I LOVE TELEVISION 


;Auggghh!! OK! Fine! Nobody panic! I thought I had at least three more weeks of dicking around until the new fall season of shows and specials, but APPARENTLY someone forgot to inform me they're starting … ohhhh … right about … NOW. But hey! It's cool … I mean, I have no idea what any of these shows are about — but when has that ever stopped me? I've made a career out of bullshitting my way through TV columns. And the best part? No one can call me on my bullshit, because that would mean admitting they actually watch TV! HA! I win again!

;

;And with that, let's get to this week's debuts …

;

;• The Fantasia Barrino Story: Life Is Not a Fairy Tale (Lifetime, 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19). Just in case you were thinking that winning American Idol is the greatest thing since a combination of oral sex and Steak-umm sandwiches — you're WRONG. As Idol winner Barrino demonstrates in this TV movie based on her life, the road to becoming a quickly forgotten reality-show superstar is paved with drugs, sexual abuse and mean comments from Simon Cowell. And be sure to catch next week's Lifetime movie, The Clay Aiken Story: Life Is So Too a Fairy Tale.

;;• Vanished (Fox, 9 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21). In this new series, the wife of a Georgia congressman is kidnapped, and it's up to two shit-hot FBI agents (E.R.'s Ming-Na and Queer as Folk's Gale Harold) to track her down. However! As it turns out, the victim has a shady past, which is directly tied to a creepy secret society. (Ooh! Just like in The Da Vinci Code!) What? Are secret societies and kidnappings too HEAVY for you? Well, like Fantasia says, "Life ain't no fairy tale, bitch!"

;;• JC Penney Jam: The Concert for America's Kids (CBS, 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22). If I were a kid? And my parents forced me to go to this concert? I WOULD EITHER BLOW MY FREAKING BRAINS OUT OR SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE SHOOTING UP HEROIN. Omigod, where to begin: First of all, attending any kids' concert called the "JC Penney Jam" is giving every school bully in the world an open invitation to shove your head down a toilet. Second, here are some of the artists performing at this "concert for kids": C&W hillbilly Kenny Chesney, Jon Bon Jovi, Sting and that blind opera guy Andrea Bocelli. Hey, guys! I think you forgot Phil Collins and Liza Minnelli! Kids are crazy for any singer over the age of 120!

;

;And worst of all? The concert is hosted by the Antichrist himself, DR. PHIL. You gotta be fawking kidding me! I wouldn't let my kid anywhere near that fat-ass pseudo-psychologist. Why? Because a) I'd be afraid he would sit on her, and b) if his fat ass didn't kill her, I'd be afraid he'd bore her to death.

;

;But then again … maybe this concert could provide an important lesson every kid needs — because as we know, "LIFE IS NOT A FAIRY TALE." And if Fantasia Barrino could crawl out from under Dr. Phil's ass, she'd tell you that, too.

;

;Dr. Phil is not a fairy tale, either …

;;;;

THIS WEEK ON THE BOOB TOOB;

;;;;

;THURSDAY, AUG. 17

;;9 p.m. NBC AMERICA'S GOT TALENT

;;Season finale! The winner gets a million dollars, and David Hasselhoff gets shipped back to Germany.

;;

;10 p.m. FX IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA

;;Season finale! The gang ends big Season Two with something so offensive, they're too offended to say what it is.

;;

;FRIDAY, AUG. 18

;;8 p.m. FOX SPIDER-MAN

;

;(Movie, 2002) Toby Maguire stars as a teen who gets powers from a radioactive spider — WHICH DOESN'T WORK IN REAL LIFE, BTW. (I tried.)

;;

;SATURDAY, AUG. 19

;;9 p.m. LIF THE FANTASIA BARRINO STORY

;

;Sure, life isn't a fairy tale — but it could be worse. You could be Justin Guarini!

;;

;10 p.m. VH1 I LOVE THE '70S, VOL. 2

;;An in-depth report on 1978, including Devo, the original Battlestar Galactica and those awesome ABC After School Specials!

;;

;SUNDAY, AUG. 20

;;8 p.m. FOX TEEN CHOICE AWARDS

;

;Featuring Rihanna (EEEEE!), Nelly Furtado (EEEEE!) and a performance by … KEVIN FEDERLINE? (TOTALLY BARF!)

;;

;10 p.m. COM THE WILLIAM SHATNER ROAST

;;Comedians make fun of Star Trek's William Shatner. Right … pick on the fat guy!

;;

;MONDAY, AUG. 21

;8 p.m. FOX PRISON BREAK

;;Season premiere! Bellick leads the guards on a hunt for the escaped prisoners — luckily they left a trail of BOOOORING!

;;

;9 p.m. FOX VANISHED

;;Debut! A congressman's wife is kidnapped, and all signs point to a huge conspiracy! I personally blame Sasquatch.

;;

;TUESDAY, AUG. 22

;

;;10 p.m. OXY BREAKING UP WITH SHANNEN DOHERTY

;

;Debut! Though I would love to break up with her, Shannen shows other people how to break up.

;;

;10p.m. VH1 THE FLAVOR OF LOVE

;

;To help find his one true love, Flav challenges the girls to clean up his messy friend's house. Run, girls, RUN!

;;

;WEDNESDAY, AUG. 23

;;8 p.m. PBS AMERICAN MASTERS

;

;After director Elia Kazan is grilled for being a Commie, playwright Arthur Miller turns against his old friend.

;;

;10:30 p.m. MTV TWO-A-DAYS

;;Debut! A documentary series on Alabama high school football. (Something only slightly less scary than wearing meat underpants in a dog pound.)

; steve@portlandmercury.com

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