Friday, January 21, 2011

TV Weekend: Fringe, Medium, Buffy, Californication

Posted By on January 21, 2011, 2:08 PM

How great was it to welcome back Community, The Office, Parks & Recreation and 30 Rock on NBC last night? Perfect Couples has potential, and Outsourced … well, five outta six ain’t bad. ---

What’s new this weekend:
Fringe (Fox, tonight) New Night: Traditionally, Fridays are where Fox sci-fi shows go to die—but Fringe already has a sizable built-in audience that’ll (theoretically) follow it anywhere. Besides, The X-Files did just fine here … 15 years ago. Anyway: Christopher Lloyd guest-stars tonight as old rock star (shirtless vest look and all!) from Walter’s (John Noble) favorite ‘70s prog band, and Olivia (Anna Torv) is back to her lovely blonde/bangless self and not at all uncomfortable around her partner (Joshua Jackson) who confessed to unknowingly banging her alternate-universe double for most of the season. Not at all.

Medium (CBS, tonight) Series Finale: Patricia Arquette won’t be seeing dead people anymore—just like Ghost Whisperer before it, Medium is getting axed by CBS in favor of … what exactly are they going to do on Friday nights now? Wall-to-wall CSIs? Sounds like a winner to me.

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena (Starz, tonight) Series Debut: Read all about it in True TV (Item 3).

The Onion News Network, Portlandia (IFC, tonight) Series Debuts: Read all about ‘em in True TV (Item 4).

Also new tonight:
Supernanny (ABC); Kitchen Nightmares (Fox); Merlin, Ghost Adventures (SyFy); Law & Order: UK (BBC America); Real Time With Bill Maher, The Ricky Gervais Show, Funny or Die Presents (HBO); The Soup (E!)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Oxygen, Saturday) 10-Hour Marathon: Since Logo has been running daily Buffy blocks for a month or so now, I’ve been reminded of the genius this series—sure, spin-off Angel was cooler and darker, but Buffy the Vampire Slayer really was the whole Joss Whedon package: Smart, funny, sad, action-packed and surprisingly on-target for the entirety of its seven seasons. This Oxygen marathon concentrates on Season 3—a good ‘un.

An Idiot Abroad (Science Channel, Saturday) Series Debut: Read all about it in True TV (Item 5).

Kourtney & Kim Take New York (E!, Sunday) Series Debut: This is minus the mean, fat one, right? If so, I might be able to check it out … but probably not.

Californication (Showtime, Sunday) After what’s perceived as a suicide attempt, Hank (David Duchovny) is taken back by the not-wife and daughter, even though he really just miscalculated a booze/med ratio. Whatever—he’ll take it. Also tonight, Becca meets her future bandmates, the Queens of Dogtown, and Runkle botches “manscaping” (As Parks & Recreation’s Ron Swanson says, “Only women should shave below the neck”). Californication was just renewed for a fifth season, but it’s going to be tough to top this one—especially when you get a load of next week’s guest weirdo (hint: cocaine and monkeys are involved).

Also new Sunday:
Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters (ABC); American Dad, The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, The Cleveland Show (Fox); The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo); Holly’s World (E!); Episodes, Shameless (Showtime); Big Love (HBO)

Preview: Hank and Karen look for a missing Becca in Sunday’s Californication …

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Bill Frost

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