The Starter Wife Friday, Dec. 12 (USA)
nSeason Finale: Sure, it’s the most inconsequential, flufftastic cable dramedy ever produced outside of TBS, but The Starter Wife has managed to coast for 10 (!) episodes on little more than Debra Messing’s comic charm (unwisely toned down from the ol’ Will & GraceThe Starter Wife, they’re going to have to do better than “Well, it sucks less than Lipstick Jungle.” days) and a whole lotta great outfits. And why is so much screen time being wasted on secondary characters even less interesting (and fashionable) than Messing’s Hollywood divorcee? If someone’s making an argument at USA for another season of
Survivor: Gabon Sunday, Dec. 14 (CBS)
nSeason Finale: This is the only season of Survivor I’ve ever watched in its entirety, so I finally have some contestants to root for: New York pin-up model Sugar and Maine physics teacher Bob, both ridiculously smart in ridiculously different ways. California personal trainer Matty has some skills, but he’s saddled with the name “Matty” and the fact that he’s a complete pussy. The rest can bite my Gabon—and that still goes for you, too, Jeff Probst!
Dexter Sunday, Dec. 14 (Showtime)
nSeason Finale: The third season of Dexter got off to a slow start in September, all thread counts and no body counts—would a looming baby and marriage turn the series into a domesticated serial-killer sitcom? Fortunately, along came Dex’s new BFF Miguel (Jimmy Smits), a district attorney with a taste for blood and the flawed notion that he could dispatch Miami’s Least Wanted better than his bud who’s taught him how to make a clean kill. That ended as expected last Sunday (Spoiler non-alert: Miguel’s dead, quite cleanly); now all Dexter has to face is his wedding with Rita (does anyone really think this is going to happen?) and a new twist that may or may not set up Season 4 (Dexter’s been renewed for at least five).
Californication Sunday, Dec. 14 (Showtime)
nSeason Finale: Likewise, Showtime has picked up Californication for a third season, despite—or because of—star David Duchovny’s sex-addiction problems and a sophomore season that, while eventful and debauched, hasn’t packed quite the same punch as the first. It doesn’t help that (coincidentally, like Dexter) the show killed off a great character who threatened to upstage the star last Sunday: Record producer Lew Ashby—with a cocaine overdose, fergawdsakes! Like he suddenly forgot how to do blow after 30 years. The season finale ties most everything else up in a neater bow than Californication should have; here’s hoping it all runs back off the rails in ’09.
Momma’s Boys Tuesday, Dec. 16 (NBC)
nSeries Debut: When this new reality show’s producers contacted me about a casting call in Salt Lake City, my first reaction was, “That sounds like the dumbest fucking idea for a series ever. Good luck with it.” Now that it’s here, I can report that Momma’s Boys really is the dumbest fucking idea for a series ever: Mothers and their bachelor sons live in a mansion (does anyone actually reside in Los Angeles anymore?) with sexy single girls; out-of-context editing and matriarchal cock-blocking ensue. Meanwhile, Christian Slater is picking up his final NBC check …
n n nMore New DVD Releases (Dec. 16)
n n American Gladiators: Ultimate Workoutn
n Finally! Now you can train at home with Wolf, Titan, Phoenix, Toa, Crush and Jet! Dress up in your favorite spandex onesy and get ready to sweat the American Gladiators way! Then stay tuned for the Knight Rider Workout! (Lionsgate.com)
n n Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Vol. 6n
n Worth it for the “Bible Fruit” episode alone, wherein an alcoholic banana, a meth-addict mango and an abused tangerine fall off the born-again Christian wagon (thanks to the Aqua Teens). See, it’s like Veggie Tales and … (AdultSwim.com)
n n The Cheetah Girls: One Worldn
n … these wholesome skanks. In One World, the girls star in a Bollywood musical and earn this articulate review from Amazon.com: “The acting in this movie really sucked! A lot! I did watch the movie, though, and wasn’t impressed at all!” (Disney.com)
n n Darklightn
n Shiri Appleby (Roswell) stars in the Sci-Fi Channel original movie about demons, monsters, secret societies and the best damned CGI effects $35 can buy. So, is Katherine Heigl the only Roswell kid with a real job today? (Image-Entertainment.com)
n n n Petticoat Junction: Season 1n
n The 1960s sitcom about Hooterville’s Shady Rest Hotel and the innkeeper’s three hot daughters—a blonde, a brunette and a redhead. Not a porno, but Paramount has replaced all of the bluegrass music with public-domain wah-wahs. (Paramount.com)
nCrashing, Generation Kill, Goldilocks & the Three Bears, Ice Road Truckers: Season 2, Mamma Mia!, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Spiker, Wild Country