Best of Seven
Finding something worthwhile on TV can be such a hassle. With all of your favorite shows having ended for the summer, you find yourself drowning in an endless sea of television programming; you gorge yourself, and yet are left somehow unsatisfied. And of course all those damn digital channels take just a half-second too long to load for you to channel-surf comfortably like you did back in the day. So: we are going to make things easy for you. Check in here each Monday with Best of 7, beginning this week, and we’ll tell you what to watch, when, where, and why. Of course there’s always the old standbys – The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, all of the other Late Night fluff – but each Monday we’re going help you wade through the crap and get right to the good stuff. That’s what TV should be about. The good stuff.
9PM: The Bachelorette, ABC. Nine bachelors will accompany Ali to Iceland – land of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano – and only seven will leave! Horseback riding, spelunking, spa-ing, and a poetry contest are just some of the frightful challenges the men will face.
9PM-11PM: It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Comedy Central. It’s Always Sunny, FX’s edgy comedy series, is getting a second home on Comedy Central. If you haven’t seen it, check out this mostly hilarious show (the earlier seasons are considerably better) with a four-episode marathon from 9 to 11 Monday night, featuring some of the show’s best episodes: ‘Charlie Goes America All Over Everybody’s Ass,’ ‘Dennis and Dee Get a New Dad,’ ‘The Gang Finds a Dumpster Baby,’ and ‘The Gang Gets Invincible.’
10PM: The Hard Times of RJ Berger, MTV. This new half-hour comedy series from MTV, about a nerdy teen blessed with a large ‘package’, is actually pretty funny – which is surprising, since this is MTV. In ‘The Berger Cometh,’ RJ tries out for the school musical to get closer to his dream girl, Jenny, but problems arise when the two get too close for comfort.
9PM: Mean Girls, ABC Family. Remember Linday Lohan’s halcyon days in this surprisingly funny comedy, written by Tina Fey (who also co-stars), wherein high school girls are mean to each other in every imaginable way. With Rachel McAdams, Lizzy Caplan, Amanda Seyfried, and some other people – but Tim Meadows is my personal favorite as the school’s alternatively awkward and bad-ass principal.
10PM: Deadliest Warrior, Spike. Have you seen this show? A team of ‘experts’ line up behind two different ‘deadliest warriors’ (say, William Wallace vs. Shaka Zulu), test out their weaponry with tons of slow-mo cameras rolling, and then analyze the results to determine who is indeed, the deadlier warrior. This week: KGB vs. CIA.
9PM: Top Chef: D.C., Bravo. This season’s Top Chef is in our nation’s capital! The remaining chefs must plate healthy kid food at a local middle school to support First Lady Michelle Obama’s national initiative to end childhood obesity. No word yet on whether Mrs. Obama will appear, but my guess is she will! Watch it and find out.
5pm-1AM: Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’, SyFy. When 99.9% of the population dies after the accidental outbreak of a government-engineered Super-flu, the mysteriously immune survivors must help each other rebuild civilization, even as they begin to realize that they are involved in a struggle between good and evil of literally Biblical proportions. Loosely based on the novel by Stephen King, ‘The Stand’ miniseries has horror, gore, and – as in every Stephen King movie – a mystical black person who has all the answers (seriously – Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption, Michael Clark Duncan in The Green Mile, Scatman Crothers in The Shining, the list goes on).
Does that not interest you? There’s not much else on. Go watch Toy Story 3!
7PM and 10:30PM: There Will Be Blood, FX. Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film, the story of a early 20th century oil prospector with a borderline pathological lust for wealth, is a hands-down masterpiece. There Will Be Blood came out in 2007 but is already considered a classic piece of American cinema. Daniel Day-Lewis stars, along with Paul Dano, in this epic study of American capitalism, religion, and greed.
11PM: Se7en, Bravo. This dark, satisfying crime thriller stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as two police detectives – one just beginning his career, the other retiring – who aim to hunt down a megalomaniacal serial killer whose ‘work’ is inspired by the Bible’s ‘Seven Deadly Sins.’
8PM: Edward Scissorhands, ABC Family. Hey, it’s Johnny Depp in a Tim Burton movie. This time, Depp’s got scissors for hands and the simple town folk don’t take to kindly to that. This movie is actually a classic, and one of Burton’s best, so don’t be dissuaded if you hated Alice in Wonderland.
9PM: Dinocroc vs. Supergator, SyFy. Saturday’s are the worst days for television. Dinocroc vs. Supergator. That really says it all, doesn’t it? Your level of enjoyment of this film is going to be heavily dependent on your… ‘state of mind,’ let’s say. Go watch Toy Story 3 again!
10PM: Khloe and Kourtney Take Miami, E! The Kardashian girls failed to take Miami in the first season, but they are back, and trying harder than ever. Watch, enraptured, as the glorious spectacle that is their lives unfolds before you. Bask in it. Savor it. Now spit it out.
10PM: True Blood, HBO. Are you watching True Blood, yet? You should. The deliciously trashy, sexy, bloody vampire drama is not your little sister’s Twilight. Nor is it The Vampire Diaries or The Gates. So get over yourself and catch up with seasons one and two before jumping headfirst into the latest season, because this is great television. The upcoming episode finds Sookie scouring Mississippi for Bill with a werewolf escort, Jason struggling with his police exams, and Bud stumbling across some new gruesomeness. Spicy!