April 2009 Archives
For other viewing options, please feel free to consult our Week in Preview post.
$300,000 is a sum of money that very few earn in a lifetime, at least not all in one lump. So what better than to offer it as a prize to a bunch of reality non-stars who were once on MTV? That's right, The Real World/Road Rules Challenge is back, this time with "The Duel 2" as its dramatic after-colon descriptor. Also, it's going to be in New Zealand, which means that they'll finally have something other than Lord of the Rings and Flight of the Conchords to brag about, I guess. I'd try to list some of the more prominent cast members, but to be honest they've all been on so many different versions of these shows that I can't keep anything straight anymore. It looks like there are six people from RW Hollywood and Sydney, so that's something. And apparently some of these competitors haven't been on TV since The Gauntlet 2 in 2006 -- tell me, does anyone really still care?
This sweet little comedy that sits on TBS, amid less enthralling fare, returned last week and resolved its big cliffhanger. Would PJ date her adorable friend Bobby who she'd had a crush on for ages, or would she instead pick Bobby's dreamy older brother? Such problems. After a bunch of back and forth and miscommunication, PJ picked Bobby. And while that episode tied up lose ends and dealt with the romantic issues, I didn't find it especially funny. But that's okay. Because tonight's episode makes up for that.
Realizing that I am way too old to watch this show, I still enjoy it. I do, however, have a not-so-healthy addiction to teen programming. Some people watch TLC shows, I'm still hooked on the N. But this ABC Family series is a bit better, or at least it doesn't take itself as seriously as so many of those heavy-handed teen shows about issues and whatnot. This one is just kids at college, drinking, having sex and joining sororities. It's mindless entertainment at best, but sometimes that's just what you need. After trying to wrap my head around Lost's manipulation of the space-time continuum, watching Cappie explain the merits of meat on a stick is refreshing.
This is hands-down my new favorite competitive reality show, but to say it is new is a little bit of a stretch, since this show aired in its entirety already in the UK in 2007. I could easily do a Google search and find out who won the opportunity to star in the title role of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat in London, but really, knowing the ending is only half of the fun of this series, which we're just now getting to watch stateside on BBC America.
Basically, it's a format that has been tried out here rather unsuccessfully with Grease: You're the One That I Want or that horrible High School Musical show or even with the Legally Blonde MTV thing. For some reason it works better in the UK and Canada, where they've had success with How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? and I'd Do Anything, which cast roles in West End productions of Sound of Music and Oliver!. There's all the typical fare: the audition rounds, the "school" round, the judges, the audience voting. For me, it's the perfect blend of musical theatre (which I love) and reality shows (which I also love).
Sunday, April 5
In Treatment (HBO, 9pm) is back with an all-new set of patients for Dr. Paul Weston, including a troubled former patient played by Hope Davis, an architecture student with non-Hodgkins lymphoma played by Allison Pill, and a CEO who just wants to get a good night's sleep played by John Mahoney. As you may or may not know, the series airs five half-hour episodes a week -- two on Sunday starting at 9pm and three on Monday starting at 9pm. Let the secret-revealing begin!
Has Kings got you craving more royal drama? Check out the Season 3 premiere of The Tudors (Showtime, 9pm) and see Henry VIII progress through marriages three and four while maintaining his youthful figure -- although apparently he will have a stinking leg ulcer! Because God forbid Jonathan Rhys Meyers put on a few pounds for the sake of historical realism. No seriously, God forbid.
The season finale of The United States of Tara (Showtime, 10pm) sees Tara and her alters facing someone from her? their? past, and probably exploring some dark secrets, yanking some skeletons out of closets, the usual deal. Hey, maybe next season Tara could go on In Treatment! Pay cable crossover -- I like it.
Tonight's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles promises to be an exciting episode -- John closes in on Weaver! Weaver discovers Ellison's secrets! Ellison and Sarah reunite! And all this before the Connors finally take on Weaver and Skynet in the Season 2 finale episode next week. Don't you just love sweeps? Apparently so, because Terminator has been steadily gaining steam in the ratings lately. Why?
Get your tissues ready -- it's the final, final, final ER ever. For real. After 15 seasons, the medical drama is signing off. As I wrote earlier this year, the show is going out on a high note, having recaptured some of the magic of some of its earlier seasons. And the last few weeks have been no exception. From Carter's kidney surgery (which organically brought back Julianna Margulies, Eriq LaSalle and George Clooney) to the touching and well-handled departure of Neela (Parminder Nagra). It's been one sweet moment after another. Archie grew up and got pseudo-engaged. Haleh got teary-eyed when Neela left, so did Dubenko. Frank tried to be nice. They let Banfield adopt her baby. And Gates and Sam found a way to get along. Heck, they even made Simon pretty likable.
Tonight's the second season finale of Damages, and apparently they had to make it 90 minutes long to fit in all the twisted stuff they have to show us. Good times. Hopefully. This season hasn't been quite as exciting and messed-up as the first, though admittedly, that was pretty f'ed up, so it was a hard act to follow. But with all the pieces coming together, and Patty hell-bent on winning her case at all costs, and Ellen wanting revenge and reminding Patty to "trust no one" in the previews, it promises to go out with a bang.
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