Kanye West Homecoming Special -- 10/9c on MTV
Breaking news: Kanye West possesses humility! The usually self-obsessed rapper takes a step back from, well, himself to welcome home Iraq War veterans and hear their stories in this rare worthwhile MTV special. Still, that doesn’t rule out a couple "George Bush doesn’t care about black people"-type ruminations. [PAGEBREAK]TUESDAY, JULY 29
Celebrity Family Feud (Season Finale) -- 8/7c on NBC
To celebrate the end of its first season of Celebrity Family Feud, NBC is bringin’ out the big guns: D-listers. First up, the families of once semi-famous celebs Corbin Bernsen and Margaret Cho do battle. Then, the American Chopper crew takes on Christopher Knight and Adrianne Curry’s clan. C’mon, NBC, was Christopher Knight really the only cast member from Celebrity Circus you could scrounge up?!
Jurassic Fight Club (Series Premiere) -- 9/8c on History Channel
For HD fiends (you know who you are, baby boomers!), this new series is a must-see. In the opener, Majungatholus, a cannibalistic dinosaur that lived in what is now Madagascar, is explored. Any creature named Majungatholus is simply made for HD!
In the Gutter -- 10/9c on Starz
As part of its ongoing not-just-movies makeover, Starz looks at comedy films that may or may not have taken lowbrow humor a little too low. Unfortunately, the talking heads in this special--Jason Biggs, Peter Riegert and Adam Rifkin, among others--are no longer relevant in the genre they’re commenting on.
How Not to Become Shark Bait -- 10/9c on Discovery
With such an amazing title, can the show itself be anything but a letdown?! [PAGEBREAK]WEDNESDAY, JULY 30
Shear Genius -- 10/9c on Bravo
Kate Jackson, host Jaclyn Smith’s costar on the original Charlie's Angels series, stops by tonight to judge the remaining stylists in a That '70s Show-themed challenge. Too bad Farrah Fawcett and Cheryl Ladd couldn’t make it.
Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil (Season Premiere) -- 10:30/9:30c on Comedy Central
The perpetually disgruntled (as per his shtick) comedian opens up the second season of his under-noticed show with Patton Oswalt vs. Andrew Daly, in a debate about the evils of ultimate fighting and bloggers. [PAGEBREAK]THURSDAY, JULY 31
Hopkins -- 10/9c on ABC
If you haven’t yet seen TV’s best and only true “reality” show, you’re almost out of time, but there’s still a chance to catch Hopkins--and weep. The series, which looks at doctors and their patients at the esteemed Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, nears its conclusion tonight with the usual mix of harrowing and uplifting stories: a first-year surgery resident makes, and deals with the consequences of, a huge mistake; a neonatal unit rallies around a young couple who delivered a premature baby; and a mother requires major heart surgery. A.K.A. just another day at Hopkins. [PAGEBREAK]FRIDAY, AUGUST 1
True Hollywood Story: Joe Francis -- 9/8c on E!
All the celeb scandal from the first half of 2008 has really been paying off lately for E!: First it premiered a Heath Ledger THS, then one on Britney Spears. Tonight the network finally unveils its juicy findings on the legally challenged Joe Francis, the, uh, brains behind Girls Gone Wild.
Don’t Forget the Lyrics -- 8/7c on Fox
Singer Kenny Loggins (remember him?) drops by--essentially changing the title of the show, at least for tonight, to Don’t Forget Me! [PAGEBREAK]SATURDAY, AUGUST 2
Shoot ‘Em Up (TV Debut) -- 10/9c on Cinemax
Shoot 'Em Up was the quintessential unfit-for-coming-attractions movie, which both (a) turned prospective moviegoers off too much to go see it and (b) led to unfulfilled expectations for those who did go see it. Now’s the time to watch the Paul Giamatti/Clive Owen actioner for what it’s worth: great, instantly forgettable popcorn fun (is there any other kind of popcorn fun?).
Mr. Woodcock (TV Debut) -- 8/7c on HBO
This cumbersome Seann William Scott/Billy Bob Thornton comedy, on the other hand, has no such silver lining--it is what it is: just occasionally funny. What’s bizarre, though, is the fact that director Craig Gillespie’s Lars and the Real Girl, released just a month after Woodcock, was night and day by comparison. [PAGEBREAK]SUNDAY, AUGUST 3
MANDATORY VIEWING OF THE WEEK
Pam: Girl on the Loose (Series Premiere) -- 10/9c on E!
There’s a lot of bad to be said about E! under the Ryan Seacrest regime, and the network (with the exception of The Soup) is more or less a tabloid set in motion. But give the little dude some credit: He’s at least nabbed some genuine, higher-than-D-list celebs to star in eponymous reality shows. While VH1, for example, enlists guilty-pleasure has-beens like Scott Baio and Bret Michaels, Seacrest’s E! has pulled off Snoop Dogg and Denise Richards--and now Pamela Anderson, quite possibly the biggest star ever to take the reality plunge. Girl on the Loose might disappoint those looking for pure salaciousness, but it will satisfy those content to merely star-watch. In the premiere, Pammy plans an estate sale that basically doubles as a wet dream for fans, featuring items like her first wedding dress and Baywatch swimsuit.