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Kicking it Placebo Style

It's a fanatic coast thing!

By Andrew Hershberger     May 19, 2003

Greetings Cinescapers! How was your weekend? Killer I bet. Boy was mine ever dull. I've been doing side work at a pharmaceuticals company and they were doing a survey on how much of an unmentionable, by signed agreement, over the counter drug it would take to kill a full-grown man. Thank god I was in the placebo group. 50 dollars less, but 50 dollars I wouldn't have been able to spend anyway.


By the way it only takes three jellybeans to kill a full-grown man, provided you get him to laugh at the right time.


While being a human guinea pig I was subjected to a plethora of exciting television. That is if you consider AMERICAN IDOL exciting. Now I don't want to go on record bashing anybody's favorite show, but I couldn't believe the total lack of talent they had on display, and I'm just talking about the host.


Yet while I rib this program I must say I was also held spellbound, particularly when I was on my cell trying to read the toll free numbers so as to vote on the cute girl a million times. The show proved so popular that me and the other test subjects started taking bets on who would win and the pot got pretty hefty, like 200 bucks. When all was said and done I came in second, but the guy who came in first wasn't in the placebo group so I won by default. I'm using that 200 bucks to buy me a Huffy bike like all the rock stars have.


Well, enough about my boring personal life, let's instead take a look at what I love more than chocolate dipped vanilla ice cream on a hot summers day, television! There's some killer stuff on this week, especially if you're a Nascar fan, so read on and see what suits your fancy.


(Have a comment or complaint you'd like to vent? I don't care if it has nothing to do with this column - I'm lonely, please send it to me at feedback@cinescape.com.)


MONDAY, MAY 19


STARGATE SG-1 (7 pm, SCI-FI) 1) Wife pregnant with other alien's baby! Shocking! 2) Insect bite turns Teal'c into insect baby. Baby shoe costs alone astronomical. 3) Vision leads to rebel Goa'ulds and cartoon in RIPLEY'S BELIVE IT OR NOT. 4) Dying man becomes host for Tok'ra due to mishearing name as Tonka, his favorite toy truck company. (Repeats)


SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS (8 pm, NIK) Spongebob breaks into the Treedome teaching kids everywhere the joys of breaking and entering. (Repeat)


THE LITTLE MERMAID II: RETURN TO THE SEA (8 pm, DISN) When Ursula's sister Morgana uses Ariel's daughter Melody in a revenge scheme, she discovers first hand the brutality of an ex-mermaid pushed to far.


CSI: MIAMI (10 pm, CBS) Prison break frees a child molester/murderer. Horatio, who witnessed the event, deeply distressed.


TUESDAY, MAY 20


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (8 pm, UPN) Buffy figures out how to destroy the First. Second and Third start quaking in their boots.

Angel (David Boreanaz) returns to Sunnydale - and to Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) - in "Chosen," the series finale of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER.

Series finale.


BLADE (8 pm, TBS) Wesley Snipes fights vampires, saves world and to a considerably lesser degree his shattered career.


SMALLVILLE (9 pm, WB) Chloe, never one to be bitter, considers Lionel's proposition that she spy on Clark.


24 (9 pm, Fox) It's 7 am and Marie tells her papa she was brainwashed. Papa tells Marie he thinks she means brain dead. Family Christmas cancelled.


WEDNESDAY, MAY 21


ENTERPRISE (8 pm, UPN), While Archer and crew head off to the edge of the galaxy to stop aliens out to destroy earth, UPN tries to figure out a way to put tighter uniforms on female crew in order to defeat ratings out to destroy show.


I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER (8 pm, WB) Yeah, you spent it on your butt watching films like this.


STEPHEN KING'S SOMETIMES THEY COME BACK (9 pm, SCI-FI) Yes it is true sometimes demonic teenagers do come back, but you know what doesn't? Tim Matheson's once promising career.


THE TWILIGHT ZONE (9 pm, UPN) Kids find item that puts out the sun, dead kids haunt Jason Bateman. This was on just a few weeks ago! What's up UPN? No money for shows? Better change your name to Liquidated-N! (Repeat)


THURSDAY, MAY 22


PAYBACK (8 pm, FAM) Remake of POINT BLANK has Mel Gibson seeking revenge on the people who cast him

CSI: MIAMI

in BIRD ON A WIRE. 


CSI: MIAMI (8 pm, CBS) Horatio looks into underground labs making drugs. Decides illegal aspect makes them bad investments. (Repeat)


CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (9 pm, CBS) Paragliding, safest activity ever? Nope, guess again. Plus, neighbors who kill each other teach community valuable lesson: always return borrowed hardware tools on time. (Repeat) 


WITHOUT A TRACE (10 pm, CBS) When a man and his daughter disappear during their regular routine, regular routines are brought into question. (Repeat)


FRIDAY, MAY 23


TOM JONES LIVE AT CARDIFF CASTLE (8 pm, A&E) It won't be unusual if your grandmother gets all hot and bothered when this sixties stallion belts out "What's new Pussycat." Just pray she doesn't throw her underwear at the TV.


FINAL DESTINATION (8 pm, FOX) Death, who apparently has way too much time on its hands, decides to go after some teens who used a premonition to avoid it initially. 


AMERICA'S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS (8 pm, ABC) Two hours of this! Kill me now.


THE POWERPUFF GIRLS MOVIE (8 pm, TOON) Sure it tanked at the box office, but who cares! Those darling rapscallions do what they do best wreck havoc and break monkey face in this charming film made from sugar, spice and secret ingredient X.


SATURDAY, MAY 24


THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (5:15 pm, TCM) Sure it's three hours long, sure it's 40 years old, sure it's got too much William Holden, but darn it, it's just so damn good you've got to see it. Features Alec "please don't remember me as just Obi-Wan" Guinness in his Oscar winning role and silent film star Sessue Hayakawa chewing up the scenery like few others can. From director David "LAWRENCE OF ARABIA" Lean.


INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE (8 pm, NBC) Sean Connery teams up with Harrison Ford in a film that wins the award for worst stop motion effects finale in a big budget feature. Of course it is always cool to see Indy, even if nobody gets their heart ripped out.


ANNA AND THE KING (8 pm, ABC) Non musical remake of the KING AND I became a huge non-hit.


THE POWERPUFF GIRLS MOVIE (8 pm, TOON) Yeah it was on last night as well; is this to become the Cartoon Network's BEASTMASTER?


SUNDAY, MAY 25


NASCAR RACING (5 pm, FOX) It's a billion hours plus of the Winston Cup Coca-Cola 600. Watch cars go around and around and around and around really fast. New and improved decals can be read at speeds approximating 200 miles an hour.

Wesley Snipes as Blade

Go Sprite!


TOY STORY (7 pm, ABC) One of the few films that features toys that come to life and don't kill wayward teens. Charming tale of toy redemption has turned millions of children into guilt-ridden hand wringers when they consider all the potentially alive toys they've given away or broke.


ALIAS (9 pm, ABC) Sydney needs Jack to help protect her from her mother and while he's at he might as well fix that leaky kitchen sink.


And that's all for the week... well, that's all we're going to talk about. So be good Cinescapers, watch all the television you can and if you have a free moment drop a line to feedback@cinescape.com. What could it hurt?


TV Wasteland is our weekly Television column.

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