Monday, July 30, 2007

British Steal

Sands of Oblivion Friday 8.3 (Sci-Fi) Sucks to be a former Firefly/Serenity star: You either end up on doomed Fox shows like Drive and Standoff, or starring in a Sci-Fi howler like Sands of Oblivion—wave, Adam Baldwin and Morena Baccarin. They’re archeologists who dig up the spirit of a vengeful Egyptian god … on the long-buried set of The Ten Commandments in California. No, really. Dig Dan “Homer Simpson” Castellaneta’s cartoon-juiced Cecil B. Demille. This actually debuted last Saturday—what the fuck happened to Megasnake?

Jekyll Saturday 8.4 (BBC America) Series Debut: A modern-day update of Jekyll & Hyde from the creator of Coupling (the British original) and Doctor Who (the recent scarf-free version). Well and good, but they had me at Gina Bellman—aka Jane, the kooky-hot brunette from Coupling, aka the sole reason The Only TV Column That Matters™ first acknowledged the existence of BBC America. She plays the unsuspecting wife of Dr. Tom Jackman (James Nesbitt of Murphy’s Law—another great BBC series you don’t know), the poor sap who’s inherited the curse of Mr. Hyde and his appetite for “booze, prostitutes, Disney movies and violence” (damn, Brits give good blurb). So who’s Jekyll? Who cares? With series like this, Hotel Babylon and the upcoming Torchwood, BBC America is getting so hot you should be asking “What’s FX?” (British ancestry—I’m also prone to good blurb.)

Meadowlands Sunday 8.5 (Showtime) Series Finale: It was called Cape Wrath in the U.K. and somehow wound up on Showtime stateside as Meadowlands, at first glance another Dark Shit Happens in the Suburbs series that resembled The Riches—with more sex, and nobody pretending they aren’t British. The Brogan family is placed in the Witness Protection Program for slowly-revealed reasons and dropped in the pretty/dull Meadowlands neighborhood. The twist: Everybody in Meadowlands is in the program, they’re all nuts and The Man is never going to let them leave. A strange but addictive series—and don’t worry about jumping in at the end; it’ll make as much sense as any other episode.

The Rock Life, Mission: Man Band Monday 8.6 (VH1) Series Debuts: Los Angeles rock band Whitestarr features the sons of music mogul Lou Adler and legend Roy Orbison, sleeps around with Hollywood actresses and models, and now they have their own behind-the-scenes reality show in The Rock Life—so why can’t they catch a break? “Their music sucks,” while entirely accurate, is no answer, because N’Sync, 98 Degrees, LFO and Color Me Bad sold millions of albums once upon a time. For Mission: Man Band, former members of those boy bands who aren’t Justin Timberlake or Nick Lachey have been assembled “supergroup”-style to mount a comeback—or at least a MILF at Chili’s. All is forgiven, Bret Michaels …

The Knights of Prosperity Wednesday 8.8 (ABC) Return: It’s a summer burn-off, so don’t get attached. Not that there was ever any danger of that

Hotel Babylon Wednesday 8.8 (BBC America) Series Debut: Two Gina Bellman shows in one week? Joy! Actually, she only guests in the 10th episode of this drama-soaper about the sexy/seedy underbelly of a hoity-toity London hotel, but I can wait it out. Do you know how many hours of VH1 Classic I’ve TiVoed just to catch 10 seconds of her in a TSOL video from the ‘80s? Didn’t think so. Back on point: Hotel Babylon is essentially Footballers Wives with turn-down service and a revolving door of celebrity drop-ins … though Joan Collins and Jerry Hall probably couldn’t even get a gig on VH1 in the U.S. They have any kids in Whitestarr?