I LOVE TELEVISION 


Dancing With the Stars returns this week for another season — and this time it's going to be a bona fide marijuana freakout! The reason I love this show (which pairs pro dancers with washed-up celebs) is because something fa-REAKY happens on nearly every episode: If it's not somebody's boobies falling out, then it's the revelation of a contestant and his partner sleeping together. Then if it's not someone leaving the show because her husband got caught watching porn on his computer, it's the host introducing the former president of Zambia who is inexplicably sitting in the audience. WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT?!? David Hasselhoff, nude — making out with a wolverine?

Anyway, the premiere of ABC's Dancing With the Stars is 8 p.m. Monday, March 19 — and if this year's cast of crazy has-beens is any indication, this could be the looniest season EVER. Here's the lineup: In the "Washed-up Entertainer" category there's Billy Ray Cyrus (who somehow escaped public execution for his one-hit-wonder, "Achy Breaky Heart"), Joey Fatone (who most 'N Sync fans refer to as "you know … the fat one"), John Ratzenberger (aka Cliff from Cheers, aka "the least employable actor in Hollywood") and Ian Ziering (who, after appearing as Steve on Beverly Hills 90210, was last seen taking out his garbage wearing slippers and a robe).

In the "Washed-up Sports Star" category there's Clyde Drexler (never heard of him … apparently he's some sort of basketball player), Laila Ali (the almost-famous daughter of the very famous Muhammad Ali) and Apolo Anton Ohno (a champion speed skater, which is even less of a sport than ballroom dancing). Did I mention I don't like sports very much?

Then there's the always-popular "Women I Might Like to Pork" category, which includes Shandi Finnessey (a former Miss USA winner who loses major points because there are no nude pictures of her on the Internet), Paulina Porizkova (who was a supermodel back in the mid-'80s and now looks like John Ratzenberger. Jeez … since when is it a crime to make a joke?) and Leeza Gibbons (the former host of Entertainment Tonight — who also made cameo appearances in all the RoboCop films! AWESOME! I hope she does a RoboCop dance).

HOWEVER! This year there's also a subcategory titled "She's Only Got One Leg," and it features Paul McCartney's one-legged ex-wife, Heather Mills (who is most famous for … umm … did I mention she was married to Paul McCartney and only has one leg?). Anyway, you can mark my words: The inclusion of a one-legged celebrity in this dance competition is going to cause BIG PROBLEMS. First of all, she's going to stay on the show FOREVER even if she sucks, because voters won't want to appear "anti-handi-capable." Secondly, you just know that the second she finishes a shitty performance, that wooden leg is going to mysteriously come flying off. Then she'll be all, "Oh, boo-hoo-hoo! I totally would've killed that samba — if my leg hadn't fallen off."

WELL, I'M WATCHING YOU, LITTLE MISS ONE-LEG! And if you do anything to cheat fat Joey Fatone out of his victory? I'm sending in nude David Hasselhoff — AND his wolverine!

Sweep the leg, Heather!

steve@portlandmercury.com

steve@portlandmercury.com

steve@portlandmercury.com

THIS WEEK ON THE BOOB TOOB

THURSDAY, MARCH 15

9:30 p.m. NBC ANDY BARKER, P.I.

Debut! Andy Richter makes another stab at fame in this accountant-turned-private-eye sitcom.

10 p.m. ABC OCTOBER ROAD

Debut! A successful author returns to his hometown to discover everyone thinks he's a big, dumb dick.

10 p.m. NBC RAINES

Debut! Poor Jeff Goldblum stars as a detective who hallucinates his way to solving crimes. Five bucks says it's gone in four episodes.

FRIDAY, MARCH 16

10 p.m. A&E INTERVENTION

Season premiere! The buzz-stomping series returns with the most surprising twist yet: a musician who's an addict!

SATURDAY, MARCH 17

8 p.m. ABC CELEBRITY A-LIST BLOOPERS

Britney shaves head, Paris exposes genitals, Lindsay goes to rehab — see? Famous people are just like us!

11:30 p.m. NBC SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

Hosted by former SNL-er Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Maybe they're giving her another opportunity to be funny?

SUNDAY, MARCH 18

9 p.m. ABC DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES

The classic episode where Lynette is taken hostage in the grocery store!

10 p.m. SCIFI BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

Part one of two! The trial of Dr. Baltar begins, and the Galactica uses a time machine to bring in Johnny Cochran.

MONDAY, MARCH 19

8 p.m. ABC DANCING WITH THE STARS

Season premiere! Billy Ray Cyrus is disqualified when his arm falls off.

9 p.m. FOX 24

The Russian consulate is still pissed at Jack, so to punish him they send in Yakov Smirnoff. "What a country!"

TUESDAY, MARCH 20

8 p.m. FOX AMERICAN IDOL

Join me and the rest of America in voting off all the great singers! Let the American Idol bloodbath continue!

9 p.m. A&E DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER

Season premiere! He's America's most lovable bounty hunter— unless you're a criminal on the run.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14

8 p.m. CBS SURVIVOR: FIJI

A special Wednesday episode that you won't watch any more than a Thursday episode.

10 p.m. ABC LOST

The Others offer to share all the island's secrets with Locke — but like the rest of us, he lost all interest last season.


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