Sunday, March 04, 2007

Get Rich

Las Vegas Friday 3.9 (NBC) Season Finale: Yes, already—the season only began in October! And that’s not all of the NBC cost-cutting going down on their only Friday-night hit: Las Vegas has been renewed through the 2007-08 season … but without star James Caan and increasingly-background eye candy Nikki Cox. Caan’s decision was entirely his own; he wants to get back to film work, and also has hinted that he thinks Las Vegas is dumber than a box of Keno cards (yeah … and?). On the other hand, Nikki Cox has just been flat-out canned, proving that C cups and D-minus acting (or is it the other way around?) will only carry you so far. Let’s get on with making Vegas even stoopider—and don’t even think of booting Vanessa Marcil, NBC …

Earthstorm Saturday 3.10 (Sci Fi) An asteroid crashes into the moon, thus nudging the moon closer to earth, screwing with the tides and pelting the planet with lunar junk, and only Stephen Baldwin (one of the less-greasy Baldwins) and Dirk Benedict (old-school Battlestar Galactica Starbuck) can stop it … or something. As Saturday-night B-movies on the Sci-Fi Channel go, Earthstorm is, well, one of ‘em—but why are exotic dancers working for Canadian Actors Guild scale always cast as scientists and TV reporters? If “Anna Silk” and “Heather Chase” aren’t stripper names, I’ll eat a pasty. Or two.

Blood Ties Sunday 3.11 (Lifetime) Series Debut: And if James Caan thinks Las Vegas is ridiculous, he should get a load of Blood Ties, Lifetime’s ambitiously daffy combo cop drama/vampire romance/sci-fi thriller—and allow me to drive the preemptive stake into the first TV critic to try and coin Law & Order: Special Vampires Unit. Private dick Vicki Nelson joins forces with a hunky 450-year-old bloodsucker to solve supernatural crimes, only to fall in lust with him; now, she’s torn between Drac Lite and her equally hunky former cop partner/lover … sensing a pattern here with Vicki? Girl’s got some workplace issues …

The New Adventures of Old Christine Monday 3.12 (CBS) Series Return: While NBC is (quite successfully) reinventing the sitcom-block on Thursdays with laugh-track-free darkhorses, CBS is staying the course with Monday comedies so traditional they could slip into TV Land virtually unnoticed—and yet they still work. Nothing ever really happens on Julia Louis Dreyfus’ Old Christine; she’s just a lovable single-mom effup with an astonishing gift for finding new ways to effup every week (newest episode: would you believe, sleep-dialing?). But, like CBS huh? hit Two & a Half Men—the dirtiest show on network TV now that Will & Grace is gone, just ask the Parents Television Council—The New Adventures of Old Christine is more clever than it looks.

The Riches Monday 3.12 (FX) Series Debut: Contrary to the dryly witty Eddie Izzard promos from FX, The Riches is not a comedy. Sure, it has its funny moments (see: master comic Eddie Izzard), but this story of a desperate family of modern gypsies living one step ahead of the law and under the thumb of an oppressive underground society is gray drama of the HBO variety: No right, no wrong, just survival. Izzard, Minnie Driver (who plays his just-paroled cough-syrup-junkie wife) and their three kids live on the lam in the Deep South, scamming as they can—until a highway accident that kills a rich couple (conveniently named the Riches) presents the ultimate identity theft. They move into the Riches’ new home, befriend their new neighbors, join the local country club and quickly become (somewhat) comfortable in their stolen American Dream. Problem is, before they bought in, “the Riches” stole a stash of cash from the gypsy society’s “extended-family bank” and now the hillbillies are on the hunt. Even though their Southern accents drift in and out, Izzard is the perfect con-man charmer and Driver is a convincing spitfire mess; The Riches should easily win back some of that dramatic cred FX inadvertently pissed away on Dirt. Not that Dirt isn’t fun, just sayin’ …


DVD
Borat
Now, those who didn’t walk blindly into a theater last fall for the shock of a lifetime (or at least lunchtime) can now blindly rent it because “Oh, that looks fun.” Ah, America. The actual comedy of Borat was slightly oversold, but not the visceral cultural impact and genius of Sacha Baron Cohen. FoxHome.com

Fast Food Nation Newsflash: Big business couldn’t give a rat’s ass about you—but it will sell you one on a sesame-seed bun. Fast Food Nation doesn’t quite work as the Super Size Me/Thank You for Smoking combo that Richard Linklater probably shot for, but the performances (particularly Greg Kinnear’s) rock. FoxHome.com

The Loop: Season 1 All seven episodes of the sitcom no one watched on Fox last year; even stranger, it’s coming back this summer. As here-today-gone-later-today Fox sitcoms go, The Loop had promise: 20-something airline exec graduates slackerdom; friends don’t, hilarity rushes by. But Happy Hour was better. FoxHome.com

More New DVD Releases (3.6) Brush With Death, Hawaii Five-O: Season 1, Kettle of Fish, Let’s Go to Prison, Moonlighting: Season 5, Nadine in Dateland, Northern Exposure: Season 6, Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Season 1, South Park: Season 9, Stargate Atlantis: Season 2, Walkout

BROADBAND
That’s My Daughter
Believe it or not, there are shows even Comedy Central deems too weird (or at least too short) to air—they end up in ComedyCentral.com’s Motherlode video dump. That’s My Daughter, a Los Angeles comedy troupe with an affinity for porn mustaches and the worst of ‘80s cheese, have posted a musical trilogy of shorts espousing the joys and dangers of Patrick Swayze, tight white jeans and the possibility of “going gay.” Funny? Cautionary? You decide.

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