Kath & Kim Thursday, March 12 (NBC)
Season Finale: What a ride, eh? Kath & Kim debuted hilariously, then ricocheted backand-forth between genius and flat-out sucktasms over 16 episodes—K&K doing roller derby was a winner; K&K doing a blatant infomercial for Wynonna Judd was more embarrassing than Selma Blair’s dim wit and cameltoe are meant to be. If nothing else, Kath & Kim has been a revelation of Blair’s comic chops, proving she can hold her own with deadpan-comedy vet John Michael Higgins (Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, etc.) and upstage Molly Shannon (didn’t she used to be funny?) with a simple eye roll. If Amy Pohler’s Office-non-spin-off Parks & Recreation kills it as predicted next month, don’t expect Kath & Kim to return to NBC Thursdays … or anywhere else.
Jockeys Friday, March 13 (Animal Planet)
Season Finale: If you thought the hottest reality show on cable revolving around 99-pound people and their expensive rides was The Hills, you’ve obviously never heard of Jockeys—OK, let’s just assume you’ve never heard of Jockeys, period. Like any reality show, the danger of a wee person racing a half-ton horse around a track for a living doesn’t provide enough drama, so the cameras must capture their oh-sodamned-fascinating personal lives off the track, and guess what? They’re all flawed egomaniacs! What a shocker! Admittedly, The Only TV Column That Matters™ is just noticing Jockeys because PETA and likemindless animal-rights idiots hate it, but so what? It took the Fondant Liberation Front to get me to check out Ace of Cakes once upon a time.
Kings Sunday, March 15 (NBC)
Series Debut: The biblical story of David and Goliath, set in an alternate-reality, modern-day corporate Kingdom of America? Ruled by Al Swearengen, er, Ian McShane? And it’s not a “Sci-Fi Channel Event,” but a network series? That takes some balls. You might want to catch this on NBC while you can; Kings will probably be burned off on corporate cousins Sci-Fi, USA or even CNBC and replaced with something less “thinky.” Maybe more Howie Do It … unless Jay Leno’s ready to go early, early.
The City Monday, March 16 (MTV)
Season Finale: So MTV gives idiot stick Whitney from The Hills her own series, and she dares to be this boring? In this economy? When the most interesting thing about your “reality” show is that your “friend” is the daughter of the bass player from AC/DC (!), you’re pretty much screwed. See you on Celebrity Rehab or QVC, Whit.
Better Off Ted Wednesday, March 18 (ABC)
Series Debut: Every midseason, ABC throws out an “edgy” new half-hour comedy or two and practically dares you to watch ’em; Miss Guided and In Case of Emergency being two recent examples—both very funny, both very canceled. Better Off Ted, another laugh-track-free/single-camera sitcom, smells every bit as doomed: Corporate slickster Ted (Jay Harrington) happily works for Veridan Dynamics, a global monolith that manufactures everything from artificial meat to military weaponry—until he begins doubting the morals of Veridan and his ice-queen boss (ice queen Portia de Rossi). He also has a crush on the office dull blonde (dull blonde Andrea Anders) and has to deal with geeky science-types and his precocious daughter, and … OK, despite the occasional funny, well-placed dig at contemporary corporate greed, Better Off Ted is just an office sitcom straight outta the ’90s. You know, back when you had a job.