LET'S HEAR IT FOR VICODIN 


Screw television. I'm renaming this column "I `heart` Vicodin." Normally, I'm not a big fan of dental work – but if it inspires my dentist to ladle out bottles and bottles of these wonderful pills? Sign me up for root canals for the rest of the year!

You know, a lot of people complain about Vicodin, crying, "Wah! Wah! Because of Vicodin, my wife left me!" or, "Wah! Wah! Because of Vicodin, I lost my job!" But so far it's done nothing but help my career. As it turns out, a couple Vicodin and a tumbler of vodka makes this new season of TV shows not only bearable but hella freakin' AWESOME! The new season of Joey? LOVE IT. Two thumbs up! That new reality show where Christian singer Amy Grant gives poor people three wishes? IT GAVE ME A BONER. Kudos to you, Amy Grant … and your generous pal, Jesus Christ. Before Vicodin came along, I thought both of you were full of shit!

But anyhoo, the first week of October BLOWS when it comes to television. All the best shows have already debuted, and it's the last week of normal television before the baseball playoffs come along and ruin everything! But lucky for me, I have a nice big bottle of Vicodin standing at the ready, which will magically transport me to a colorful, happy land where the following new shows won't suck hippo dick.

Night Stalker (ABC, 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29) Yes, this is based on one of Humpy's favorite shows of all time, originally starring that magnificent bastard Darren McGavin. In this version, reporter Carl Kolchak (Stuart Townsend) is young, hot and sexy – yet spends much of his time chasing down ghosties and vampires instead of bag- ging booty. HUMPY'S TAKE: Wildly mixed reviews make this one a coin toss, but I'm guessing it'll only take half a Vicodin to make it worth watching.

Close to Home (CBS, 10 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4) Just when you were about to say, "Boy, I sure could go for another legal drama," your wish has been granted. Thankfully, this series delivers a slightly new twist: The prosecutor is a Midwestern working mom who cracks down on suburban creeps who commit domestic violence. HUMPY'S TAKE: The gasbags over at TV Guide LOVE this show, which means Humpy will HATE IT. However, I'll take two Vicodin and give it a shot.

Freddie (ABC, 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5) Witness former screen idol Freddie Prinze Jr.'s excruciatingly long fall to a crappy TV sitcom, in which he plays a chef controlled by the many women in his life. Ha. Ha. Ha. HUMPY'S TAKE: Hmmm … my dentist told me I really shouldn't take more than two of these things … oh, WHAT THE HELL! I love me some Freddie!

Related (WB, 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5) Four very different sisters reunite to bicker, laugh and learn to love each other all over again. HUMPY'S TAKE: Omigod. There's not enough Vicodin in the world to make me stomach this show! Quick! Call my dentist and see if he performs lobotomies!

Oh, yeah … "Kids shouldn't do drugs." Happy?
steve@portlandmercury.com

THIS WEEK ON THE BOOB TOOB

THURSDAY, SEPT. 29
8 P.M. ABC ALIAS
Season Premiere!Syd learns Vaughn might be a double agent – and a double deadbeat dad!

8 P.M. WB SMALLVILLE
Season Premiere! Clark is stuck in the icy "Fortress of Solitude," which means no shirtless scenes.

8 P.M. FOX THE O.C.
Marissa is forced into an unthinkably horrible situation: attending public school!

FRIDAY, SEPT. 30
8:30 P.M. FOX MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE
Season Premiere! Malcolm and Reese learn the horror of hippies at Burning Man.

10 P.M. FX NIP/TUCK
Christian and Liz perform cosmetic surgery on an ape – and then have a threesome.

SATURDAY, OCT. 1
11:30 P.M. NBC SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Season Premiere! The hilarious Steve Carell hosts, along with musical guest and Bush-basher Kanye West!

SUNDAY, OCT. 2
8 P.M. VH1 BRITNEY SPEARS' SECRET CHILDHOOD
An exploration of Brit's hillbilly past – with special expert commentary from yours truly, Wm.™ Steven Humpy!

10 P.M. HBO CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM
After learning he may have been adopted, Larry goes on a spiritual journey of annoyance.

MONDAY, OCT. 3
8 P.M. FOX ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT
Rita (Charlize Theron) is under the impression Michael doesn't have a family – until the Bluths invite her to a family party.

TUESDAY, OCT. 4
9 P.M. NBC MY NAME IS EARL
Earl tries to make good on an immoral gambling bet in this very funny new sitcom.

9:30 P.M. NBC THE OFFICE
While Michael and Dwight are away, Jim and Pam organize the office Olympics!

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 5
8 P.M. WB ONE TREE HILL
Season Premiere! For those who give a crap that this boring show is back for another season … it's back for another season.

9 P.M. ABC LOST
Jack, Locke and Kate learn more about the mysterious hatch, and Michael, Sawyer and Jin learn more about the assholes who kidnapped them.

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