L.A. Ink Thursdays (TLC)
New Season: Purely by accident last week, The Only TV Column That Matters™ caught a couple of episodes of the new L.A. Ink season. With no research into this Miami Ink spin-off I’ve never watched before, this is what I came away with: Shop owner Kat Von D, a quite pretty man, presides over a ragtag crew of mentally challenged tattoo artists who, despite being incapable of complete thoughts or sentences, do fine ink work that invariably relates to the customer’s custodial/estranged children. For example: “This portrait of a flaming skeleton with a Nazi helmet riding a chopper out of an exploding meth lab, framed by roses and PBR cans, will always remind me of my baby daughter … wherever she is [tears up]. Awesome job, Corey!” Another semi-pretty man, Aubrey (a Bret Michaels cast-off from Rock of Love 2), has been hired as a shop manager this season as well, apparently. I’ll never miss another episode of this inspirational show!
The Real Housewives of Atlanta Thursday, July 30 (Bravo)
Season Premiere: For those of you keeping track of all things Orange County, New Jersey, New York City, Atlanta, El Segundo, Moosejaw, et al in Bravo’s Real Housewives virus, Atlanta is the series with blond-wigged cougar/tone-deaf wannabe country singer Kim Zolciak. There’s also a new Housewife for Season 2: Kandi Burruss, a singer-songwriter who’s eked out tunes for Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys, but now plans to launch her own solo career—conveniently, her first album drops this fall. I’ve now exhausted every interesting point of this show. Moving on …
Samson vs. the Vampire Women Friday, July 31 (KUEN 9)
KUEN’s Sci-Fi Fridays screen fantastically cheesy flicks from yesteryear, then offer up a post-show podcast at UEN.org that explores the science behind the fiction. How they’re going to properly vet 1961’s Samson vs. the Vampire Women, starring a masked wrestler tossing around skinny goth babes and driving around in a ridiculously small crime-fighting convertible, is beyond me—but hey, I’m no scientist. “Samson” (played by famed Mexican grappler El Santo) also wrestles a werewolf, so it’s already more believable than The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Megan Wants a Millionaire Sunday, Aug. 3 (VH1)
Series Debut: Finally, an honest reality-dating show: Bikini-prone Rock of Love/I Love Money/Charm School dropout Megan isn’t looking for “love”—she’s looking for a rich dude who’ll buy her stuff and make her a, quote, “trophy wife” (yes, feminism is taking a pounding this week). If you’re asking yourself how VH1 found 18 millionaires willing to play along with this re-re-recycled fauxmance premise, Google “Megan Hauserman”—SafeSearch off—and get back to me. See what I mean? Among the moneybags looking to make a deposit here are a 50-year-old “movie producer” and a 40-year-old “sex-toy entrepreneur,” not to mention a male stripper named “Punisher.” Sounds like these three should be working together on another project entirely …
Giuliana & Bill 101 Wednesday, Aug. 6 (Style)
Series Debut: You can only say “They made a whole series out of this?!” so many times before it just loses all meaning, but here goes: E! News reporter Giuliana DePandi (she’s the one who towers over Ryan Seacrest) interviewed Apprentice winner Bill Rancic, they fell in love, got married and were instantly handed their own Tori & Dean-esque reality show (minus the obvious gravitas) on the Style Network. Why Style? Because starring in her own show on E! would compromise her, whaddya call it?, journalistic integrity, and Style is owned by the same company (Comcast)—corporate synergy achieved! But, unless Bill wrestles a werewolf, there’s no damned reason to watch it.