Friday, Aug. 26 (MTV2)
Season Premiere: Lingerie football has been around longer than The Puppy Bowl, and has outlasted the late XFL by six seasons—this makes it at least as viable a “serious” sports franchise as Major League Soccer. Unlike MLS, however, LFL games can be watched without danger of falling into a debilitating coma after 90 minutes of blazing 0-0 “action.” Other than the 17-minute halves and PG-13 uniforms, the rules are essentially the same as arena football (meaning, no one cares), and the Lingerie Football League now has 12 teams spread over East and West conferences (tonight’s kickoff game features the Minnesota Valkyrie vs. the Green Bay Chill in Wisconsin). Viewing tip: Watch in your underwear for team solidarity.
Saturday, Aug. 27 (BBC America)
Return: What exactly was the point of a two-month Doctor Who “cliffhanger” break? Damned Brits. When we left the Doctor (Matt Smith) in June, it was revealed that time-traveling MILF River Song (Alex Kingston) was actually the daughter of young’uns Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill); now, they must find endangered baby River (real name Melody, follow?) in the past to ensure her future existence. But first … Hitler! In the awesomely titled episode “Let’s Kill Hitler,” the Doctor faces the most potentially world-altering decision since his last hair-gel purchase—and it’s not necessarily what you think. Ooohhh …
Sunday, Aug. 28 (Adult Swim)
“Roc Doc” Special: No, it’s not the Season 5 premiere of The Greatest Series in the History of Animation; probably shouldn’t expect that until (sigh … ) 2012. The Venture Bros.: From the Ladle to the Grave: The Story of Shallow Gravy is 15 stand-alone minutes chronicling “the meteoric rise, the equally meteoric fall, and the decidedly un-meteor-like second coming of the most important band Hank Venture, Dermott Fictel and H.E.L.P.eR. robot have ever been in: Shallow Gravy” (last seen cranking the “heaviness” in the November 2010 Season 4 finale, “Operation P.R.O.M.”). It’ll do for now—go Team Gravy!
I Just Want My Pants Back
Sunday, Aug. 28 (MTV)
Pilot Sneak-Peek: Is The Only TV Column That Matters™ bitter because MTV insists on forging ahead with craptastic scripted programming after canceling its one worthwhile attempt at it last year, the hysterically inappropriate Warren the Ape? Yes. MTV hasn’t made much of a case with subsequent brain-drainers like The Hard Times of R.J. Berger, Skins, Teen Wolf and Awkward; the Video Music Awards-coattailing I Just Want My Pants Back (premiering next year) continues the streak as a whiny 20-something mash-up of How to Make It in America and Workaholics that’s not as good as either (and How to Make It totally sucks). But hey, it was a book first, so it’s all literary. Like Twilight.
Monday, Aug. 29 (MTV)
Series Debut: This is (kinda) more like it: Death Valley is a scripted “horror-comedy” following the Los Angeles Police Department’s Undead Task Force division, which tracks down vampires, werewolves, zombies and other supernatural felons while being filmed, Cops-style—think The Walking Dead meets Reno 911. Death Valley is violent as hell and, more importantly, frequently funny, and even boasts some recognizable stars, like Bryan Callen (The Hangover) and Tania Raymonde (Lost) while looking like it was shot for more than 500 bucks on a weekend (unlike The Walking Dead’s upcoming season, reportedly). Of course, if I say this just might be the one that makes me forgive MTV for killing Warren the Ape, it’ll be canceled by Labor Day. So … yeah … Death Valley is OK.