True TV | Grift Justice: The Librarian, Leverage, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Boston Legal, A Shot at Love 

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The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice Sunday, Dec. 7 (TNT)
nThe first installment of TNT’s Librarian trilogy in 2004, Quest for the Spear (a two-hour search for the ultimate pickle, I believe), was an entertaining bit of adventure fluff, due almost entirely to the chemistry between leads Noah Wyle (ER) and Sonya Walger (Penny from Lost, most recently). Walger was replaced in 2006’s lame Return to King Solomon’s Mines by Gabrielle Anwar, who’s far better at kicking ass on Burn Notice than making Wyle look like he has any business headlining an action flick. Curse of the Judas Chalice fares better, thanks to a sexy Cajun jazz singer/vampire (Stana Katic), but no thanks to a convoluted plot (a conspiracy to awaken Dracula! Because … why?). At least it’ll deliver a huge lead-in audience to …

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Leverage Sunday, Dec. 7 (TNT)
nSeries Debut: The premiere episode of TNT’s heavily hyped new series Leverage beats you over the head with setup points: Nathan Ford (Timothy Hutton) was screwed over by his former insurance company bosses, who indirectly killed his son—this is spelled out in the first 30 seconds by a corporate goon who hires Ford to steal back his aeronautic designs from other corporate goons. Goon 1 has also secured a team—an A-Team, if you will—of infamous grifters for him to work with: A computer hacker (Aldis Hodge), a stealthy thief (Beth Riesgraf) and a tough-guy enforcer (Christian Kane), all of whom establish early and often that they “work alone” and “don’t trust” one another. One unexpectedly clever plot twist later, Ford & Co. are working for themselves in an Ocean’s Eleven-slick payback scheme, adding a pro imposter (Gina Bellman) to the mix and—now we got a series!—starting a pro-bono revenge-for-hire business to serve the downtrodden (as per the previous A-Team reference). Leverage is sleek, cool fun that doesn’t require much thinking, and finds a less heavy-handed groove in following episodes when the show moves to its regular Tuesday timeslot on Dec. 9. Just ignore Hodge’s egregious initial use of Will Smith’s “Ah, hell no” (three in the pilot’s first 20 minutes!) and everything will be fine.n

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The A-Team
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The B-Squad
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The C-Word
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Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles  Monday, Dec. 8 (Fox)
nAlmost Winter Finale: Despite negligently killing dozens before it, Fox somehow has the best network sci-fi series in years (suck it, Heroes) on its hands in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Upside, the net has picked it up for a full 22-episode season; downside, when the show returns in February 2009, it’ll be exiled to Friday nights with Joss Whedon’s increasingly-less-anticipated Dollhouse. Could become a hot science-fiction pairing that’ll revitalize Fridays, but The Only TV Column That Matters™ predicts just another round of hush-hush Fox cancellations and subsequent insta-nostalgic reruns on the Sci-Fi Channel. In the meantime, TSCC has a couple of months to (please?) write out gawdawful guest star Shirley Manson. As an actress, she makes a great mid-’90s electro-grunge singer.

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Boston Legal Monday, Dec. 8 (ABC)
nTwo-Hour Series Finale: After five seasons, Denny Crane (sorry, Denny Crane!) and Alan Shore are outta here—apparently, ABC can only sustain so many smart, sharply written dramedies simultaneously. So, after axing this, Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money, that leaves … Ugly Betty? Life on Mars? According to Jim? At least Denny and Alan will live on in Boston Legal repeats on Ion (it’s a real cable channel, promise).

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A Shot at Love Tuesday, Dec. 9 (MTV)
nSeason Premiere: Tila Tequila is no longer swallowing shots at love; she’s been replaced by identical bisexual sisters Rikki and Vikki, aka “The Ikki Twins.” The math: 12 hetero he-morons and 12 lesbian she-idiots are now vying for the love/fluids of two interchangeable pinheads on a network that was once known for revolutionizing music and television but is now just the cable equivalent of “pimps ’n’ hos” night at an ill-managed bar you used to like. Congrats on getting out, Tila …

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Blue Blood
n Someone’s serial-killing rich folks in the Hamptons, and only Roy Scheider (in his final role) can stop him! You’d think the hoi-polloi could hire more than one private eye, but money’s tight in these downward-economic times. (
KochVision.com)
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The Dark Knight
n Batman (Christian Bale) grumbles at The Joker (Heath Ledger) for two-and-a-half hours; Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) gets his face melted; Maggie Gyllenhaal earns an easy IMDB credit; I’d still rather just see Iron Man again. (
WarnerBros.com)

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Man on Wire
n A Frenchman plots for years to tightrope-walk between the World Trade Center towers in 1974—two years before King Kong and Jessica Lange got there! See, kids, there was a Kong movie in ’76 wherein … oh, never mind. (
ManOnWire.com)
Swingtown: Season 1
n Speaking of the ’70s … bet you don’t remember this, either: Swingtown, the CBS summer series about wife-swapping Cali neighbors (sometimes), suburban angst (most of the time) and horrible fashion choices (all of the time). (
Paramount.com)
The Wire: The Complete Series
n The penultimate end of The Cop Show—you know, since The Shield went down last week. Now you can relive all five, harrowing seasons over a long weekend and end up like McNulty: A highly proactive alcoholic without an Emmy. (
HBO.com)
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More New DVD Releases (Dec. 9)
nAnamorph, Circulation, Crossroads, The Elder Son, The Falling, Happy Days: Season 4, Holy Hustler, Horton Hears a Who, Lost: Season 4, Make it Happen, The Man Who Came Back, Open Window

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Listen to Bill Mondays at 8 a.m. on X96’s Radio From Hell. No swinging at BillFrost.tv. Even more True TV linkage at MySpace.com/TrueTV and on Facebook.

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