THE TV WITH TWO BRAINS 


O, how I marvel at thee, TV! One moment, you're giving us such pristine joys as Lost and Arrested Development; the next, you shove our faces in the rotting garbage piles of Two and a Half Men and Joey. You're like my former bipolar lover, who would burst into tears every time we had sex. (At least I think she was bipolar … I can say some pretty cruel things in the sack!) Anyway, this week's crop of new and returning shows clearly demonstrates that the brains of network executives are equally filled with brilliance and the droppings from a particularly retarded donkey.

Returning this week is the annoying ER (NBC, 10 p.m. Thursday), as well as the less annoying but still hugely overrated Desperate Housewives (ABC, 9 p.m. Sunday). Also on Sunday, say hello to another season of the formerly great, now crappy West Wing (NBC, 8 p.m.), and the AWESOME and still getting better Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO, 10 p.m.). On Tuesday, it's the return of the mystifyingly popular Amazing Race (CBS, 9 p.m.); finally, on Wednesday, get ready to cream those jeans, because America's favorite teen sleuth, Veronica Mars (UPN, 9 p.m.), is back with more sassy detective work – as well as new cast members Charisma "Angel" Carpenter and Steve "Police Academy" Guttenberg! EEEEEEE! OMIGOD! KILL ME NOW!!

Actually, don't kill me, because I need to check out the following new series.

Everybody Hates Chris (UPN, 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept 22) Comedian Chris Rock narrates this Wonder Years-esque tale of 13-year-old Chris moving to Brooklyn and being bussed to an all-white school. HUMPY'S TAKE: First Veronica Mars, now Everybody Hates Chris. UPN is batting 1,000, and it's time to sit up and take notice … you jive cracker HONKY!

Criminal Minds (CBS, 10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22) Mandy Patinkin (Chicago Hope and those cholesterol-medication commercials) stars as a behavioral analyst charged with tracking down serial killers. HUMPY'S TAKE: CBS thinks it's being all "cutting edge," but serial killers chopping up girls is soooo 1992. And since when did the Touched by an Angel audience become so interested in female mutilation?

Ghost Whisperer (CBS, 8 p.m. Friday, Sept 23) Jennifer Love Hewitt (Party of Five) mysteriously finds employment again as a woman who helps ghosts find "closure." HUMPY'S TAKE: While I don't "see" dead people, I can certainly smell them – and this show stinks like John Belushi after three days in the sun.

Extras (HBO, 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept 25) Yay! It's Ricky Gervais (the original star of The Office) in a new series about being a movie extra. HUMPY'S TAKE: While it ain't The Office, the situations are just as hilariously awkward and embarrassing. With guest stars like Ben Stiller and Kate Winslet!

Commander-in-Chief (ABC, 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept 27) When the president up and croaks, it's up to VP Geena Davis to bring our fractured country together again. (Sniff.) HUMPY'S TAKE: When it comes to picking the person who'll have "their finger on the button," I'd choose Geena Davis over Dick Cheney any day. (Particularly if "the button" is my PROSTATE. Ka-ZING!)

Let's get bipolar!
steve@portlandmercury.com

THIS WEEK ON THE BOOB TOOB

THURSDAY, SEPT. 22
8 p.m. NBC MUST SEE TV PREMIERES
Season Premieres! This is your stomach's cue to churn in agony over the return of Joey, The Apprentice and ER.

9 p.m. ABC DANCING WITH THE STARS: DANCE-OFF RESULTS!
America has voted, and tonight we'll see who wins the dance-off: John O'Hurley or that talentless tart Kelly Monaco.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 23
9 p.m. NBC THREE WISHES
Season Premiere! A manipulative show featuring Christian singer Amy Grant granting poor families three wishes. (Whatever happened to Jesus granting wishes?)

10 p.m. SCIFI BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
Season Finale! The Galactica crew discovers another battlestar – and it's filled with assholes!

SATURDAY, SEPT. 24
8 p.m. ABC CATCH ME IF YOU CAN – Movie
(2002) Leo DiCaprio stars as identity-switching con man on the run from FBI agent/nerd Tom Hanks.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 25
9 p.m. ABC DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
Season Premiere! Creepy Zach holds Susan hostage … and who's the new black neighbor?

10 p.m. HBO CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM
Season Premiere! Larry David returns in the most hilarious, misanthropic show on TV!

MONDAY, SEPT. 26
8 p.m. FOX ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT
Michael is totally in love with his new English girlfriend. Now if only something could be done about her teeth …

9 p.m. FOX PRISON BREAK
In danger of being transferred to another prison, Michael cranks up his escape plan.

TUESDAY, SEPT. 27
9 p.m. WB SUPERNATURAL
In a show that doesn't suck as much as I initially feared, the brothers investigate some mysterious drownings .

9:30 p.m. NBC THE OFFICE
When his pal Todd shows up at the office, Michael becomes more inappropriate than ever.

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 28
9 p.m. UPN VERONICA MARS
Season Premiere! Veronica's on the case when Wallace mysteriously tests positive for goofballs.

9 p.m. ABC LOST
Sawyer, Michael and Jin discover a new predator in the ocean: torpedo-launching invisible polar bears!

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