Hot Serial

Salt Lake City Weekly | September 18, 2006
Hot Serial

Karma, pretense, legalese and Lorelei.


My Name Is Earl, The Office

Thursday, Sept. 21 (NBC)

Season Premieres: Earl still has his list, and Michael still has … oh, you just want to know about Jim and Pam? First things first: The funniest My Name Is Earl karma conundrums from Season 1 usually involved Earl (Jason Lee) righting wrongs he’d done to ex-wife Joy (Jaime Pressley); Season 2 kicks off with another, No. 183, “Never took Joy’s side.” Since Joy’s side is always wrong and/or felonious, you can see hilarity assuming the Ensue position. On The Office, Michael accidentally outs a gay employee, and Jim and Pam … [Maximum blurb capacity. Please try again later.]

Grey’s Anatomy, Six Degrees

Thursday, Sept. 21 (ABC)

Season Premiere/Series Debut: If you’ve decided, “I’m finally going to get into Grey’s Anatomy!” 1. You probably have more important decisions to make in your life, like “Which anti-depressant goes with Jim Beam?” or “Whatever shall I name my 13th cat?” 2. You’re in luck: A greatest-hits GA special precedes the season premiere. As for ABC’s craptastic new Six Degrees, it’ll lull you and the kitties right to sleep with sheer dull pretentiousness. Nighty-night.


Thursday, Sept. 21 (CBS)

Series Debut: James Woods stars as Sebastian Stark, a successfully slimy defense attorney who suddenly finds himself working for the “good guys” in the city prosecutor’s office (just roll with it) under the watchful eye of his previously frequent-and-pouty D.A. nemesis Jeri Ryan (keep rolling). Sure, the setup is ridiculous, but Woods’ righteously over-the-top Acting! is too fun—and loud—to ignore. Plus, batting cleanup for Survivor and CSI on Thursdays, it ain’t going away anytime soon.

Minor Accomplishments, The Business

Friday, Sept.22 (IFC)

Season Finales: The Independent Film Channel isn’t anyone’s first stop for comedy, but sometimes between the doomed-junkie flicks you’ll find The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman (created by and starring Laura Kightlinger) and The Business (from the producers of last year’s IFC series The Festival), two hysterically inside-baseball Hollywood-underbelly comedies. Who knew it could get funnier than Project Greenlight?

Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters

Sunday, Sept. 24 (ABC)

Season Premiere/Series Debut: The grand Season 3 plan at Desperate Housewives is to suck less than Season 2. The good news: Going by the premiere, this season should be even better (read: funnier) than the first. The bad news: It might only look good next to Brothers & Sisters, an even lousier new star-jammed and self-important drama than Six Degrees. Tuck in the cats.


Monday, Sept. 25 (NBC)

Series Debuts: A disparate group of people wake up one day with superpowers—will they use them for good, evil or multiple repeats on NBC’s Sci-Fi Channel? The last is a given; the rest, not so clear. Nor is the outlook for a high-concept Unbreakable-meets-The 4400 serial on the same night that swallowed up the sea-monster epic Surface just last season. Heroes is more intelligent and realistic, making it a good lead-in to Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip—as a lead-out from tardfest Deal or No Deal, not so much.

Gilmore Girls

Tuesday, Sept. 26 (The CW)

Season Premiere: Due to the writers quitting and lowered CW network budgets, Gilmore Girls will now be completely improvised … with puppets. OK, not really—just softening you up for the news that Lorelei and Luke aren’t getting back together. Now, can you find The CW on your TV?

Help Me Help You

Tuesday, Sept. 26 (ABC)

Series Debut: No, it’s not Dr. Becker: Psychiatrist. Ted Danson’s group-therapy sitcom (single camera, no laugh track) would probably be better off on HBO; in network primetime, it’s just too smart for the room … or maybe that’s what they want you to think. Hmmm …


Battlestar Galactica: Season 2.5

When you’re the best science-fiction series on TV, you can get away with breaking (and selling) seasons in half. The final 10 episodes of BG’s amazing second season climaxed with one of the gnarliest cliffhangers ever (suck it, Lost), but the extended cut of 2.0 closer “Pegasus” is the real gem among several extras. (

Gilmore Girls: Season 6

Otherwise known as The Season Where the Writers F—ked Everything Up and Left, Season 6 featured less Lorelei-Rory interplay (That’s! The! Show!), but more Stars Hollow flava like Lane’s band (Sebastian Bach = comic genius) and that damned dog (Paul Anka, not up to Bach’s level nor hair sheen). Here’s to Season 7! (

My Name Is Earl: Season 1

Even more of an inexplicable hit than its NBC companion The Office, Earl took indie-flick quirks and slacker charm mainstream with a big heart and a bigger mustache—not to mention the most perfect hesher soundtrack since Freedom Rock. Best extra: Earl taking karmic advice from Family Guy’s Stewie instead of Carson Daly. (

More New DVD Releases (Sept. 19)

Chris Rock: Seasons 1 & 2, The Devil & Daniel Johnston, Everybody Loves Raymond: Season 7, Footballers Wives: Season 3, Ghost Hunters: Season 2, Hard Candy, Hart to Hart: Season 1, King of Queens: Season 6, Playboy: Women of Retail, Roar: Season 1, The Unit: Season 1


Scissor Sisters, “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’”

Even if the song weren’t a delicious uber-disco slice of post-apocalypse Bee Gees cheese, the video (partial at; full bootleg at could stand on its own, purple-suited singer Jake Shears gyrating like no male of any persuasion should be able to inside a kaleidoscoping collage of Sisters and Monet colors. Faaa-bulous!

Bill Frost

Salt Lake City Weekly

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