Ghost Whisperer Friday, Oct. 3 (CBS)
Season Premiere: Last year, The Only TV Column That Matters™ found a third reason to watch—or TiVo, as I’m usually out carousing on Friday nights—CBS’ Ghost Whisperer: The snark relief of Jay Mohr, injecting some humor into the otherwise weepy-ass proceedings. Now that he’s left to star in Gary Unmarried (a sitcom with no ghosts save those of the previous Paula Marshall series), Jennifer Love Hewitt will be joined by comic Jamie Kennedy—yes, Mr. Malibu’s Most Wanted. Is he as funny as Mohr? Matters not: The premise of Ghost Whisperer alone (Hooters waitress helps dead folk overcome tinnitus or something) is pure comedy; all Kennedy has to do is show up.
The Ex List Friday, Oct. 3 (CBS)
Series Debut: A perpetually single California gal (Elizabeth Reaser) is told by a psychic that she’s already dated her soul mate once, and she must find him again within a year or she’ll remain a spinster forever. The pilot ep is fizzy, sexy Friday-night fun, but CBS has since chased off The Ex List’s creator/writer by meddling too much—not a great long-term sign. Plus, the funniest bits here are a shaved vajay-jay and limp emo-punk breakup songs. There’s a Jonas Brothers joke here, I know it.
WWE Smackdown Friday, Oct. 3 (MyNetworkTV)
New Network: After nine years on kinda-networks UPN and The CW, World Wrestling Entertainment’s Smackdown (the WWE’s lone noncable offering) has moved to an even more obscure channel, thus proving that boss Vince McMahon has taken one too many hits to the noggin. Worse news yet for cable-less SLC rasslin’ fans: KJZZ 14 no longer carries MyNetworkTV in Salt Lake City; the only Utah MNT affiliate now is St. George’s KCSG. In good conscience, True TV cannot recommend moving to Satan’s Back 9 (aka southern Utah) for your Smackdown fix. Courage.
Sanctuary Friday, Oct. 3 (Sci-Fi)
Series Debut: The Sci-Fi Channel’s latest original is notable either for being the first TV series to make extensive use of computer-generated “virtual” sets, or marking Amanda Tapping’s 35th year on the network (which has only been around for 16). The former Stargate SG-1/Atlantis vet stars as Dr. Helen Magnus, a “beautiful, enigmatic” monster hunter who keeps the unsuspecting world safe from mutated critters who strike on a convenient weekly basis. Sure, it’s been done before (The X-Files, Men in Black, Torchwood, The Middleman—stop me anytime), but this one has lotsa CGI and Amanda Tapping in a black wig! Unfortunately, it’s as painfully dull as Amanda Tapping in a black wig, and they didn’t even use The Cult’s song as a theme.
Valentine, Easy Money Sunday, Oct. 5 (The CW)
Series Debuts: What happens when The CW gives up on Sunday nights and farms it out to a third party? A pair of tolerable shows—maybe this could work for the rest of the week. Valentine is a more fantastical clone of ABC’s long-lost ’90s series Cupid, starring Jaime Murray (Dexter’s white-hot serial-killer match from Season 2) as Aphrodite, now operating in Los Angeles. Sure, it’s ridiculous, but come on! Jaime Murray! Easy Money, a dark-ish comedy about a family running a payday-loan business, has glimmers of cable-grit potential that makes Gossip Girl look like 90120 … or … wait a minute …
South Park, The Sarah Silverman Program Wednesday, Oct. 8 (Comedy Central)
Season Premieres: As usual, no previews were available for the new South Park episodes; I’m just as in the dark as to how they’re going to top “cheesing” and “Britney Spears with half a head” as you are. Comedy Central did send The Sarah Silverman Program, wherein Sarah (Sarah Silverman) gets stoned for the first time and, naturally, takes down a vast corporate conspiracy. See? If everyone took notes while high ... you’d all have TV columns.
|30 Rock: Season 2 |
It’s been hailed as the funniest American sitcom since Arrested Development and won, like, 68 Emmy awards—and you’ve still never seen it. If you’re unmoved by the genius of MILF Island or LudaChristmas, can’t help ya man. (NBCUni.com)
|Brotherhood: Season 2 |
Showtime’s lo-fi mash-up of The Wire and The Sopranos (and maybe Family Guy, as it’s set in Rhode Island) hits full stride in Season 2, full of enough political intrigue and mob drama to ease at least some Bada-Bing withdrawal. (Showtime.com)
|The Happening |
M. Night Shyamalan and M(arky) Mark Wahlberg bring on The End of the World via mass suicide and renegade plant life. But really, would it be all that bad if everybody couldn’t speak? Sounds like heaven to me—shut the fuck up! (FoxHome.com)
|Holiday in Handcuffs |
Doesn’t live up to the title: A single 30-something (Melissa Joan Hart) handcuffs herself to an obviously gay guy (obviously gay Mario Lopez) and drags him home to meet the family at Christmas. That’s so Sabrina! (Gaiam.com)
|Oversexed Rugsuckers From Mars |
Totally lives up to the title: Drunk aliens invade Earth and mate humans with vacuum cleaners! Says film historian Joe Bob Briggs, “Two breasts. Three dead bodies. One dead rugsucker. Hoover Fu. An 89 on the Vomit Meter.” Sold! (Lionsgate.com)
More New DVD Releases (Oct. 7)
Cyborg Soldier, Girls Gone Wild: Horny Schoolgirls 2, Grace Under Fire: Season 1, How I Met Your Mother: Season 3, Joy Ride 2, Keeping Up With the Kardashians: Season 1, Lexx: Season 1, Martin: Season 5, Normal, Paranoid Park, Robot Chicken: Season 3, The Simpsons: Season 11, Slacker Uprising, You Don’t Mess With the Zohan