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I LOVE TELEVISION

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I've decided to begin all of my columns as if they were a movie trailer for an upcoming blockbuster film. For example …

IN A WORLD where "justice" has no meaning … A WORLD overrun by CRIME AND DESTRUCTION … a group of brave HEROES will emerge to protect the weak and defend the defenseless. And … THEY'RE NOT WEARING SHIRTS! (Whooooooooo! Paaaaar-TAY!)

Then you see a bunch of shirtless superheroes going completely bonkers: doing keg stands, stealing Wonder Woman's underpants and beating a bunch of frat boys in the campus talent show. Now the problem here is that my film (working title: The Shirtless Super Friends) has little to zero chance of ever getting made. So in the meantime? We're stuck with the CW's return of all new Smallville episodes (starting 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18). Now, as those with pedophilic tendencies already know, Smallville is the weekly nighttime soap about Superman when he was a hunky teen (hunkily played by Hunky McHunkerson Tom Welling) — which is a STUPID idea for a show, right? Except for two things: They perform every scene as if they were in the Metropolitan Opera (sans singing), and more importantly, there's a lot of smooching and teenage upper-torso nudity.

Anyhoo, back to this week's episode. Since the story arc for Smallville is how SuperBOY learns how to be SuperMAN, and since Clark's already graduated from high school — it's about time for him to join the Justice League, don'tchathink? I mean … is he going to lie around his parents' farmhouse playing video games forever? For the love of God, son — cut your hair! Get a job!

And THAT is the plot for this week's return of Smallville: When the Green Arrow (played by wicked hot Justin Hartley) decides he's going to infiltrate the evil Lex Luthor's secret lab, he contacts the Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman (BOOOOO!) to help him out. Unfortunately, the Flash turns out to be a real drag-ass, and is subsequently captured and tortured by Luthor. So naturally, Clark rushes off to pull the Flash's fat out of the fire. But before he can even remove his shirt, WHAMMO! Clark is clobbered by a kryptonite meteor. That's when the Green Arrow and the rest of the gang form the junior Justice League to save the Flash and Clark (but hopefully not Clark's shirt).

Now. Here's why this idea sucks. I have no problem with the Green Arrow and the Flash being in the Justice League. I do have a problem with the inclusion of Cyborg, because — WHO THE HELL IS CYBORG? If you're going to invite him, you might as well invite Lushy, the Flying Liquor-Drinking Donkey. And as for Aquaman — who has no real powers other than the ability to boss around some trout — you should already know my position. That fish-stick-sucking loser would be lucky to become a member of the NAWM (National Association of Waterlogged Milky Lickers).

This is no "Justice League" — this is a sad, sad excuse for the Shirtless Super Friends. I mean … C'MON! Where's freaking shirtless Batman? Where's freaking shirtless Green Lantern? Where are the freaking shirtless Wonder Twins? And perhaps most importantly, where are freaking WONDER WOMAN'S UNDERPANTS?

In a WORLD where there is no Aquaman … steve@portlandmercury.com

In a WORLD where there is no Aquaman … steve@portlandmercury.com

THIS WEEK ON THE BOOB TOOB

THURSDAY, JAN. 18

8:30 p.m. NBC THE OFFICE

Jim enlists the help of Pam AND Karen to play a prank. This isn't going to end well.

9 p.m. FOX THE O.C.

That stinky trust-fund hippie Che returns and takes Seth on a spiritual retreat to the forest.

FRIDAY, JAN. 19

8:30 p.m. NBC 1 VS. 100

A single contestant takes on a mob of brainiacs — including the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders and Diff'rent Strokes' Todd Bridges??

9 p.m. FOX TRADING SPOUSES

The classic Trading Spouses episode featuring gagging Christian "God Warrior" Marguerite Perrin!

SATURDAY, JAN. 20

8 p.m. ABC SEABISCUIT

(Movie, 2003) Boy meets horse, boy falls in love with horse, boy grosses the rest of us out.

SUNDAY, JAN. 21

9 p.m. SCI THE DRESDEN FILES

Debut! A wizard-turned-private eye helps the cops solve supernatural mysteries. Wow. That sounds really dumb.

10 p.m. SCI BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

Return! The BSG gang races to find directions to Earth before their algae planet goes supernova. Hmm. That sounds dumb, too.

MONDAY, JAN. 22

9 p.m. FOX 24

It's 10 a.m., which means Jack and the terrorists decide to stop for brunch.

9 p.m. NBC HEROES

A new shocking hero makes his debut: Meet Lushy, the Flying Liquor-Drinking Donkey!

TUESDAY, JAN. 23

9 p.m. Various STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

President Bush provides an update of how things are going in Iraq. Nutshell: same shit, different day.

9 p.m. CW VERONICA MARS

When the college animal research lab is missing a monkey, who ya gonna call?

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 24

9 p.m. FOX AMERICAN IDOL

Get ready for an extra dose of "crazy," when the Idol auditions head for NYC!

9 p.m. ABC KNIGHTS OF PROSPERITY

The plot to rob Mick Jagger's penthouse hits a snag when the gang finds a suitcase crammed with moolah!


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