The Finale Countdown 

C’mon, sniff it—can you smell the super May Season Finale excitement?

Season Finales are nature’s way of telling you that summer is here and you should really go back outside again—or, as is the case with readers of The Only TV Column That Matters™, splice into the neighbor’s cable, stock the beer cooler and settle into the beanbag for three months of off-network programming. Until that fine day, here’s this week’s rundown of hot Season Finale action:


The Agency (CBS; Thursday, May 9, 9 p.m.): Pretty agents Matt (Gil Bellows) and Terri (Paige Turco) rush to save a CIA operative who’s been taken hostage in Uzbekistan and … you’ve never, ever even heard of this show, have you? Moving on …


Providence (NBC; Friday, May 10): Effectively out-dumbing last year’s Season Finale, wherein Pa Hansen was shot in the head during a suburban P-Town drive-by, this season’s cliff-hanger finds Dr. Syd (Melina Kanakaredes) trapped in her clinic as a fire set by her crazed stalker (as opposed to those levelheaded, considerate stalkers) blazes away. Bonus Danger Element: If that haystack of hair catches a spark, Rhode Island is toast.


Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Raising Dad, Reba (The WB; Friday, May 10, 7-9 p.m.): When her 28th birthday party (yes, the Teenage part has to go) turns into an all-night rave, Sabrina (Melissa Joan Hart) accidentally drops Ecstasy, and then zaps talking cat Salem into a sandwich and eats him—so many psuedo-sexual-Sapphic-witch jokes, so little time. On Raising Dad and Reba, The WB’s bold experiment in laugh-free single-parent sitcoms starring the comically challenged (Bob Saget and Reba McEntire, respectively) continues unabated.


The Education of Max Bickford (CBS; Sunday, May 12, 7 p.m.): Max (Richard Dreyfus) mulls over a teaching position at Harvard and … you’ve never, ever heard of this show either, have you? Moving on again …


Alias (ABC; Sunday, May 12, 8 p.m.): Double-agent Sydney (Jennifer Garner) must squeeze into yet another skintight leather spy-chick “disguise” (Woo-hoo!), kick some bad guys in the neck (Whammo!) and destroy the Rambaldi device (Word!) in order to save annoying Will’s life (What? Let the weasel die!). Also, having finally gone through every other hair color, Sydney is forced to go blue and endure bad “Do the drapes match the carpet, Smurfette?” jokes around the office.


Yes Dear (CBS; Monday, May 13, 7:30 p.m.): Greg and Kim (Anthony Clark and Jean Louisa Kelly) decide to have another kid, but can’t agree on how many. If this crap-com and Baby Bob are somehow renewed for next season, it pretty much signals The End of the Known Universe, so it won’t really matter, will it?


Third Watch, Crossing Jordan (NBC; Monday, May 13, 8-10 p.m.) The cops, paramedics and firefighters of New York City are put to the ultimate test during a citywide blackout caused by people flipping the channel en masse when they found out Third Watch was on next. On Crossing Jordan, Jordan (Jill Hennessy) crosses paths with a mental patient who claims to know the identity of her mother’s killer and a good lawyer to handle those impending Profiler/CSI copyright-infringement cases.


Ed (NBC; Wednesday, May 15, 7 p.m.): Refusing to just get over it already, Ed (Tom Cavanagh) prepares to take drastic action when he suspects that Carol Vessey’s (Julie Bowen) asshole boyfriend is going to propose to her. A cute, quirky and completely ineffectual action, of course—but drastic! Meanwhile, the long-MIA Warren Cheswick Experience is again a no-show at the Stuckeyville talent competition … damn.


The Amazing Race 2 (CBS; Wednesday, May 15, 8 p.m.): Battling toward the $1 million finish-line prize, the final three teams race from New Zealand to Hawaii to Alaska to the “surprise final city.” When the city turns out to be Draper, the teams decide it just isn’t worth it and split lunch instead.


The Bernie Mac Show (Fox; Wednesday, May 15, 8 p.m.): Bernie Mac (Bernie Mac) finally loses it and ships those fuggin’ whiney kids off to Draper. Cruel? Yes. Necessary? Hell yes.

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