Thursday, January 11, 2007

Nashville Pussies

Nashville Star Thursday 1.11 (USA) Season Premiere: Which is tougher to swallow: A fifth season of Nashville Star, or new co-host Jewel? The Only TV Column That Matters™ is going to assume Jewel, who, along with Cowboy Troy, will be emceeing the singin’ and twangin’ contest that inexplicably resides on USA, not CMT, GAC or any of the dozen other country-music channels clogging up my cable (thanks, Comcast). But hey, Jewel’s country cred is every bit as solid as Cowboy Troy’s—he’s a capital-C Cowboy, fergawdsakes!

24 Sunday 1.14 (Fox) Season Premiere: Jack’s back, and he’s hairy: “Chloe! I need a razor at these coordinates! Now!” In 24 world, almost two years have passed since agent Jack Bauer was captured by Chinese thugs and taken on the worst cruise vacation ever at the end of last season, but now America needs him back … as a sacrifice to a different set of thugs. J-Bau can’t catch a break. The U.S. is under siege by terrorists, thousands of civilians are dead and, perhaps even more frightening, the country’s only news outlet seems to be the Fox News Channel (love that corporate Fox synergy). Can Jack save the nation yet again? And if so, does he have to go on Hannity & Colmes?

Crossing Jordan Sunday 1.13 (NBC) Season Premiere: Jordan’s back, and her hair looks fabulous. On the downside, she’s still facing a murder rap over the dead ex-boyfriend she woke up next to in last season’s finale, not to mention more (and now totally out-of-sync) Las Vegas crossovers. And, even though Crossing Jordan’s been on for six years now, look for NBC to begin promoting it as “From the creator of Heroes!”

Rome, Extras Sunday 1.13 (HBO) Season Premieres: HBO’s most humorless drama, followed by its funniest comedy (the specter of Lucky Louie looms large). Yes, Rome is still a grim, grand epic that looks every bit a million bucks a frame (rough estimate), but Extras takes the awkward laughs of star Ricky Gervais’ original British Office to painfully funny new extremes—with bigger guest stars! The Season 2 premiere features Orlando Bloom riffing sarcastically on Pirates of the Caribbean co-star Johnny Depp, but the Jan. 21 ep slays with David Bowie writing an impromptu, vicious (and yet quite pretty) song about Gervais’ “chubby little loser” and his critically panned new BBC sitcom. In fact, Bowie’s as good here as Mick Jagger was in The Knights of Prosperity … hmmm.

American Idol Tuesday 1.15 (Fox) Season Premiere: Wow, has it really been a whole year since I’ve reiterated my pure and total hatred of American Idol? Good to reconnect.

The Naked Trucker & T-Bones Show Wednesday, Jan. 16 (Comedy Central) Series Debut: One’s a guitar-strumming truck driver sans clothes (Dave Gruber Allen), the other’s a combover-sideburned drifter of questionable morals (David Koechner); together, they travel the highways and byways of this great land singing songs about truck-stop glory holes, tea-bagging hippies and JPEGs of 18-year-old hoochies. Another series CMT missed out on? Naw, just Tenacious D’s former opening act in a hilarious combo live-onstage/taped-sketch show that could be the weirdest half-hour Comedy Central has booked since Stella. Heard from them lately?

Bandidas Yow: Penélope Cruz and Salma Hayek as gun-slingin’ outlaws in 1888—it’s Butch & Sundance via Thelma & Louise, or Maxim’s Guide to the Mexican Revolution. Pure fluff, but with Cruz and Hayek throwing down the action-comedy in corsets and leather chaps, who cares?

Idiocracy Mike Judge’s dark follow-up to Office Space you’ve never heard of, thanks to Fox anti-marketing. Luke Wilson is frozen in a military experiment, only to awaken in 2505 as the smartest man alive—because the rest of the world has gotten dumber. Cult classic or vision?

The Night Listener The biggest stretch of The Night Listener might be the idea of a late-night talk-radio show that isn’t about UFOs, the Rapture or global conspiracies. Even stranger, Robin Williams is upstaged and out-creepy-ed by Toni Collette in this psychological thriller. The end must be nigh!

Rebelde: Season 1 The Mexican telenovela set in a private school populated with hot teens who have a band (RBD) and, apparently, free reign to modify their already skimpy uniforms. Since the DVD is subtitled, maybe gringos will finally understand what the hell they’ve been watching on Univision.

More New DVD Releases (Jan. 9) Crank, Extras: Season 1, The Illusionist, MI-5: Season 4, Stan Lee’s Lightspeed

Dr. Phil: Raging Pantload Posted on last month, this three-minute clip defies you to determine who’s the bigger douchebag: The producer of the Bumfights video series (dressed in a cheap suit with a shaved head and mustache, admirably mocking the Doc), or Dr. Phil grandstanding and throwing him off the set (actually, security guards do the dirty work) without even beginning an interview. Let’s say it’s Dr. Phil ...

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