Ganja Queen -- 9/8c on HBO
For those of us who have paid attention to HBO’s under-the-radar documentary film series thus far, there are simply no other TV options on Monday nights at the current time--these standalone documentaries have themselves become a must-see series. Tonight’s doc, Ganja Queen, tells the story of an Australian woman who was caught with 10 pounds of marijuana while vacationing in Bali in 2004; drug smuggling in Indonesia, you see, is a capital offense…
46664: A Concert for Nelson Mandela -- 9/8c on VH1
Highlights of a benefit concert held in London on June 27 (the ‘46664’ in the title was Mandela’s prison number, which is also the name of his AIDS charity). Will Smith hosted, while Leona Lewis and Amy Winehouse were among the (mostly British) performers. That’s right--an Amy Winehouse performance. Get the popcorn! [PAGEBREAK]
TUESDAY, JULY 1
A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila (Season Finale) -- 10/9c on MTV
When it comes to TV, I’ll try anything at least once--except for A Shot at Love. There’s something about MTV’s queen of reality/bisexuality--maybe it’s her omnipresence; maybe it’s the fact that her 15 minutes should’ve expired hours ago; maybe watching clips from the show get jeered on The Soup each week doesn’t help!--that rubs me, well, like sandpaper. Nonetheless, hordes of people are hopelessly obsessed with this show, and tonight’s the night those people have been waiting for: the season 2 finale. “Contestants” Bo and Kristy will duke it out for…a shot at love with Tila Tequila. And whoever wins, you can be sure that Tila (or is it Ms. Tequila?) will have a convenient change of heart in a few weeks or months, because MTV’s gonna want another season. [PAGEBREAK]
WEDNESAY, JULY 2
Tyler Perry’s House of Payne -- 10/9c & 10:30/9:30c on TBS
Tyler Perry’s hugely popular TBS show is on such a strange, erratic schedule that when you get new episodes--which usually come in (at least) double doses--you don’t turn ‘em down. In the first of tonight’s twofer, Malik (Larramie Shaw) and his friend (Kyre Batiste-Loftin) consider skipping school with two girls, while Calvin’s (Lance Gross) buddy (Clayton English) pretends he’s a member of the Payne family to try and impress a woman. Then at 10:30/9:30c, it’s Ella’s (Cassi Davis) turn for a storyline, as she considers starting up a new business. Sounds like a lot of characters are in for Tyler Perry lessons tonight! [PAGEBREAK]
THURSDAY, JULY 3
My Boys -- 9:30/8:30c on TBS
My Big Fat Greek Wedding alert! Nia Vardalos, who is no stranger to the small screen, guest stars on this episode, in which Bobby (Kyle Howard) stuns the gang, especially P.J. (Jordana Spiro, pictured), by proposing to his new Swedish girlfriend when she encounters visa problems. [PAGEBREAK]
FRIDAY, JULY 4 (Independence Day TV Rundown)
Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular -- 9/8c on NBC
It’s no Thanksgiving Day Parade or anything, but the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular has history too. And in the spirit of history, music stars of today will take to the stage, including American Idol starlets Katharine McPhee and Jordin Sparks, pop singers Natasha Bedingfield and Gavin DeGraw (pictured), and country god/former Mr. Renee Zellweger Kenny Chesney. Today Show personalities Tiki Barber and Natalie Morales anchor the coverage.
Capitol Fourth -- 8/7c on PBS (Re-Airs at 9:30/8:30c)
For a more laidback, traditional FOJ celebration, tune in to PBS, with actor Jimmy Smits emceeing the proceedings from Capitol Hill. Grayer musical acts like American Idol champ Taylor Hicks (take that, McPhee and Sparks!), Huey Lewis and the News, and Jerry Lee Lewis perform, along with the National Symphony Orchestra to help lull you to sleep.
Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular -- 10/9c on CBS
CBS serves up the best host of all these Independence Day fireworks spectaculars, Craig Ferguson, but Rascal Flatts performing with Boston Pops doesn’t quite get the job done musically. Not that the other networks’ lineups are any better, but still.
4th of July Live! -- 9/8c on Travel
This really might be everyone’s best option of the night: a no-frills, celeb-free, half-hour fireworks show from the National Mall in Washington, D.C. And after listening to fireworks sporadically shooting off throughout the day and night from our homes, do we really need to then watch them on TV for more than 30 minutes?! [PAGEBREAK]
SATURDAY, JULY 5
Live Free or Die Hard (TV Debut) -- 10/9c on Cinemax
Do yourself a favor: Go in with your mind wiped blank of the groundbreaking awesomeness that was the first Die Hard, expect something as bad as Die Hard with a Vengeance, and you’ll be so pleasantly surprised! [PAGEBREAK]
SUNDAY, JULY 6
The Simpsons Movie (TV Debut) -- 9/8c on HBO
The Simpsons Movie isn't too unlike watching back-to-back-to-back episodes of The Simpsons, but it's certainly worth fans’ time... Although fans must’ve already seen it in theaters… Although it probably gets better with each viewing! Celeb-voice cameos include Tom Hanks, Joe Mantegna (if he can be considered a celeb), Albert Brooks and the band Green Day.