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What to Watch This Weekend

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24

[IMG:L]Halloween – 8/7c on AMC

Halloween gets off to a very early start this year with, well, Halloween. Luckily, it’s not the unscary, unsuspenseful, unnecessary Rob Zombie “reimagining” from 2007 but rather John Carpenter’s 1978 original–in every sense of the word. If you’ve already seen it, you know it’s a somewhat masochistic Halloween tradition to watch again; if you haven’t yet seen it, you’re gonna need to watch…with another person!

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[IMG:L]A Night for Vets: An MTV Concert for the Brave – 8/7c on MTV

Music acts perform at various venues in honor of U.S. veterans–and in honor of getting some more exposure on MTV. Among those performing: 50 Cent, Fall Out Boy, Kid RockTaylor Swift and Kanye West–who despite his repeated public denouncement of MTV and its awards-show snubbery simply cannot turn down an invitation from the network.

[IMG:L]Don’t Forget the Lyrics – 9/8c on Fox

It’s a perfect marriage of annoying show and annoying “singer” as Don’t Forget the Lyrics enlists former American Idol contestant Constantine Maroulis to try and win money for charity. Tough break for whichever charity was picked!

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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25

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[IMG:L]Elizabeth: The Golden Age (TV Debut) – 8/7c on HBO

Oscar magnet Cate Blanchett reprises her role as Queen Elizabeth I in this sorta-sequel to 1998’s superior Elizabeth. (Shhhh… Don’t tell Academy members it’s on lest they get confused and nominate her again for this role!) Blanchett is predictably top-notch, but director Shekhar Kapur goes a bit over-the-top with his history this time around. Still, it’s worth watching for the costume work alone.

[IMG:L]World’s Ugliest Dog Competition – 10/9c on Animal Planet

With no reality-competition shows remaining for cute or talented dogs, what kind of canine exploitation is left? Fortunately, Animal Planet producers realized they had an untapped entertainment resource all along: ugly dogs! Beth Ostrosky (aka Mrs. Howard Stern) hosts this California-based tournament in which one pooch is crowned the ugliest of the ugly. OK, sarcasm aside, it sounds pretty damn guilty pleasure-iffic!

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26

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[IMG:L]Mad Men (Season Finale) – 10/9c on AMC (Re-Airs at 11/10c)

Just like its rookie season, Mad Men’s second season was both superb and seen by few. As season two wraps up, things at Sterling Cooper get a wee bit turbulent with Don (Jon Hamm) gone, while Betty (January Jones) receives some upsetting news. Indeed, trouble is brewing for the Drapers and Sterling Cooper, and don’t expect everything to end tidily–after all, this isn’t network TV.

[IMG:L]Entourage – 10/9c on HBO

Here’s hoping that Doug Ellin and Co. can one-up last week’s episode, the best of the season. It shouldn’t be too tough, considering that tonight’s episode builds on what was hinted at last week: Ari (Jeremy Piven) and Vince (Adrian Grenier) are about to go to war, Hollywood style! Ari’s interest in his huge career decision causes Vince to deal with another agent. Meanwhile, former Soprano Jamie-Lynn Sigler guest-stars as Turtle’s (Jerry Ferrara) mile-high rendezvous–or so he claims. Is Entourage finally back? Tonight should tell us for sure.

[IMG:L]Inside New Orleans High – 10/9c on NGC

The National Geographic Channel ventures indoors for a change, and the result is riveting and gritty the likes of which is usually reserved for HBO. Inside New Orleans High tracks a select few students as they try to navigate life both in and out of the classroom at New Orleans’ Walter L. Cohen High, one of the country’s most dangerous schools.

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