Sunday, Nov. 14 (HBO)
Season Finale: It’s a more subtle comedy than Eastbound & Down—then again, what isn’t more subtle than Eastbound & Down?—but Season 2 of Bored to Death has proven that Brooklyn is the funniest borough of New York, or at least the most petty-crime-ridden. Writer-turned-sorta-detective Jonathan (Jason Schwartzman), his comic-book-illustrator friend Ray (Zach Galifianakis) and magazine editor George (Ted Danson) have solved several quirky cases of the heart this season, but the oddest development has been the rise of Ray’s career (thanks to his cartoon alter ego Super Ray, who gained superpowers by touching his dick to the third subway rail), which comes to a, er, head in tonight’s season finale when Ray attends the Brooklyn Comic-Con (in a Super Ray costume, no less). Will Ray’s crazed stalker assassinate him? Will Jonathan win his latest battle with nemesis Louis? Will George keep his job at the rapidly downsizing Edition? Bored to Death has been picked up for a third season in 2011, so the answer to at least a couple of these is “no.” Care for a white wine?
Sarah Palin’s Alaska
Sunday, Nov. 14 (TLC)
Series Debut: The former Learning Channel found its post-Jon & Kate hype in the godawful Sister Wives this summer, and Sarah Palin’s Alaska was in the news before production even started—little people, you’d better find a new network. Whether or not you believe Palin to be a folksy idiot who stumbled onto the international platform and now makes a cushy living being said folksy idiot (usually the reality show comes first—she really is a rugged individualist), there’s no denying that Sarah Palin’s Alaska showcases a picturesque part of the country that would otherwise be relegated to the old TLC (when it was all boring and learn-y). And as future presidential-campaign propaganda goes, it’s at least more entertaining than Fox News’ coma-inducing Huckabee.
Weeds, The Big C
Monday, Nov. 15 (Showtime)
Season Finales: Something’s gone awry with national airport security if it’s easier for the Sons of Anarchy to get to Europe than it is for the Botwin family. (Is it really a spoiler to spill that Nancy, Andy, Silas, Shane and Stevie Ray won’t make it out of the country? Season 7 in Denmark would have been a stretch even for Weeds.) Season 6 ends with a typically tense cliffhanger, a no-way-out situation for Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) that may or may not seal her already solid position as the Worst Mother in TV History—but at least there’s never a dull moment on Weeds. Segue to The Big C: What began as a promising medium-to-dark comedy about a 40-something woman (Laura Linney) diagnosed with cancer has devolved into such a stunningly sugary snoozefest, The Only TV Column That Matters™ wouldn’t be surprised if the already-confirmed second season premieres in Lifetime instead of Showtime next year.
Wednesday, Nov. 17 (Fox)
Season Premiere: Remember this? The first season aired January-April of this year? Starring good-lookin’ Mark Valley as good-lookin’ Christopher Chance, an assassin-turned-bodyguard-for-hire, with sidekicks Chi McBride and Jackie Earl Haley, plus weekly Hot Actress guest stars? Who could forget Human Target? Fox, apparently: Despite the potential to become the net’s first real post-24 action contender, slotting Human Target at 7 p.m. Wednesdays (where NBC’s similarly spy-slick Undercovers just died) might be as detrimental as the previous plan of sticking it on Fridays with The Good Guys (sigh). Also, two women (Indira Varma and Janet Montgomery) join Team Chance in Season 2, making Human Target look suspiciously like … Leverage? If it ain’t broke, Fox it.