Eli Stone Thursday, April 17 (ABC) Season Finale: Eli goes under the knife to remove the brain aneurysm that’s turned him into such a pain in the ass—will it cure his prophet complex or leave him a vegetable? One kinda takes care of the other, doesn’t it? Eli Stone is an “on the bubble” series, which means it could return next season and continue its Jesus McBeal feel-good fantasy arc or be canceled and forgotten after this episode. The Only TV Column That Matters™ is pulling for the latter, because, 1. Star Jonny Lee Miller has a creepy fetus-in-a-lawyer-suit thing going on, and, B. George Michael cameos are never a good idea.
Canterbury’s Law Friday, April 18 (Fox)
Season Finale: Unfortunately, Canterbury’s Law is in the same bubble boat as Eli Stone, having been vanquished to Friday nights by Fox simply because no one “likes” attorney Elizabeth Canterbury (Julianna Margulies), a prickly boozer who defends sketchy perps instead of hallucinating song-and-dance numbers with the dude from Wham!. Who would you want on your case? Even though Canterbury’s Law sometimes makes producer Denis Leary’s Rescue Me look like a model of restraint (Everything’s! So! Important!), Margulies has shown more acting chops in six episodes here than six years on ER. Just cut down her power-suit budget and move the show to FX, already.
Torchwood Saturday, April 19 (BBC America)
Season Finale: Major characters are gonna die! Well, one was already dead-ish. Season 2 of Torchwood hasn’t convinced me that British science fiction is better than American sci-fi (new Doctor Who vs. new Battlestar Galactica … come on), but they do have the edge in dark humor: Immortal Capt. Jack Harkness (who, to correct a previous True TV error, is bisexual; eternity is a long damned time to waste on just one sex) is buried alive in a grave in the season finale, trapped in a hellish cycle of suffocation and revival—now that’s a black, effdup twist. What could be worse? A visit from Graham Norton?
The Paper Mondays (MTV)
Hard to believe a docu-soap set behind the scenes of a high school newspaper—Cyprus Bay High School’s The Circuit, in this case—would be remotely interesting, but The Paper wins entertainment points for hyper-earnestness (“Journalism is the most important job in the world!”) and WTF? hyperbole (“This is the Vietnam of newspapers!”). The latter refers to the epic, tearful battle to become The Circuit’s editor-in-chief, a job these teens should later learn, if the newspaper industry still exists by then, no one wants. Super-serious.
Reaper Tuesday, April 22 (The CW)
Post-Strike Premiere: The gay demons next door (Michael Ian Black and Ken Marino) were a genius addition to Reaper’s villain-of-the-week Ghostbusters routine—now, they’re plotting to use Sam (Bret Harrison) to help them vanquish his boss The Devil (Ray Wise, pure smarmy/angry perfection) forever! Far more ambitious than anything Smallville or Supernatural has ever coughed up, and yet you’re still not watching. You’ve got five more episodes …
A Shot at Love 2 With Tila Tequila Tuesday, April 22 (MTV)
Season Premiere: I admit defeat—there’s no way I can top this idiotic copy from MTV: “Think you saw it all last season? Think again. This new crop of guys and girls are willing to do whatever it takes to win Tila Tequila’s heart. There’s sure to be crazy cat fights, serious sucker punches, super-dramatic showdowns and, uh, even a dick in a box. Oh yeah ... and let’s not forget threesomes!” Yeah. It should also be noted that edgy MTV censored “dick” on its own Website, and that one of Tila’s 30 new suitors is a … “professional mechanical bull rider.” I’ve been served …