Thursday, January 04, 2007

Samurai Lesbians

Afro Samurai Thursday 1.4 (Spike) Series Debut: The title almost says it all: A samurai (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson—underexposure is not an option) with a sweet afro cuts a swath of vengeance through a war-torn Anime Japan of the future against a hip-hop soundtrack. The story’s nothing new (always with the avenging of the villain-slain father—why never any payback for the creepy second cousin?), but the animation and music are so good, you have to wonder why it’s on Spike. OK, you don’t … and neither do I.

Jake 2.0 Friday 1.5 (Sci-Fi) Rerun Debut: Government computer geek Jake Foley (Christopher Gorham) is accidentally injected with nanobots—microscopic robots to you non-Wired readers—and suddenly gains superhuman strength, heightened senses and the ability to get laid. Jake 2.0, one of the very few quality series ever produced by the late UPN, was seen by a dozen people when it aired in 2003, all of whom messaged to each other “Hey, this should be on the Sci-Fi Channel.” Machine dreams come true—with four never-before-seen episodes, to (re)boot. Set phasers to pun! Ack!

Grease: You’re the One That I Want Sunday 1.7 (NBC) Series Debut: PR says, “NBC will search for the next Danny and Sandy in Grease: You’re the One That I Want, a new talent-competition series where America will ultimately get to choose the two leads for a new Broadway production of the hit musical Grease.” True TV says, “Hold ‘er steady … now put the bullet right here in my brain.”

I’m From Rolling Stone Sunday 1.7 (MTV) Series Debut: Six pretty young writers in a realty-competition series to win a gig with Rolling Stone magazine—since it’s for MTV, you know it’s gonna get catty in the hot tub. Which is typically misleading, because journalists are never catty (they’re just all bitches!), they don’t go near hot tubs (they’re never invited … because they’re all bitches!) and they’re rarely pretty (but always bitches!). The winner’s first assignment: brushing out David Fricke’s wig.

The L Word Sunday 1.7 (Showtime) Season Premiere: What did The Only TV Column That Matters™ say about this when it debuted two years ago? “The L Word is Melrose Place with a message—and more hot lesbian sex.” Now, here in Season 4, I’m wondering where all the hot lesbian sex went as the Important Message pile gets higher and higher. This time around, after getting the resolutions for Shane’s wedding walkout (answer: write her partner out of the show) and the escalating Bette/Tina custody battle (answer: invoke the ghost of Johnnie Cochrane) from last season out of the way, it’s onto pregnant Kit’s run-in with pro-lifers, jetsetter Helena being cut off from the family fortune, transsexual Max and not-so-much-bi Jenny falling apart, Shane’s little brother being dumped on her doorstep and the Return of Marina—all in the first episode; no time for hot lesbian sex, natch. Fortunately, the Drama! Drama! Drama! lightens up in coming episodes, with some comic relief in the form of new character Papi, a Latina from the wrong side of Rodeo Drive whose prolific playa skills surpass even Shane’s, and Jenny’s revenge campaign against a critic who gives her book a bad review. And yes, a little hot lesbian sex. Thanks.

The Sopranos Wednesday 1.10 (A&E) Cleaned-Up Rerun Debut: Sure, Sex and the City and Six Feet Under both made smooth transitions from freewheelin’ HBO to tighter-lipped commercial TV, but The Sopranos without F-bombs? The Morally-Outraged Pinheads (MOPs) are already freaking (coincidentally, the word that’s replaced “fucking”) over the very idea of the infamously blue mob drama running on basic cable in 90 million homes. Good enough for me—freak ‘em up the freakin’ freak hole, A&E!

Beer League
To be exact, it’s Artie Lange’s Beer League—so as not to be confused with William Shakespeare’s Beer League. If Beerfest and The Benchwarmers were just too cerebral for you … then how exactly are you making out these words? Is Howard Stern reading this to you?

The Covenant For those who wished The Craft had starred pouty-boy models instead of flat-chested goth girls, director Renny Harlin (remember him?) brings you The Covenant, a movie that could only be gayer with a Scissor Sisters soundtrack. No, scratch that: It’s as gay as gay can be.

Martin: Season 1 At one time, way back in the ‘90s, Martin Lawrence was a funny mofo and Fox could produce a sitcom that didn’t suck out loud—this long-long-overdue DVD set of Martin’s 1992-93 debut season is absolute proof of both. It’s been too long when even Sheneneh is a welcome sight.

Snakes on a Plane Samuel L. Jackson’s finest cinematic performance since Pulp Fiction? Yeah, let’s go with that. New Line’s attempt to manufacture an instant cult classic didn’t quite pan out, but Snakes on a Plane is still juicy B-flick fun. If only Mystery Science Theater 3000 were here to screen it.

In the new season of The L Word, Alice puts her handwritten chart of lesbian hookups on the Internet—not so coincidentally, so has Showtime. is meant to be kind of a gay MySpace, a social network with content and direction from series creator Ilene Chaiken and stars Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig and Leisha Hailey (all founding partners). Sounds great, but can they keep Tila Tequila and Dane Cook out?

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