Torchwood Saturday, Dec. 1 (BBC America)
Season Finale: The first season of the imported British series has fluctuated between serious, dark sci-fi and unintentionally hilarious scenarios straight out of Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace (Really, how far removed from an eyeball baby is a robo-woman or an orgasm alien?). Torchwood also didn’t live up to its advance USA-debut hype as a steamy-sexy Doctor Who/X-Files mash-up; after Footballers Wives and Hex, BBC America should know what the U.K. looks like without the F and C. Still, Torchwood goes out strong with—wait for it—an End of the World episode that will Change Everything, and it’s revealed that there is, in fact, no alternate universe in the gap in Gwen’s front teeth.
Tin Man Sunday, Dec. 2 (Sci-Fi)
Miniseries Debut (Continues Dec. 3-4): Like most Sci-Fi Channel miniseries events, Tin Man is probably a couple of hours longer than it should be—is six hours the required length for an “event”? Would four hours just be an “incident”? But, if you’ve always thought the 1939 original would have been better with more torture and death, what’s another night? This bizzaro-black retelling of The Wizard of Oz has a sadistic steam-punk edge (the Scarecrow literally had his brain removed; the Tin Man was imprisoned for years in a nightmare-inducing metal suit; Oz is actually The O.Z., the Outer Zone; I could go on and on …), but the sentiment remains the same: There’s no place like home—but D.G. (Zooey Deschanel, playing a wide-eyed and seemingly medicated version of Dorothy Gale) may not even be of this world. As for the Wizard (Richard Dreyfus), his minor role—like almost everything else in Tin Man—is eclipsed by Kathleen Robertson’s wicked-witch cleavage. Now that’s an event, if not pure B-cup sorcery.
Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project Sunday, Dec. 2 (HBO)
Do you love 80-year-old comedian Don Rickles and old Las Vegas as much as director John Landis does? Doubtful, but his documentary is loaded with decades of politically incorrect (or inhuman, inconceivable, etc.) funny—including a recent Rickles’ nightclub show, which he’s notoriously never before allowed to be filmed. Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project isn’t as deep as a Biography Channel special or even an E! True Hollywood Story, but when Rickles greets a Japanese audience member with “I spent three years in the jungle looking for your father,” who needs it, ya hockey puck?
Brotherhood Sunday, Dec. 2 (Showtime)
Season Finale: It ain’t quite The Sopranos, but at least the Season 2 finale of Showtime’s mobbed-up Brotherhood is 100-percent Journey-free. Just sayin.’
The Bad Girls Club Tuesday, Dec. 4 (Oxygen)
Season Premiere: At first glance, the new club of “bad girls” is no equal to the catfight-crazy Season 1 dream team of Ripsi, Zara, Leslie, Aimee, Jodie and the rest—but given time, alcohol, more alcohol and enough instances of “You don’t know me, bitch!” (Prediction: Six before the first commercial break), they could rise/fall to the occasion. Early Most Valuable Psycho money’s on Neveen, a “morning radio show sidekick from Portland known for her uncensored behavior.” Always bet on the radio folk …
Bratz: The Movie
Teen skanks learn how tough high school is for the beautiful and popular. A must for kids who just can’t follow High School Musical. Lionsgate.com
Futurama: Bender’s Big Score
The first of four all-new Futurama DVD movies, featuring the return of Santa and the debut of … the Hanukkah Zombie. Life is good. FoxHome.com
Andy Samberg jumps 15 buses on a moped to save his dad. Or something. With this many montages and Europe tunes, who cares? Paramount.com
I Know Who Killed Me
Lindsay Lohan is a good girl who gets abducted by a killer and then becomes a stripper. Or something. With these pole routines, who cares? Sony.com
Werewolf bikers hunt—here it comes—the Chosen One who will de-curse (un-curse?) them. From being werewolves, not bikers. Lionsgate.com
A pregnant waitress (Keri Russell) has an affair with a married doctor—but it’s cool, because she bakes great pies for Andy Griffith. FoxHome.com
More New DVD Releases (Nov. 27)
Edvard Munch, Happy Days: Season 3, Laverne & Shirley: Season 3, Mork & Mindy: Season, Mr. Bean’s Holiday, Who’s You Caddy?
Showtime’s answer to The Sopranos may be shorter on snappy dialogue and blackout endings, but Brotherhood (Season 2 finale Sunday, Dec. 2) is an engaging low-budget replacement. The Irish mob/Rhode Island politics drama delivers sex, drugs, violence and nary an unflawed character, and actually plays more like The Wire in short doses. Catch up—Showtime is the new HBO.
Listen to Bill Mondays at 8 a.m. on X96’s Radio From Hell. Montage blogging at BillFrost.tv.