Battlestar Galactica Friday, Jan. 16 (Sci-Fi)
nReturn: When the first half of Battlestar Galactica’s fourth and final season left off six years, er, months ago, the humans and the Cylons (including the one yet to be revealed) had joined forces and finally reached Earth. Unfortunately, the planet was a monochromatic blue wasteland, the result of a nuclear holocaust and perhaps some ’80s acid-washing. On that cheery note, the season resumes with much disillusion, angst, black humor (“The good news is real-estate prices are low”), a couple of mind-frakking discoveries and one genuinely shocking exit for a main character. If there’s a happy ending in store for Battlestar Galactica, it’s nowhere in sight. Upside: Starbuck’s going even crazier!
Big Love Sunday, Jan. 18 (HBO)
n n nSeason Premiere: As expected, last year’s national polygamy news figures into this year’s Big Love, Russian waitress Ana is still a strong candidate for Wife No. 4, and temp prophet Alby is on the prowl for some man-lovin’—unless those brake-light codes at the Interstate rest stop really mean “Are you familiar with the Book of Mormon?” Big Love’s third-season premiere tries to squeeze maybe a bit too much into a single episode, but considering that the show’s been off since August 2007 (!) and has missed out on some serious synergy with real-life FLDS headlines, it actually seems like restraint. As for previously indefatigable Sandy patriarch Bill Henricksen (Bill Paxton), some moral cracks are beginning to show in his Celestial armor; we may be seeing the evolution of a whole new cable antihero: The Mormon Vic Mackey.
n n Meditaten
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Flight of the Conchords Sunday, Jan. 18 (HBO)
nSeason Premiere: The first episode of the sophomore Flight of the Conchords season debuted online at FunnyOrDie.com a month ago—the best most had to say about it was, “At least it was free.” True, “A Good Opportunity” (the title refers to Bret and Jemaine accepting an offer to write a jingle for women’s toothpaste—yes, women’s toothpaste) isn’t a classic FOTC episode; the lone musical highlight actually comes via an epic operatic aria from band manager Murray. But the next two eps get back on track when Bret starts a street gang and Jemaine becomes a prostitute—you’re going to be craving some sweet “sugar lumps,” ladies.
The L Word Sunday, Jan. 18 (Showtime)
nSeason Premiere: The news has been on the Internet for months now, so this shouldn’t count as a spoiler: Much-loathed/loved character Jenny Schecter (Mia Kirshner) turns up dead at the beginning of The L Word’s sixth and final season, the rest of which will be told as a flashback leading up to her suspected murder. Other than that twist, it’s Big! Lesbian! Drama! as usual, with unlikely-but-not-really hookups, lovers’ spats and yet more nightclub and business ventures. Are there no lesbian slackers? Sheesh.
The United States of Tara Sunday, Jan. 18 (Showtime)
nSeries Debut: Speaking of women working overtime, The United States of Tara gives star Toni Collette four wildly different roles to play: Housewife/artist Tara and her three dissociative identity (aka multiple personality) disorder “alters”: T (a slutty teenager), Alice (a Jesus-fearing ’50s housewife) and Buck (a fight-prone redneck dude). Her other personalities are a tad over-the-top, but Collette brings Tara’s heartache and confusion home wrenchingly every time she snaps to. Same goes for her family, even though husband Max (John Corbett) seems waaay too even-keeled after living with this for 15 years—especially when he’s agreed to never “cheat” with T or Alice (but not Buck … hmmm). UST is a nicely odd fit with Showtime’s other effdup adult-coms, Weeds and Californication, but the strangest thing about the series still has to be that it’s a joint collaboration between Steven Spielberg and Juno’s Diablo Cody. Wha?
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n n Emergency! Season 5n
n Firefighter/paramedics Gage and DeSoto keep their hair in place and Los Angeles safe in a far less messy fashion than those New York effups on Rescue Me—and this was the ’70s! Please keep jokes about head nurse Dixie to yourselves. (NBCUni.com)
n n Max Paynen
n A broody detective (broody Mark Wahlberg) searches for his family’s murderers on the set of Sin City with the help of various hot girls, a snow machine and hallucinogenic super drugs. Based on a videogame that made more sense. (FoxHome.com)
n n Moonlight: The Complete Seriesn
n A broody detective (broody Alex O’Loughlin) who happens to be a vampire solves crimes and falls in forbidden love with a human (human-like Sophia Myles) on the inexplicably rain-slicked streets of Los Angeles Start the hate mail … now! (WarnerBros.com)
n n The Rockford Files: Season 6n
n The final season for non-broody detective Jim Rockford (non-broody James Garner), his crappy trailer/wardrobe/car/answering machine and the coolest cop show of the ’70s. Now, where’s the Richie Brockelman DVD already? (NBCUni.com)
n n n Stripper Academyn
n A club owner opens a boot-camp academy for strippers; inspirational pole-grinding ensues. Stars include a guy who was in There’s Something About Mary and one of those Deal or No Deal suitcase models. No, really! (MaverickEntertainment.cc)
More New DVD Releases (Jan. 20)
nBoogeyman 3, Children of the Huang Shi, Chris Rock: Kill the Messenger, City of Ember, Cold Prey, Confessions of an Action Star, Criss Angel Mindfreak: Season 4, The Deal, The Express, Henry Poole Is Here, Igor, Poison Ivy: The Secret Society, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Saw V, Vacancy 2
Listen to Bill Mondays at 8 a.m. on X96’s Radio From Hell. Non-brooding at BillFrost.tv.