Small-Screen Previews

Salt Lake City Weekly | July 28, 2006

The World Series of Pop Culture

Thursday 8.3 (VH1)

Season Finale: Or, VH1 Learns That Shows With Unattractive People Are a Bad Idea—probably best not to hope for Season 2. After a painful, itchy month of overconfidently homely geeks spouting more useless information than anyone should know (and, even worse, you on the couch yelling out the answers they blank on), can we please just get back to pretty celebrities and their bling, VH1? Or at least fat former celebrities and Flavor Flav further pissing away the Public Enemy legacy? You say Fit Club and Flavor of Love are back Sunday? Thanks.

Desperate Housewives

Saturday 8.5 (Lifetime)

Cable Rerun Premiere: Remember that first season of ABC’s Desperate Housewives, the one that didn’t suck? Relive that magical Wisteria Lane time when Teri Hatcher was on the D-list and Eva “Diva” Longoria hadn’t even been assigned a letter. Season 1 was loaded with sexy intrigue and dark humor; Season 2 was a Sunday-night placeholder while everyone counted their money—stick with 1, then watch BBC America’s Footballers Wives to experience the horny house-frau formula cranked to 11 with more nudity and waaay less subtlety. Cheers!

Dane Cook’s Tourgasm

Sunday 8.6 (HBO)

Season Finale: Less a comedy tour reality-documentary than Dane Christ: Superstar, Cook at least deserves props for showing enough restraint to not have himself nailed to a rubber-chicken cross in the last episode. If Tourgasm had spent more time onstage with Cook’s stand-up buds and less time on the bus (it is a sweet ride, though), maybe we could have seen them land at least one punch line between ‘em. Watch Cook’s HBO special Vicious Circle next month for the goods; rent Patton Oswalt’s Comedians of Comedy to see how a comic tour reality-doc is really done.

The Venture Bros.

Sundays (Adult Swim)

Like the rest of you who gave up comic books for rock & roll, girls or steady paychecks years ago, I paid little attention to The Venture Bros. when it premiered on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim two years ago … too many ‘toons, too few mind-altering substances. Now, I’m thoroughly hooked on Season 2 of this twisted tweak of Jonny Quest and fanboy culture—if you’re instantly down with a supervillain boasting deadly invisible arms and legs (name: The Phantom Limb), you will be, too.

Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels

Monday 8.7 (A&E)

Series Debut: When Gene Simmons isn’t prostituting what’s left of Kiss’ rock & roll cred or launching doomed vanity record labels/magazines/waffle-house franchises, he’s a dad! Sure, it’s already been done by The Osbournes and Hogan Knows Best—but not with that special Simmons touch that makes anything truly creepy and unwatchable. Throw in “actress/model” mom Shannon Tweed—who brings her own “ick” factor—and you have the answer to “A&E canceled Rollergirls for what reality crap cannon?” Pray for a visit from “wacky gay neighbor” Paul Stanley.

Dog Bites Man

Wednesday 8.9 (Comedy Central)

Season Finale: The point where Dog Bites Man, a local TV-news improv-spoof somewhere between Reno 911 and Da Ali G Show, finally crossed over from merely amusing to hi-fucking-larious? Zach Galifianakis dropping his hip-hop bomb “C’mon and Get It (Up In them Guts),” complete with fanny-pack zipper scratches. Or maybe it was Matt Walsh “talking shop” with Hardball’s Chris Matthews. Or Andrea Savage doing or saying anything … Love Andrea Savage. Quite obsessed, really. Back to Dog Bites Man: It’s funnier than your local news, which is an amazing feat.


Beavis & Butt-Head: Mike Judge Collection V3

As in, only the stuff that B&B creator Judge wants you to see. For the third time, fave episodes are missing—which, for true fans, like, sucks. Sure, there’s no grand character arc missing from a 42-ep set that spans ’95-’97, but it would be great to have ‘em all for maximum brain-rot. (

The Comeback: The Complete Only Season

Lisa Kudrow’s underappreciated faux-reality comedy about a washed-up sitcom actress rings even truer now that Joey has been staked. Like Curb Your Enthusiasm and the U.K. Office, painfully awkward moments ruled on The Comeback, and Kudrow nailed every discomfiting mark. (

Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Fifth Season

Speaking of Larry: Don’t tell CYE fanatics that this most-recent (and maybe final) season was a total throwaway—it’s about the bits and the quotables, and Season 5 was as loaded with them as any. The bastard can’t even die and ascend to heaven right, which may be a hint toward a Season 6. (

The Girls Next Door: Season 1

Who would want to relive this idiotic (even by reality-fluff standards) series? Probably Hugh Hefner—he may not recall any of this. Hef’s Bunny girlfriends range from half-witted to negative-fractions-witted; with so little nudity (save for some DVD extras), why even bother? (

More New DVD Releases (8.1)

10.5 Apocalypse, Black Hole, Blue Collar TV: Season 2, Dallas: Season 5, Good Times: Season 6, Mrs. Harris, Severed: Forest of the Dead, The Shaggy Dog, V for Vendetta.


Shadow Rock

Think Max Cannon’s Red Meat is effdup? Try his online series Shadow Rock, an animated (the characters actually move!) saga of decomposing dead clowns, exploding albino weathermen and bad camping etiquette in a little desert town built on alien piss. (

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