I LOVE TELEVISION 


Now, I wouldn't say I worship "evil" — but I wouldn't kick it out of bed for eating crackers, either. If you ask me, evil gets a bum rap. I mean, sure, it makes certain people uncomfortable … but those complainers are usually on the receiving end of evil. The rest of us who like to inflict evil — or watch it be inflicted on others — think it's awesome.

But, generally speaking, Americans don't do so well with "evil." It's so ingrained into our consciousness that we should avoid committing evil that, when we try something satanic in nature, it's usually a bust. Take TV, for example. Name one American TV show that excels in portraying evil stuff. HA! YOU CAN'T! "But wait," I hear you cry, "you really didn't give me a chance to …" HA! THAT'S BECAUSE YOU DON'T KNOW "EVIL" FROM YOUR ELBOW! (BTW, "interrupting people" is a fun and quick method of inserting "evilness" into your busy day.)

Now, the British? They know what "evil" is all about. Maybe it's because their country is so much older and they grew up with all those creepy fairy tales and monster stories, but they know how to make "evil" fun! Especially on TV! For example, if you haven't checked out Hex (10 p.m. Thursday, BBC America), you are missing one of the most evil and, more important, SEXY shows on television. The story revolves around a hot boarding school student who learns she's a reincarnated witch. Plus she has a lesbian ghost roommate and gets it on with an evil angel from hell! It's kind of like Buffy the Vampire Slayer … crossed with late-night Cinemax!

Then there's my absolute FAVE British "evil" show, called Garth Marenghi's Darkplace (10 p.m. Thursday, Sci-Fi), and … you'll just have to bear with the following description. Garth Marenghi is a bestselling Stephen King—style horror writer, famous for such books as The Ooze (Can water die?) and Afterbirth (A placenta wants revenge!). In the early '80s, Garth was given his own horror TV show titled Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, which, according to the author, had one sole intention: "To change the evolutionary course of man over a series of half-hour episodes." As it turned out, this show was so frightening and controversial that "government authorities" took it off the air forever — that is, until now!

Twenty years later, the original Darkplace episodes are back, hosted by Marenghi himself — who not only wrote the show, but directed and starred in it as well. The plot revolves around gun-toting physician Rick Dagless, M.D. (Marenghi), who battles evil, drippy monsters that lurk behind every door of Darkplace Hospital … and … and … I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE! I admit it: This entire show is fake, FAKE, FAKE! "Garth Marenghi" is actually comedian Matthew Holness, and Darkplace is actually a spot-on parody of AWFUL '80s TV — complete with bizarre haircuts, choppy editing, cheap-ass production values and hilariously stupid writing. But not only is this show laugh-out-loud hee- larious, it's got the same dry wit and charm of The Office and is 100 percent "wink free." So do yourself a favor, Americans! Check out Hex and Garth Marenghi's Darkplace — just like me, they make "evil" fun again!

Make a date with … EEEEVIL!

steve@portlandmercury.com

THIS WEEK ON THE BOOB TOOB

THURSDAY, Aug. 10

8:30 p.m. NBC THE OFFICE Dwight takes tips on public speaking from … Mussolini??

10 p.m. SCI GARTH MARENGHI'S DARKPLACE Two back-to-back episodes of this hilarious, intentionally awful creepshow cheese-fest!

FRIDAY, Aug. 11

8 p.m. FOX AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER (Movie, 2002) When Powers' pop is captured by Dr. Evil, Austin sashays to the rescue.

SATURDAY, Aug. 12

8 p.m. MTV LAGUNA BEACH MARATHON Kristin, LC and Jason give shallowness a good name in this marathon of Laguna Beach episodes!

9 p.m. VH1 TUPAC: RESURRECTION (Movie, 2003) Director Lauren Lazin's documentary on the life and murder of rap icon Tupac.

SUNDAY, Aug. 13

10 p.m. NBC BATTLESTAR GALACTICA Don't have cable? Find out what all the nerds have been screaming about with this awesome BSG repeat on NBC!

10 p.m. TOON THE VENTURE BROTHERS The Phantom Limb and Dr. Girlfriend go on a double date with the Monarch and a girl he met on the Internet. Let's just leave it at that.

MONDAY, Aug. 14

8 p.m. FOX HELL'S KITCHEN Season finale! Chef Ramsay finally decides which "fucking donkey" will get his or her own restaurant.

10 p.m. A&E GENE SIMMONS' FAMILY JEWELS Gene panics when Shannon decides she wants another baby. Hey, we're panicking, too!

TUESDAY, Aug. 15

10 p.m. FX RESCUE ME After a fight over their living situation, Tommy's dad runs away from home!

10 p.m. VH1 THE FLAVOR OF LOVE Flav takes three of the women on a "group date"; something really icky ensues.

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16

8 p.m. ABC AMERICA'S GOT TALENT The final contestants perform. (Hold on, Hoff! You only have to stay sober for one more episode!)

10 p.m. MTV LAGUNA BEACH: THE REAL ORANGE COUNTY Season premiere! It's a brand new cast of rich kids with two things on their mind: sex and making fun of poor people!


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