Thursday, Dec. 15 (TruTV)
Series Debut: The Only TV Column That Matters™ doesn’t automatically proclaim that everything on TruTV is rehashed crap just because the Time Warner-owned network with better lawyers than me outright stole the name of this 12-years-established column when they rebranded Court TV in 2008. It’s because, with the possible exception of Hulk Hogan’s MCW (Micro Championship Wrestling—tiny rasslers!), everything on TruTV truly is rehashed crap. Case in point: The “new” Impractical Jokers is just a dumbed-down rip-off of Canadian series Kenny vs. Spenny, with two extra assclowns daring each other into embarrassing stunts. I should never have gone with a lawyer who shares a strip-mall space with a nail salon.
Friday, Dec. 16 (HBO)
Season Premiere: After two seasons in 2008 and 2010, HBO canceled the animated Life & Times of Tim, then uncanceled it and picked it up for this third run. See, Deadwood and Carnivale diehards? There’s still hope (but not really). Before, Tim (voiced by series creator Steve Dildarian) was a 20-something NYC corporate-office drone with a propensity for turning every situation into an awkward disaster; now, he’s unemployed and awkwardly looking for work (too bad this season was made before Occupy Wall Street happened). Funny, twisted stuff—and you don’t even have to be Adult Swim-level “medicated” to appreciate it.
Friday, Dec. 16 (Chiller)
Movie: No, not the remains of author Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), but yet another zombie-apocalypse thriller. The Remains twist: It’s set in Reno, and it’s on an obscure channel you’ve likely never frequented—unless you’re really, really into horror flicks and reruns of Fear Factor and … Harper’s Island? Still, Remains is a notch above the average Saturday-night Syfy filler, both aesthetically and dramatically, and Chiller sent me an elaborate promotional casino box with playing cards and poker chips to say it.
Sunday, Dec. 18 (Showtime)
Season Finales: So the whole “Doomsday Killer” arc has nearly fizzled in the homestretch of Dexter’s sixth season, and the side plots haven’t gone much better (Deb has to be the worst Miami Metro cop boss since, well, the last one). And what’s with killing off the most interesting guest stars (Mos Def and Molly Parker) so early? Travis (Colin Hanks) and Dex (Michael C. Hall) are at least headed for a typically epic serial-killer smackdown finale, and those only disappoint in prime-numbered seasons—am I right, mathletes? Similarly, new international-terrorism soap Homeland has careened from iffy to gripping to slippery over the previous 11 episodes, and it’s tough to imagine how they’re going to tie it up, much less set it up for the second season that’s already been ordered. Somebody exhume Jack Bauer, quick.
American Horror Story
Wednesday, Dec. 21 (FX)
Season Finale: Speaking of “What the hell are we going to do in Season 2?”, American Horror Story has deliriously burned through every out at least twice by now—not that it hasn’t been fun, but come on. Having not seen an advance of tonight’s finale (titled “Afterbirth” … blech), I can’t say if the luckless Harmon family will be intact for a second Horror story in 2012, but I do know—shameless plug ahead—that you can relive the magic all over again on the big screen when True TV and Brewvies (677 S. 200 West, 21 ) present an encore of AHS Season 1 on Tuesdays, following new episodes of FX’s Justified, beginning Jan. 17. Wear a Rubber Man suit and I’ll buy you a beer.