ONE HAND CLAPPING
By Chris Ryall
TV Recommendations for the week of July 2
By Chris Ryall
Monday, July 2
DEADLIEST CATCH -- 9 AM, Discovery
I like this show a lot, but I'm not sure my heart can take 14 straight hours of it.
CAMOUFLAGE -- 7 PM, GSN
Series Premiere: A new game show typically isn't much cause for celebration, but the fact that this one isn't hosted by Howie Mandel and actually features wordplay over, say, picking a briefcase at random, is good news.
CREATURE COMFORTS -- 8 PM, CBS
In a summer so far bereft of decent network shows, you could do much worse than watch this Aardman production.
EXTREME MAKEOVER -- 9 PM, ABC
Series Return: Well, since there's no way I can mock an episode that brings good cheer to an amputee, I might as well just give in and start watching reality shows, to get ready for the dead zone of TV next year when the strike hits. Then again, I think that when TV writers go on strike, so will this TV-watcher.
Tuesday, July 3
WIDE ANGEL -- 9 PM, PBS
Season Premiere: The sixth season premiere of a show I know is solid in quality but something I've never watched offers up an episode about China that I presume will keep my not-watching streak alive and well.
FALCON BEACH -- 12 AM, ABC Family
Series Finale: ABC Family really does know how to program for the families, don't they? I can just see all the parents and their kids, sitting down to watch this finale at midnight on a Tuesday.
Wednesday, July 4
Happy 4th of July!
A CAPITOL FOURTH -- check local, PBS
If you're stuck inside for the 4th of July, you get two extreme examples of the good and bad of being free--Hayden Panettiere is on this special, but so is some AMERICAN IDOL singer. And Tony Danza, to tip the scales toward the "too much freedom is a bad thing" side.
MARRIED... WITH CHILDREN -- 8 AM, FX
I know most people have forgotten about this show, but FX is offering up a nice white-trash marathon today, with four hours of this show and then KING OF THE KILL for the rest of the day.
THE TWILIGHT ZONE -- 8 AM, Sci Fi
Ahhh, nothing says "Americana" more than a marathon of this show. And here you get 21 hours of it. All is right with the world, for today on TV, at least.
LAW & ORDER -- 8 AM, TNT
15 hours of this show is called a marathon? I don't think so--they air 16-20 hours of this show on a regular day. I guess they're cutting back for today.
NATHAN'S HOT DOG EATING CONTEST -- 12 PM, ESPN
Let's get this straight--no one is ever going to beat a Kenyan in a marathon, and no one is ever going to beat Kobayashi in a hot dog-eating contest. At least until next year, when his heart explodes after eight straight years of eating pig hair and rat balls, or whatever hot dogs are made of.
HIDDEN PALMS -- 8 PM, The CW
Season Finale: Better luck next time, Kevin Williamson. Or the time after that, maybe, based on your recent track record.
DRIVE -- 8 PM, Fox
Season Finale: That's awfully nice of you, Fox, to refer to this as the "Season" finale when the show was actually cancelled during the first episode's title credits back in April.
Thursday, July 5
BIG BROTHER 8 -- 8 PM, CBS
Season Premiere: If you want to see all the night-vision nudity and hear the off-color language that the average UK version shows every day, you can also watch this over on Showtime's ShoToo network later tonight. Or you can realize it's not worth it and just skip it altogether, like I plan to do.
ULTIMATE NASCAR -- 9 PM, ESPN
Season Premiere: I know ESPN's getting NASCAR back later this month, but still, can't we keep this stuff where it belongs (on Spike) and keep showing actual sports on ESPN (note: bring on the hate mail, fans of left-turn-only driving events!)?
SHAMELESS -- 11 PM, Sundance
Series Premiere: Let's see the American adaptation of this one. It's just rude enough that we could do something with it. Don't get me wrong, though, it's also damned funny, and plenty crude for those who are tired of the usual sitcom tripe.
Friday, July 6
GOOD MORNING AMERICA -- 7 AM, ABC
The perfect sort of show to wake up to. Well, not today, it's not. Since Norah Jones is performing, it's actually the perfect sort of show to help you hit snooze and grab another hour of sleep.
HARRY POTTER WEEKEND -- 7:30 PM, ABC Family
Catch the various Potter movies all weekend to get ready for the fifth one. Or, better yet, just watch the third one and most of the fourth one.
DOCTOR WHO -- 8 PM, Sci Fi
Season Premiere: David Tennant just might be my favorite Doctor yet, and Martha's already won me over, too. I miss Rose, but still, the first few episodes of this season are as fun as the show's ever been. The 9:30 episode--two air back-to-back here--is an especially inspired intro to Marth.
JERICHO -- 9 PM, CBS
Anyone eating peanuts as they read this--or getting that reference--doesn't need to be told this, but for the rest of you who might want to catch up with the show, here's your chance--the original pilot episode.
Saturday, July 7
LIVE EARTH: ALL ACCESS -- 4 AM, Sundance
The global concert starts at 4 AM, and the best way to catch it is to leave your TV on all night, plus turn on all your radios, too. What better way than to hear every message this concert is bringing you about helping curb global warming? Wonder what size carbon footprint Madonna and her immense group of dancers and outfits is going to leave after performing.
2007 TOUR DE FRANCE -- 7:30 AM, Versus
Drug-fueled or not, at least these cyclists are using their own energy to get around, and not flying private plans and fancy tour buses. Couldn't we just pin "stop global warming" notes to their shirts instead of having millions of people drive to stadiums across the world to see bands play?
AVENGING ANGEL -- 9 PM, Hallmark
Hercules (Kevin Sorbo, that is) straps on the chaps and leg irons for this Western, Hallmark-style. Although Hallmark is saying this one is going to be sort of dark (for them, which means beige).
ASSUME THE POSITION WITH ROBERT WUHL -- 10 PM, HBO
Robert Wuhl explores American comedy. If only he'd done that before starring in ARLI$$.
Sunday, July 8
EVA & TONY: DESPERATELY IN LOVE -- 8 PM, TV Guide
Yeah, we know they're desperate--or at least she is, based on the extreme amount of attention she seems to require any time she's out in public. If you don't know who the "Eva and Tony" in the title are without last names, please, please change places with me. I want to not know who they are, either, beyond just seeing him play basketball, anyway.
THE 4400 -- 9 PM, USA
I'm still finishing out season 3 even as I'm watching season 4, which is a pretty disorienting way to approach the show, I have to say. The show can't seem to take itself to the next level, but it's still got my attention, anyway. Just wish it'd fully deliver on its potential.
MIND OF MENCIA -- 10 PM, Comedy
Season Return: Tonight, Carlos Mencia does a big riff on going to the dentist, talks up Jell-O pudding pops, and wears some colorful sweaters while scolding his fictional son Theo. Groundbreaking stuff once again!
AMERICAN BODY SHOP -- 10:30 PM, Comedy
Series Premiere: A mock reality show set in a body shop? The only setting that'd feel less original would be setting it in a tattoo parlor. But I'm sure that, whatever its quality, it'll seem like genius compared to the previous half-hour.
All show times Pacific Standard Time and all opinions only still jokes from past columns