,” Big in 2006 is as utterly useless as, well, 95 percent of the rest of VH1’s schedule (still love ya, Best Week Ever—but please have Paul Scheer killed). I’ll only be tuning in to watch Fergie kick out her skanktacular new hit, “Daffy Creep” (“Daffy Creep/ He’s all up in my Jeep/ And he makes my Underoos go leaky-leak/ My Daffy-Daffy-Daffy Creep!”).

Billboard Music Awards 2006 Monday 12.4 (Fox) But make no mistake: Big in 2006 is the Nobel Laureates Pageant compared to this. Oh look, there’s Fergie again …

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Tuesday 12.5 (CBS) Surprisingly Fergie-free: This year’s musical guest is Justin Timberlake, whom, it’s been reported, is bringing sexy back—how fortuitous! This edition also marks Tyra Banks’ final clomp on the VS runway, as she’ll be devoting most of her time to recruiting a new generation of malnourished sticks and further lowering the IQ bar for daytime TV on America’s Next Top Model and Tyra, respectively. Secret Embrace push-up bra: $45. The collective joy of thousands of teen boys flogging the dolphin in their rooms at 9:45 p.m. Mountain Standard Time: Priceless.

The King of Queens Wednesday 12.6 (CBS) Season Premiere: I know, I know—I thought it was canceled, too.

Wicked Wicked Games, Watch Over Me Wednesday 12.6 (MyNetworkTV) Series Debuts: Now that Desire and Fashion House are dead (MyNetworkTV’s sole redeeming idea: planned obsolescence), here comes the next wave of gringo-ized telenovela sex romps—and they’re even worse! In Wicked Wicked Games (that’s double the wickedness), a woman dumped by her husband 20 years ago schemes to take over his powerful business … by having her two sons marry his two daughters. Huh? On Watch Over Me, it’s a love triangle between a powerful businessman (as they always are—can’t one of these guys ever just run a Little Caesar’s franchise?), his beautiful fiancée and the hunky bodyguard he hired to, yes, watch over her. Even better, this wholesome family fare is being cross-promoted with Wal-Mart, which is providing the wardrobe (!) for the series’ actresses. Guess it needs to rip off easily.

Bones: Season 1
The forensics procedural with a heart—and a brain and good looks. Bones strikes a balance between creepy-gruesome CSI-isms and tentative office romance (Bones & Booth are just Jim & Pam with better clothes), and David Boreanaz has effectively buried Angel. Sarah Michelle Geller, take note.

Criminal Minds: Season 1 On the other end of the TV spectrum, the most idiotic (and inexplicably popular) new cop show since Numb3rs and whatever else CBS has coughed up lately. Mandy Patinkin’s Shatner-riffic acting aside, there’s little else on Criminal Minds remotely original or memorable. Oh, that’s why it’s a hit!

Joan of Arcadia: Season 2 Canceled by CBS three years ago, the story of a young woman who talks to God (or a reasonable facsimile) still inspires rabid fan chatter. Never suggest Joan jumped the shark in Season 2 by trying to become “deeper” than it probably should have, but try the snarkier/funnier version, Wonderfalls.

See No Evil A horror film produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (damn, I miss the Federation)? How could it possibly suck? Yeah, anyway: Kane stars, in the loosest sense, as an ax-wielding goon who dispatches teens in admittedly comic ways, but when does Chris “Y2J” Jericho get his shot, WWE?

More New DVD Releases (11.28) Angel Rodriguez, The Ant Bully, Clerks II, Dane Cook: Vicious Circle, Flavor of Love: Season 2, Seventh Heaven: Season 3, St. Elsewhere: Season 1, Superman Returns, Touched by an Angel: Season 3

Significant Others NBC/Universal never released the two brilliant Bravo seasons of Significant Others on DVD (indie Shout Factory did), but least they’ve posted a good number of scenes on the otherwise corporate-useless new Website. Even two or three minutes are better than any relationship comedy (or drama) series produced since.