By Tim Parks
I awake in a cold sweat, something’s wrong and I can’t quite put my hand on it in the dead hours of the wee morning. And that’s quite literally the problem!
Where’s the remote control that’s usually affixed to my hand at all times?
I sit up as straight as I can muster, pat the bed in a panic, as a murder of crows makes it presence known in the tree outside my bedroom window. Their caws vibrate through my perplexed mind sounding suspiciously like the word “kill.” My brain is now firing on all synapses and flashes on a bumper sticker I have seen throughout the years that reads: “Kill your television.”
I know this is what I must do, and just as I am about to, I awake in a cold sweat…and the remote control is just where it should be, as it always has been, right there in my hand. Whew!
This bad dream is sponsored in part by season finales being, well, finalized and no new airings of favorites until fall, that have left me wondering what am I going to watch this summer? Lucky for me and for you, there are plenty shows to fill the void that don’t require a healthy slathering of SPF.
Shows Already In Progress
“The Closer” is back for a second season with Kyra Sedgwick as a feisty Los Angeles deputy chief on a homicide unit. A fun drinking game can be made out of her signature line, “thank you,” just take a drink every time she utters said phrase. On second thought, you might be sloshed before the opening credits have stopped rolling. Airs Mondays at 9 on TNT.
“Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” is back for a second season-so that makes her at least a C+ Lister, right? This time out Kathy takes on losing weight, a trip to Iraq to entertain the troops, and reconciling with her husband, Matt-although there are rampant rumors to the contrary. Airs Tuesdays at 9 on Bravo. As do The Fab Five, a.k.a. The Queer Eye Guys, (only they air at 10pm, duh) who are staked out in Vegas to give those desert dwellers fab-u-lous makeovers. Get over to Celine Dion’s house stat!
“The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency” is open for business on Oxygen, Tuesdays at 10. How many carbs are in a plate of crazy? You would think “the world’s oldest supermodel” would be more mindful of her weight!
If you are a fan of director Christopher Guest’s improvisational dialogue flicks, like Best In Show, (We’ll pretend A Mighty Wind never happened, because I thought wind was supposed to blow, not suck) then tune into Lifetime on Monday nights at 11pm. “Lovespring International,” produced by “Will & Grace’s” Eric McCormack, is a comedy set within a dating service. Stars Jane Lynch (Best in Show), Jack Plotnick (Xandir on “Drawn Together”) and Jennifer Elise Cox (Jan Brady of “The Brady Bunch” movies).
Two decidedly different reality shows are airing on two decidedly different networks. Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” has tough-as-a-Ginzu knife chef, Gordon Ramsey, making sure the lettuce is being spritzed with the saliva he disperses from yelling at wanna be culinary types! Airs Mondays at 9. Over on CBS there’s…“Tuesday Night Book Club.” Wow! That sounds positively riveting – did I dose off there for a sec? Actually, it covers how to’s on adultery, addiction and even a good ole wife swap or two. Tuesdays at 10.
Simon Cowell is the brains behind NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Leave it to a Brit to show us that we are a bunch of Amer-I-Can’s! Hosted by the incomparable Regis Philbin, and David Hasselhoff is a judge! Oh, that ain’t right. Wednesdays at 8.
E!’s “The Simple Life: ’Til Death Do Us Part” at least has the balls to let us know that Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie hate each other! Airs Sunday at 10.
“My Fair Brady: We’re Getting Married” chronicles the impending nuptials of Christopher “Peter Brady” Knight and Adrianne “T minus 14 minutes and counting” Curry. I’ll just wait for the divorce special, thanks.
Logo sends out comedian, Ant, in search of gay culture throughout the 50 states in “U.S. of Ant.” Can’t wait till he hits the Red States! Airs Mondays.
HBO brings back the potty mouthed Westerners of “Deadwood” back for a third season, Sundays at 9. And those boys of “The Entourage” are back on Sunday nights , too.
The Initialed cable channel is also giving “Lucky Louie,” a traditional sitcom set-up, without the traditional censors holding back his language, a coveted Sunday night spot. Did you know “coveted” in French means “so three years ago?” Interesting.
Taking a trip by not taking a trip
Speaking of across the pond…BBC America has some nice alternatives to shelling out airfare for a trip abroad. “Footballers Wive$” features all of the staples of nighttime soaps gone by – bitchiness, backstabbing and hermaphrodite babies-oh my! Main “Wive$” Tanya and Amber are this millennium’s Krystle Carrington and Alexis Morrell Colby Dexter Rohan, and are both preggers by the same man! There’s even a gay soccer player (that’s the Brit brand of football. It’s like they have a different word for everything there.), who got a bit of on air somethin’ somethin’ last season. Airs Sundays at 10.
“Hex” is looking to capitalize on the now defunct “Charmed” with its own brand of witchery, airs Thursdays at 10. “Little Britain” is sketch comedy at its gayest! Check out the colorful characters Fridays at 10:20 pm.
Have A Killer Summer
“Big Brother 7: All Stars” will cull its new old cast members from a voting show. America will pick 6 contestants, while the show will figure out the other 6. Starts back up on July 6th at 8pm.
“Chappelle’s Show: The Lost Episodes” were filmed before the comedian decided to abandon ship on his show. Where am I supposed to get my “Friday Night Sissy Fight” fix? Guess I’ll just have to walk the streets of Hillcrest, sigh. Returns to Comedy Central July 9th, as does the fourth season of “Reno 911!”
Bravo just keep getting’ gayer all the time! “Work Out,” now who might fit the demographic to watch this show? Gay men, maybe? But, the gals will love it, too. L.A. trainer, Jackie Warner, is not only a task mistress in the gym-but also at home with her girlfriend, Mimi. Starts July 19th.
Also on Bravo, “Project Runway” is back to strut its collective stuff on July 12th.
As if the prospect of not being swimsuit ready isn’t frightening enough –TNT is serving up Stephen King’s “Nightmares & Dreamscapes,” a mini-series that spans eight hours, beginning July 12th.
Feeling a bit culture deprived? Head on over to PBS on July 19th for their biography of “Marilyn Monroe: Still Life.”
The dog days of summer sees the return of the pot growing PTA moms of “Weeds” on Showtime. The Logo soap, “Noah’s Arc,” comes back on August 9th. And lastly, “Celebrity Fit Club 4” is upon us on August 6th! Look for Ted “Isaac from The Love Boat” Lange, Carnie Wilson –guess some staples popped out- and “Family Ties’” Tina Yothers. Girl, you cut your 80’s hair-that must have been at least a good 20 pounds!
Learning to surf
Maybe your computer’s feeling a tad neglected from all of the television viewing, so show it some love by visiting these websites: www.perezhilton.com for celebrity dirt and fun. www.youtube.com, look for “Periods 101” and “Ricky learns the facts of life.” Priceless gems, really. Speaking of…log onto www.jewelrytelevision.com and look to see when hosts/hawkers Sharon Scott and Tamara Mazzetti are going to be on channel 359-they are adept at mining unintentional comedy gold! And www.outzonetv.com highlights Bravo’s gayest shows-i.e. all of them!
Cut.Print.That’s a wrap!
See, your television didn’t neglect you during these sweltering months. Go on, give it a nice kiss – but, don’t use tongue unless it’s unplugged. Until next time, that’s all the news that’s fit to print.