Friday, September 23, 2011

TV Weekend: Fringe, Supernatural, SNL, Boardwalk Empire

What’s new this weekend:
Fringe (Fox, tonight) Season Premiere: Is Peter (Joshua Jackson) really gone? Find out!

Supernatural (The CW, tonight) Season Premiere: Is Castiel (Misha Collins) really God? Find out!

A Gifted Man (CBS, tonight) Series Debut: In the season finale of Adult Swim’s Childrens Hospital earlier this month, each of the cast members got their own ridiculous spin-off TV series, one of which was called The Ghost Doctorer. CBS should have snapped up that instead of A Gifted Man.

Also new tonight:
CSI:NY, Blue Bloods (season premieres, CBS); Kitchen Nightmares (season premiere, Fox); Nikita (season premiere, The CW); Nirvana: Live at the Paramount (VH1); Haven (Syfy); Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Cartoon Network); Strike Back (Cinemax); Real Time With Bill Maher (HBO); The Soup (E!)

Saturday Night Live (NBC/CW30, Saturday) Season Premiere: Alec Baldwin hosts, and famed musical-comedy troupe Radiohead performs.

Also new Saturday:
Cops (Fox); Doctor Who (BBC America); Morlocks (Syfy)

Boardwalk Empire (HBO, Sunday) Season Premiere: For you prohibition-era historians have been wondering, “Hey, when does the KKK show up?” this is your night. Also, Nucky’s (Steve Buscemi) feeling the squeeze in an Atlantic City real estate deal, and Al Capone’s up to no good, as you would expect. Boardwalk Empire isn’t skimping on the budget in Season 2, and for you prohibition-era purists, the Brian Jonestown Massacre theme song remains intact—suck it!

Pan Am (ABC, Sunday) Series Debut: The ’60s-set Pan Am is more fun and less self-serious than NBC’s gawdawful The Playboy Club … so, there’s that. The Empowered Women of the Sky, aka stewardesses, are ambitious, sexy, complicated, sexy, mysterious, sexy and, in one case, Christina Ricci; the men are cartoonier than the Mad Men Yourself avatar app; the overstacked storylines vary from stupid to stoopid (one stewardess is recruited as a spy—this doesn’t even happen on Archer).

Also new Sunday:
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives (season premieres, ABC); The Amazing Race, The Good Wife, CSI: Miami (season premieres, CBS); The Simpsons, The Cleveland Show, Family Guy, American Dad (season premieres, Fox); Sister Wives (season premiere, TLC); The Great Food Truck Race (Food Network); Kendra, Dirty Soap (E!); Squidbillies (Adult Swim)

Even this Boardwalk Empire promo cost a billions dollars:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

TV Tonight: Community, The Office, Prime Suspect

This just in: I'm on the latest Audio Vaudeville podcast, talkin' Fall TV, right over here.

What’s new tonight:
Community (NBC) Season Premiere: Forget the whole “Is Pierce (Chevy Chase) coming back?” nonsense: Tonight, Omar from The Wire shows up as a biology teacher, and Dean Pelton has a new nemesis in John Goodman. Shit’s gettin’ real this season!

The Office (NBC) Season Premiere: Since Kathy Bates is busy with Wednesday-night deadweight Harry’s Law (it’s still a show; look it up), James Spader has stepped in as the new CEO of Dunder-Mifflin parent company Sabre, the suspiciously/awesomely-named Robert California. He’s not technically the new Michael Scott; the search for a Regional Manager continues this season—and the name may be on a mysterious piece of paper circulating through the office tonight. But probably not.

Prime Suspect (NBC) Series Debut: Mario Bello is a tough homicide cop dealing with precinct sexism and a stupid fedora. Prime Suspect is a decent and gritty enough remake of the British, Helen Mirren-starring original, but do you really need another police drama in your life? Not even if it’s directed by Peter Berg.

Whitney (NBC) Series Debut: Read all about it at (Item 1).

Charlie’s Angels (NBC) Series Debut: Read all about it at (Item 2).

Person of Interest (CBS) Series Debut: Read all about it at (Item 3).

Also new tonight:
Grey’s Anatomy (season premiere, ABC); The Big Bang Theory, The Mentalist (season premieres, CBS); Parks & Recreation (season premiere, NBC); The X Factor (Fox); The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle (The CW); Project Runway, Dance Moms, Russian Dolls (Lifetime); Millionaire Matchmaker (Bravo); NTSF:SD:SUV (Adult Swim); Jersey Shore (MTV); It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Archer (FX)

Community is back, hopefully not going overboard on the musical numbers …

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

TV Tonight: Criminal Minds, X Factor, Revenge, CSI, SVU

What’s new tonight:
Criminal Minds (CBS) Season Premiere: The band is back together! Not that it’s all good times at the BAU: JJ (AJ Cook) has returned legit, but agent Prentiss (Paget Brewster) played dead and disappeared to protect the team at the end of last season—now she’s back and has some ‘splainin’ to do. Dra-ma! At least being dead gave Prentiss some time to grow out those bangs …

The X Factor (Fox) Series Debut: Simon Cowell, Gordon Ramsay, Dr. House—if Fox has taught us anything, it’s that we really, really like cranky old British guys with questionable haircuts telling us when we suck. Cowell returns to do just that, with Classic Crazy (Paula Abdul), New Crazy (Nicole Scherzinger) and Randy Lite (LA Reid) alongside him at the judges’ table. Related: I’ve heard that I’ll be on Fox 13’s Good Day Utah Friday morning around 8 to help make sense of the new singin’ show.

Revenge (ABC) Series Debut: It’s The Count of Monte Cristo meets Gossip Girl, or something. Anyway, Emily VanCamp is out to avenge her family in the Hamptons, and Madeline Stowe looks fantastic.

CSI (CBS) Season Premiere: Ted Danson joins the cast as the new boss! Other than that, same show.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC) Season Premiere: Christopher Meloni is out! Other than that, same show.

Also new tonight:
The Middle, Modern Family (season premieres, ABC); Harry’s Law (season premiere, NBC); Up All Night, Free Agents (NBC); Survivor: South Pacific (CBS); H8R, America’s Next Top Model (The CW); Ghost Hunters, Paranormal Witness (Syfy); I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant, Toddlers & Tiaras (TLC); The Ultimate Fighter, Blue Mountain State (Spike); The Hour (BBC America); Top Chef: Just Desserts (Bravo)

Season 7 premiere: Tense times at Criminal Minds high …

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

TV Tonight: New Girl, Glee, Body of Proof, Unforgettable

What’s new tonight:
New Girl (Fox) Series Debut: A dorkette (Zooey Deschanel) moves in with three dudes and … you’ve seen the promos a hundred times; do I really need to go into this? Sure, she found said dudes on Craigslist, and their only employment seems to be playing pickup basketball, but this could totally last 13 weeks.

Glee (Fox) Season Premiere: There’ll be singing, dancing (or wheeling) and drama at McKinley High! Again! Oh, and Sue (Jane Lynch) is running for congress.

Body of Proof (ABC) Season Premiere: America’s favorite MILF redhead (Dana Delany) is back on the medical examiner case—tonight’s being set in the not-so-idyllic suburbs. No, it’s not Wisteria Lane … is it?

Unforgettable (CBS) Series Debut: America’s soon-to-be-favorite MILF newly-redhead (Poppy Montgomery) is on the case as The Rememberer, or The Lady Mentalist. Basically, she remembers everything, and this helps solve crimes. Just go with it.

Also new tonight:
NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles (season premieres, CBS); Raising Hope (season premiere, Fox); The Biggest Loser (season premiere, NBC); Parenthood (NBC); Tosh.0, Workaholics (season premieres, Comedy Central); Dancing With the Stars (ABC); 90210, Ringer (The CW); Kathy Griffin: Pants Off, The Rachel Zoe Project (Bravo); Teen Mom, Awkward (MTV); Web Therapy (Showtime)

New Girl: She’s adorable, quirky, naïve and quirky!

Monday, September 19, 2011

TV Tonight: 2 Broke Girls, Playboy Club, Charlie Sheen Roast

What’s new tonight:
2 Broke Girls (CBS) Series Debut: Since it premieres after the mega-hyped Two & a Half Men return with Ashton Kutcher (yes, that’s still happening), 2 Broke Girls will easily be the highest-rated new-series debut of the 2011-12 season—it doesn’t even have to be better than (blech) Mike & Molly, it just has to fill the 22 minutes between commercials. Fortunately, it’s as smart, charming and funny as you can expect from a laugh-tracked sitcom anymore (which bodes well for creator/producer Whitney Cummings’ upcoming Whitney, also a studio-audience throwback). This is almost entirely due to stars Kat Dennings (as snarky, “dead-inside” Max Black) and Beth Behrs’ (as newly destitute ex-socialite Caroline Channing) instant, easy chemistry as working-stiff waitresses and the show’s subtly authentic touches (finally, a shithole New York City apartment that looks like a shithole New York City apartment). Never mind that Saturday Night Live O.G. Garrett Morris is awkwardly shoehorned in as the diner’s wacky cashier (who owed him a favor?), 2 Broke Girls works. Unlike ...

The Playboy Club (NBC/KMYU 2.2) Series Debut: Damn. You don’t even know how big a favor local NBC affiliate KSL 5 is doing all of us by, however hypocritically, refusing to air The Playboy Club: It’s nowhere near as dirty as some shows KSL currently runs without question, and it’s the most convoluted pilot The Only TV Column That Matters™ has suffered through since last year’s sucktastic The Cape (which now looks like a model of restraint and common sense in comparison). As with ABC’s new Pan Am, this is a network jumping on the Mad Men retro-’60s bandwagon waaay too late, and then having the balls to pose it as “historical,” “suspenseful” and “not at all like an idiotic Lifetime Movie Network reject.” Mad Men touched on ’60s themes like women’s rights, racism, homosexuality and severely shellacked hair (star Eddie Cibrian could be Don Draper’s little brother from special ed) over four seasons; The Playboy Club beats you over the head with them all in the first episode, then throws in a mob-murder subplot, smarmy Hugh Hefner voiceovers and period musical-act imposters (first up: Ike & Tina Turner!). Too much, too stoopid, too bad you might still happen across KMYU 2.2. (What's on KSL instead? We Are Utah!)

The Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen (Comedy Central) It’s the end of the line for the crazy train: Charlie Sheen choked on the Emmys last night, and this Roast is essentially the death knell for whatever career he somehow still believes he has ahead of him. Even the roasting “stars” bench is shallow: Amy Shumer? Patrice O’Neal? Kate Walsh? At least Jon Lovitz, William Shatner and Slash showed up to lend some cred to this bloated 97-minute (!) spectacle that’s already several months too late. Sure, Sheen could rise again, a la Robert Downy Jr., but he could also be looking at a looong stretch as the new Andrew Dice Clay—and Entourage ain’t on anymore.

Also new tonight:
Dancing With the Stars, Castle (season premieres, ABC); How I Met Your Mother, Two & a Half Men, Hawaii Five-0 (season premieres, CBS); The Sing-Off (season premiere, NBC); Hell’s Kitchen (season finale, Fox); The Protector (series finale, Lifetime); Eureka, Warehouse 13, Alphas (Syfy); Basketball Wives L.A. (VH1); American Pickers, Pawn Stars (History); The Bad Girls Club, Hair Battle Spectacular (Oxygen); The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (Bravo); Top Gear (BBC America); Ridiculousness, Death Valley, Cuff’d (MTV); Weeds, The Big C (Showtime)

2 Broke Girls: They’re like Laverne & Shirley … with filthy, filthy mouths.