Insomniac’s Guide: July 5-11


  The Insomniac’s Guide: The Best TV Past 11

Welcome to’s Insomniac’s Guide to television, where we bring you our guide to 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 7/5

Buffy The Vampire Slayer– 3 AM on Logo

Buffy’s 7th season is mostly a disaster, but the final episode of the show does its best to serve as a fitting capstone to the highly influential series. If you haven’t seen the series before, this isn’t the place to start, but if the semi-annual Twilight barrage is getting on your nerves, you could do worse than going back to the “classics.”

Tuesday Night 7/6

Rocko’s Modern Life– 2:30-5:30 AM on Nicktoons

Rocko’s Modern Life is up there with Ren And Stimpy as a show where it’s hard to understand how it got on the air. It’s sly, funny, and unfailingly absurd, in a way that makes it perfect for late night viewing. Not to mention, it has more “how the hell did the FCC not notice this?” moments than any cartoon since South Park.

Wednesday Night 7/7

Donnie Darko– 11:35 PM on Encore

I don’t know if I would be brave enough to watch this movie by myself late at night. To be fair, I am kind of a wuss, but Frank the rabbit always really gets to me. Lately Donnie Darko has become almost synonymous with midnight movie, so you probably should watch it at night. Especially since a tired mind is more receptive to the slow-building scares, and less likely to notice the fact that the film makes very little sense.

Thursday Night 7/8

In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale– 2:30 AM on Syfy

When watching bad movies, it’s best to pick a film that won’t just be run-of-the-mill incompetent or dull, but exceptionally awful. One certain way of making sure that your film will be up to your standards of failure, just check the credits for Uwe Boll’s name. Boll’s films are famously and consistently hilarious, so if you’re a Mystery Science Theater fan or bad film connoisseur, Boll’s the best thing since Ed Wood.

Friday Night 7/9

Abraham Lincoln- 12 AM on Turner Classic Movies

It was the 4th of July this weekend, but just because the holiday is over doesn’t mean you can’t still get your history on. Not that this film is all that historically accurate: it focuses heavily on Lincoln’s relationship with Ann Rutledge, which seems a bit like making a film about Gandhi and devoting most of it to his high school sweetheart. But the film is basically a historical relic in itself, since it was made by film pioneer D.W. Griffith.

Saturday Night 7/10

American Psycho– 11:30 PM on IFC

Christian Bale is one scary dude. He hasn’t played a normal, non-creepy guy since Newsies, and he was like 12 in that. Sure, he technically plays a superhero in Batman, but his real-life persona seems a lot closer to Patrick Bateman than Bruce Wayne (judging by his dislike of “fucking distracting” lighting people on his sets). Bateman makes that crazy work like, well, crazy in American Psycho, and as a result the film is utterly fascinating, as well as gory and fun.

Sunday Night 7/11

Galaxy Quest– 2:30 TBS

Galaxy Quest goes where no film has gone before, into the realms of mocking Star Trek, science fiction, and nerd culture in general. Actually, that’s a place that several films have gone before, but none have done it with the sympathy and skill of Galaxy Quest. It’s clearly a labor of love from people who enjoy being nerds, not just mocking them. Plus, it has Sam Rockwell and Tony Shalhoub in two of the funniest roles of their career, and Alan Rickman at his droll best.

Extra: If Galaxy Quest has got you in the mood for Star Trek, the BBC is showing The Next Generation episode “I, Borg” Friday night at 11.