Sunday, Nov. 21 (Adult Swim)
One-Hour Season Finale: The Only TV Column That Matters™ has been writing about Cartoon Network and Adult Swim for over a decade now (yes, that is a substantial waste of time—but, as my long-dead parents would point out, not a college education). Given another 10 … [shudder] … I’ll never, ever understand Adult Swim’s insistence on splitting certain series’ seasons in half and forcing fans to wait nearly a year for conclusion. Case in point: Season 4 of The Venture Bros. began in October 2009, left off in December ’09, resumed in September 2010, stopped one episode short in October, and now finally wraps up a month later. Is this any way to treat one of, if not the, best animated shows ever? Anyway, in the S4 finale (and first full-hour episode), Dr. Venture throws Hank and Dean “the best home-school prom $500 can buy” and sets off an epic battle between SPHINX and OSI. Here’s looking forward to Season 5 in 2011 … and Season 5.5 sometime in 2012.
The Futurama Holiday Spectacular
Sunday, Nov. 21 (Comedy Central)
Ninety-Minute Holiday Special: The Planet Express crew races to save Xmas, Robanukah and Kwanzaa while dealing with Kringlebot, Kwanzaabot, Al Gore’s head, droidls, fembot wrestlers, albino humping worms and giant space bees, and breaking into the occasional musical number. In other words, it’s the classic Christmas special. I’ve also been writing about Futurama since the ’90s—and once again, no college learnin’ has gone to waste.
Sunday, Nov. 21 (Discovery)
Series Debut: Beer is a wonderful thing; craft beer is an even wonderful-er thing. Brew Masters is a reality series about Delaware’s Dogfish Head Brewery and founder Sam Calagione’s meticulous quest to brew the ultimate beers—you might actually learn something by watching it, which is why it’s on Discovery and not lost-cause sister network TLC (aka The Lurid Channel). This isn’t purely ale academia, but Brew Masters isn’t wall-to-wall Ace of Cakes workplace wackiness, either: Calagione is less a TV entertainer than a straight-up beer geek whose passion for the craft comes through easily. Wonder what kind of show they could have built around Wasatch Beers’ Greg Schirf.
The Sister Wives Honeymoon Special
Sunday, Nov. 21 (TLC)
But nooo—they award shows to Utah assclowns like Kody Brown. TLC milks the inexplicable success of Sister Wives with this slapped-together “special” that follows Brown and Sucker, er, Wife No. 4, on a romantic getaway to that exotic paradise known as San Diego, while the other three stay home in Lehi and ponder their future spin-offs, uh, eternal unions—a whole hour of this. Paired with Sarah Palin’s Alaska, The Lobotomy Channel may be contributing more to the dumbing-down of America than E!, VH1 and Fox News combined. Or this column.
Skating With the Stars
Monday, Nov. 22 (ABC)
Series Debut: We’re going to need a re-clarification on the term “star”: Dancing With the Stars’ Bristol Palin is the daughter of a star, but the only thing she’s done on her own is get knocked up by an unemployed jackass—by that definition, your neighborhood Walmart is Star Academy. ABC’s “new” Skating With the “Stars” has Motley Crue’s Vince Neil, nutjob actress Sean Young and four more D-listers you couldn’t pick out of a TMZ lineup. Upside: There’s always the chance someone could get fatally sliced with an ice-skate blade. Come on, Bethenny Frankel!