Sunday, June 10, 2007

Cable Ready

Flight of The Conchords Sunday 6.17 (HBO) Series Debut: Meet the new Tenacious D—if the D were more skinny, subtle and Auckland-y. Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement are The Conchords, “New Zealand’s fourth most popular musical comedy duo,” looking to make it big in America, or at least New York City. Unfortunately, their incompetent manager (a la HBO’s Extras) won’t book them gigs at night because “it’s dangerous out there,” their lone fan is a creepily obsessed housewife and their first music video was shot on a camera phone. It might be blasphemy to say that The Conchords’ daily misadventures and hysterical songs rival Tenacious D’s, but the debut Flight episode kills … and it’s not even the funniest one.

Entourage Sunday 6.17 (HBO) Season Premiere: Yes, already—don’t ask me to explain it. You can, however, call me on my prediction that Vince’s Pablo Escobar dream project will never be filmed: Entourage’s fourth-season opener is shot as a behind-the-scenes doc of … The Making of Medellin. It’s a clever change-up for the usually glam series to get on-location dirty in Columbia, but is director Billy Walsh having a meltdown over budget constraints or the fact that Vince, who’s had such a righteous hard-on to get this movie right, didn’t even bother to grow a real fucking mustache to play Escobar? Cheesy stick-on ‘stache aside, Medellin does indeed wrap production—as for the final cut, well, that’s next week’s problem.

The 4400, The Dead Zone Sunday 6.17 (USA) Season Premieres: Jesus, er, Jordan Collier (Billy Campbell) is now a series regular on The 4400, despite having been assassinated last season—because no one’s going to watch a show called The 4399. On The Dead Zone, Johnny (Anthony Michael Hall) is no longer seeing visions of the apocalypse, even the Antichrist has taken office as the Vice President of the United States … when did this become a documentary?

Robot Chicken: Star Wars Sunday 6.17 (Adult Swim) Not only did Robot Chicken creators Seth Green and Matt Senreich get George Lucas’ permission to ironically/satirically/scatologically re-create the Star Wars canon with stop-motion action figures, they got Lucas himself to provide the voice for his own character—good humor or evil genius? Never know with that guy. Do I even need to add that Robot Chicken’s version of Star Wars is better than Episodes 1, 2 and 3?

The Closer Monday 6.18 (TNT) Season Premiere: Without Kyra Sedgwick, her Golden Globes and excellent supporting cast, a standard-issue cop show like The Closer would never have become The Biggest Cable Series of All Damn Time (as TNT would probably love to subtitle it). Unlike the average fatally flawed FX antihero, Sedgwick’s ex-CIA-turned-LAPD chief Brenda Johnson’s biggest vice is sugar—and she’s still as captivating as The Shield’s Vic Mackey; just imagine if she started offing perps after a bad Splenda binge. As Season 3 opens, she has a grisly triple homicide and department budget cuts to deal with—bust out the Little Debbies!

Heartland Monday 6.18 (TNT) Series Debut: Stop me if you've heard this one before: A brilliant asshole of a surgeon who plays by his own rules routinely pisses off his colleagues but always saves the life at the end of the day/show. Yes, it’s Treat Williams as House, minus the limp and stubble … and pretty much everything else. Oh, and he works with his bitter ex-wife and the series is called Heartland because he’s an organ-transplant specialist. Probably. Don’t really care. TNT dumped Saved (last year’s waaay better medical Closer companion) for this?