Insomniac’s Guide: July 19-25


Welcome to’s Insomniac’s Guide to television, where we bring you our guide to the strange, dark underbelly of television that is after-11 programming. So if you’re a night owl, or just want to set your TiVo, check out our recommendations for the week. But there’s no guarantee that these shows will look as good by the light of day.

Note: TV is recorded by the night, rather than date that it airs. For instance, if a show is on at 2 AM Tuesday morning, it will be listed as a Monday night show. All times EST.

Monday Night 7/19

Futurama “Jurassic Bark” 1:30 on Comedy Central

Futurama may be back with new episodes, but it’s hard to beat the classics. And “Jurassic Bark” is a classic for sure, it’s got an ending so sad that people wrote in to the network to complain, and the writers had to retcon it in one of the straight-to-DVD movies. You’ll never listen to “Walking On Sunshine” the same way again.

Tuesday Night 7/20

Darkness Falls 3:30 on Encore

Darkness Falls is a pretty generic, dull horror film, except for one important detail: the monster is a deranged killer tooth fairy. You’ve got to check out something that gloriously dumb.

Wednesday Night 7/21

The Crying Game 12:00 on IFC

We may have reached the point with The Crying Game where there are people on the planet who were either too young to hear about the famous twist when it first came out, or are old enough that they forget everything, including the twist- so I’ll keep quiet. People forget that there’s anything to the movie but the famous reveal, but there’s actually an interesting and unusual story that proceeds it.

Thursday Night 7/22

No One Dies In Lily Dale 2:50 on HBO Signature

No One Dies In Lily Dale is a HBO documentary about the titular town of Lily Dale, which has become a Mecca for spiritualists who contact the dead. It’s fascinating subject matter, presented in a low key, even-handed manner. It may sound a bit spooky for late night viewing, but for the subjects of the documentary spending time with the dead is just making a living.

Friday Night 7/23

Funny Games 1:30 on AMC

I hate to be all vague with half of these, but both The Crying Game and Funny Games are films that you should go into without knowing much about them. Let’s just say that Funny Games is by Michael Haneke, master of the disturbing- and I don’t mean disturbing in the way that you usually see in the movies. Seeing it edited for TV isn’t really optimal, but the shocks should still come through.

Saturday Night 7/24

Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory 10:30 on ABCFamily

Screw the Tim Burton version, the original is way more, well, original, and it doesn’t have Johnny Depp doing an inappropriate Michael Jackson impression. Odds are if you were born after 1965 this movie was a part of your childhood, and there’s no better late night viewing than something nostalgic and familiar. Just don’t fall asleep during the tunnel scene, you’ll have nightmares for sure.

Sunday Night 7/25

The Invention Of Lying 1:00 on HBO

The problem with The Invention Of Lying is that it’s got a great concept, an amazing cast, and clever jokes, but it decides to throw them away and turn itself into a rom-com in the last act. It’s infuriating, but now that it’s on HBO, it’s easier than ever to just turn the TV off once you get an hour in and come up with your own ending. Using your imagination is fun!