Arts & Culture » I Love Television

I LOVE TELEVISION

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;The "holidays," as they put it, blow … SO… HARD! Have you tried to watch TV in the last couple of weeks? It's been a goddamn wasteland, I tell ya! Nothing but boring repeats, weird British versions of America's Next Top Model and crazy Jimmy Stewart screaming, "Merry Christmas, you old savings and loan!"

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; Meanwhile, I'm curled up in a ball on the living room floor, sweating like a pig in a sauna and counting the milliseconds until TV executives STOP being so freaking lazy and START putting something good on TV again!! I mean, C'MON!! All they ever do is bitch and moan that nobody watches their shows — and yet they have the UNMITIGATED GALL to take a two-week vacation?!? WELL, TV EXECUTIVES, FREAK AND FAWK YOU!!

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;Sorry … sorry … that's the withdrawals talking. GOD! Why won't my skin stop ITCHING?? OK … OK … deep breaths. The midseason replacement shows will be starting any second now, so all I have to do is hold on just a little while longer. (That gun cabinet is locked, right?) Here are a few of the best new shows debuting this week!

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;• AFRO SAMURAI (Spike, debuts 11 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4). While the name of this show alone is enough to rid my body of delirium tremens forever, this new adult cartoon has one additional thing going for it … IT STARS MOTHER-EFFIN' SAMUEL L. JACKSON! Woot! Woot! Jackson lends his sweet dulcet tones to the main character, a futuristic samurai soul brother who is on a mission to avenge the death of his father … by tracking down the villain and shoving his sword up his patootie! Woot! Woot!

;;• GREASE: YOU'RE THE ONE THAT I WANT (NBC, debuts 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 7). Are you the kind of person who always co-opts a person's stereo at a party, plays the Grease soundtrack, and shimmies around the living room singing, "You'retheonethatIwant/ youAREtheoneIwant — hoo-hoo-hooooooo! HONEY!" Then you should die. Seriously. Everyone's sick of you ruining their parties. So if you'd prefer to stay alive, I'd advise you to stay at home and watch this new game show where a bunch of atonal nobodies try out for the new Broadway production of Grease. If you happen to find yourself screaming at the TV, "Omigod! These people are SO annoying!" … then you'll finally realize how the rest of us feel.

;;• GAY, STRAIGHT OR TAKEN? (Lifetime, debuts 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 8). Now THIS is a great idea for a game show! One woman goes on a series of dates with three different guys and (preferably after falling in love with at least one of them) must guess which one is gay, straight or taken! And since I'm positive this is gonna go over like gangbusters, I'd like to go ahead and suggest a spinoff show titled Bigamist, Foot Fetishist or Pedophile?

;;• ARMED AND FAMOUS (CBS, 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10). Hilarity will undoubtedly ensue when five washed-up celebs (Erik "CHiPs" Estrada, LaToya "Freak" Jackson, Wee "Midget" Man, Trish "WWE" Stratus, and Jack "Osbourne" Osbourne) join the Muncie, Ind., police force and become ACTUAL COPS. Only one person could make this show any better: Rodney King.

;;Got methadone?

;;steve@portlandmercury.com

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THIS WEEK ON THE BOOB TOOB

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;THURSDAY, JAN. 4

;;8:30 p.m. NBC THE OFFICE

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;Michael returns from his mystery vacation at Sandals — and all his employees got was a lousy T-shirt!

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;10 p.m. SPIKE AFRO SAMURAI

;;Debut! It's revenge time in this new cartoon about a samurai soul brother — voiced by Samuel L. Jackson?? AWESOME!

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;FRIDAY, JAN. 5

;;10:30 E! SURVEILLANCE

;;Debut! Yet another new cartoon about the secret lives of celebs — this one NOT voiced by Samuel L. Jackson. BOOOOO!

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;SATURDAY, JAN. 6

;;9 p.m. FOX AMERICA'S MOST WANTED

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;"America fights back" in this special episode where normal Americans fight back against criminally awful shows like this one.

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;SUNDAY, JAN. 7

;;8 p.m. NBC GREASE: YOU'RE THE ONE THAT I WANT

;;Debut! A new reality show where regular people try out for the lead roles in a Broadway production of Grease. You may kill me now.

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;9 p.m. VH1 THE SURREAL LIFE: FAME GAMES

;;Debut! Washed-up celebs from previous seasons return to compete in crazy competitions! Let the humiliation commence!

;; MONDAY, JAN. 8

;;8 p.m. LIFE GAY, STRAIGHT OR TAKEN?

;;Debut! Women test their intuition on three dates where they must guess if the men are gay, straight or taken. (They left out serial murderers!)

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;9 p.m. VH1 I LOVE NEW YORK

;;Debut! The sass-talking contestant from Flavor of Love returns with her own dating show — where spitting is always encouraged!

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;TUESDAY, JAN. 9

;;9 p.m. FOX HOUSE

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;On the eve of his court date, Dr. House checks into rehab. (Anybody got a shark? This show is ready to jump.)

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;9 p.m. CBS PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS

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;The annual pity party celebrating celebs who can't get an award anywhere else. Among the nominees: Jennifer Aniston.

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;WEDNESDAY, JAN. 10

;;8 p.m. CBS ARMED & FAMOUS

;;Debut! Erik and the gang start basic police training. (Can someone hurry up and Taser LaToya?)

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;9 p.m. ABC KNIGHTS OF PROSPERITY

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;The gang's plan to rob Mick Jagger's penthouse hits a snag when they realize they have no way of getting inside Mick Jagger's penthouse.

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