Saturday, Feb. 25 (BBC America)
Season Premiere: Mitchell the dirty Irish vampire is gone, as is Nina the she-werewolf; her werewolf boyfriend/baby daddy, George (Russell Tovey), is on his way out; ghost Annie (Lenora Critchlow) remains; a new vamp (Damien Molony) and wolf (returning Michael Socha) are moving into the Wales B&B; and wolfie-baby Eve is apparently the new messiah who’ll save the world from the impending vampire takeover—got all that? Season 4 of the original U.K. Being Human is no longer the same quaint little supernatural shack-up series that made such a splash in 2009, but if things never get shaken up, you just have, well, Syfy’s Americanized version (which has, admittedly, gotten pretty good—but these apocalyptic plot extremes? Not going to happen). You can waste time being sentimental about the old show, but the new Being Human is just as funny, scary and unpredictable as ever. And yes, the new Brit vampire is also cooler than Syfy’s.
Black Forest, Witchslayer Gretl
Saturday, Feb. 25 (Syfy)
Movie Double Feature: What’s better/worse than one new Saturday-night Syfy movie? Two back-to-back new Saturday-night Syfy movies! Continuing Syfy’s questionable neo-tradition of “re-imagining” classic fairytales, Black Forest drops some unsuspecting tourists (including … Tinsel Korey? That’s a name?) into said enchanted forest to fight their way out against murderous/ridiculous storybook characters; in Witchslayer Gretl’s totally different, ill-advised forest vacation-spot, grown-up Hansel (Paul McGillion) discovers that his ol’ nemesis witch’s new apprentice is his—dun-dun-duh!—believed-dead sister, Gretl (believed-dead Shannen Doherty). Does either flick make a damned bit of sense? Did their combined budget exceed the cost of a gently used 1971 Buick Skylark? Does Doherty resemble a not-so-gently used stripper from the brunch shift who goes by the name “Tinsel”? No, no, and, where do you think she’s been working since Charmed?
2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards
Saturday, Feb. 25 (IFC)
What’s more awkward than the title of Film Independent Spirit Awards? Probably this year’s host: Seth Rogen. The former Independent Spirit Awards was a freewheeling, free-pouring affair in years past—but then it started attracting viewers, so IFC of course had to “mainstream” it and make it “formal” and “not as drunk,” blah blah blah. And then there are the sponsorships: Having the whole affair branded by Stella Artois (aka “Bud in a Green Bottle”) was just the first step; now, there’s the Audi “Someone to Watch” Award (new filmmaker), the Nokia “Truer Than Fiction” Award (new documentary filmmaker) and the Jameson “Find Your Audience” Award (marketing bucks for low-budget productions), among others. All nice, corporate gestures, but how long before we hear “And the Cialis ‘Throbbing Member’ Award for supporting actor goes to … Phillip Seymour Hoffman”? Just sayin’.
The 84th Annual Academy Awards
Sunday, Feb. 26 (ABC)
On the other hand, the Spirit Awards are still far better than the Oscars—host Billy Crystal? Really? The Only TV Column That Matters™ will forgo the easy “What year is it?” jokes to say this: The Academy Awards are an even bigger joke than the Grammys (admit it—you’ve already forgotten who won those this year), a pretentious fashion show watched by film-ignorant pinheads who’ve camped out for every Twilight movie but couldn’t tell you where the Broadway Theatre is (hint: It’s on Broadway). Incidentally, True TV and Big Shiny Robot’s weekly, free Sunday showing of The Walking Dead at Brewvies (677 S. 200 West, 21+) will moved to the bar area because a certain Mouth-Off show about Big Movies is holding a damned Oscars party in the theater. Not bitter, not bitter at all ...