Greetings Cinescapers! Last week this humble TV critic got a little out of hand and desperately sought the attention of his readership, with stupendous results. (Thank you, each and every one.) Well, sad to say, after that article was submitted I noticed a small twitch in my channel-changing finger and was forced to seek medical attention.
As it turns out my mild muscle spasm was the result of a digit unprepared for the massive amount of channel surfing that accompanies summer programming. After a few tests, my doctor decided I suffered from rerun madness, a severe form of hysteria that results from viewing an overabundance of previously watched television programming.
Signs of rerun madness include:
If you feel that you suffer from rerun madness, here are some things you can do to alleviate it during these dreaded summer months:
Now, before I go to this week's program guide, I'd like to offer up a contest in which there is no prize except acknowledgement.
For all , TEOREMA) who had a, shall we say, interesting role in both SUPERMAN and SUPERMAN II. (I will not reveal the reason why this is brilliant casting, but if you must know, see the films... again... for the first time.)
Anyway, here is the contest. Write in and tell me what you think would be the absolute worst direction the show could go next season, as if you were pitching that idea. Make sure to have tongue firmly in cheek the whole time, don't swear, keep the content appropriate and make it short (two to three sentences tops). I will pick five of the best responses and post them along with either your name or your superhero alias and allow the rest of the readers to vote for the best one. The winner will get an honorary superpower of their choice which, like a key to a town, doesn't actually work and the knowledge that they are a super-duper winner.
Quick! Send your next season SMALLVILLE pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org - you just might become the greatest winner the world has ever known.
MONDAY, JUNE 9
STARGATE SG-1 (7 pm, SCI-FI) 1) Team goes back in time, Marty McFly kicks all their butts. 2) O'Neil gets the Rip Van Winkle storyline. 3) Thinking about imprisoning the SG-1 team? Try Hathor's planet. 4) A Goa'uld leads a religious cult on Earth after filling out a web page questionnaire. (Repeats)
SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS (8 pm, NIK) Spongebob tells mean jokes and becomes a sensation. Somewhere a TV Wasteland writer was watching. (Repeat)
SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY (8 pm, TBS) Before J. Lo was evoking fond memories of FLASHDANCE she was evoking fond memories of this Julia Roberts film with last year's ENOUGH. To which we say, ENOUGH indeed. (Ahem.)
CSI: MIAMI (10 pm, CBS) The mind of a sniper is probed as the team looks for the elusive "Kill Zone." (Repeat)
TUESDAY, JUNE 10
SMALLVILLE (8 pm, WB) 1) Red Kryptonite encourages Clark to become a superhero rebel without a cause... except in this case there's certainly a cause and it's Red Kryptonite. 2) When a worm turns Chloe and Pete into danger seekers, Clark wonders out loud why his life is filled with so many ludicrous scenarios. (Repeats)
UFOS: WHAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW (9 pm, HIST) Documentary reads the Bible as loosely as possible - with minimal regard for the various translations/mis-translations - in order to find evidence of alien contact. Ludicrous leaps of logic promised... heck, make that guaranteed.
LAST COMIC STANDING (9 pm, CBS) Comedians compete for a network contract. Savage first episode has Jerry Seinfeld tearing out Jay Mohr's throat with his teeth. Then fighting Jay Leno for the spoils of the kill.
KEEN EDDIE (9 pm, FOX) When a plot featuring a stolen prized racehorse is shown, viewer wonders why he's letting this show steal away his time. Calls Fox and gives them 24 hours to come up with something better. The race begins...
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 11
ENTERPRISE (8 pm, UPN), The Enterprise is forced to steal fuel from Klingons when Archer hunts for lower-than-Federation gas prices.
THE QUICK AND THE DEAD (9 pm, TNT) Sam Raimi has shown a strong Sergio Leone influence in his EVIL DEAD trilogy, but when he tries to do a Leone western all he gets is egg on the face. Certainly not a case of the student becoming the master, pity.
BATTLEFIELD EARTH (9 pm, SCI-FI) The PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE of this generation; sublime in its absurd dialogue, insane notion that John Travolta can play a menacing alien, and overuse of the Dutch angle. There is something for everyone in this amazing misfire. (Arguably the most entertaining film of the past decade.)
THE TWILIGHT ZONE (9 pm, UPN) Why is it that shows like this encourage the idea that catastrophic accidents will leave people with superhuman powers? A guy is hit by lightening and gets the ability to hear people's thoughts. Last time I was hit by lightening I was stuck in the emergency ward for two weeks with a catheter up my hoinkle. Yeah, some super power that.
THURSDAY, JUNE 12
THAT'S INCREDIBLE: THE REUNION (8 pm, ABC) Davidson, Tarkenton & Crosby return to talk about an amazing television show they were lucky enough to be a part of and how ensuing audience recognition allowed them to get some of those lucrative infomercial gigs.
CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (9 pm, CBS) Guy on autopsy table is still alive and an eye is found in a Raven's nest. A few "Poe" writing choices to spice up the broth. (Repeat)
UFOS: WHAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW (9 pm, HIST) Show concentrates on what the Government would do if there is an alien invasion. Plan name "Operation Chewbacca" leads one to believe the Government isn't taking this threat too seriously. (Repeat)
WITHOUT A TRACE (10 pm, CBS) Team searches for an airline stewardess who disappeared before her flight. Location of blonde hair has team realizing her whereabouts. (She had locked herself in her car with her keys and couldn't find a way to get out.) (Repeat)
FRIDAY, JUNE 13
STARGATE SG-1: THE LOWDOWN (8 pm, SCI-FI) Saving the world from rerun madness, STARGATE lubes up us fans with this clip show featuring the best of the past and the joys of the future.
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (8 pm, UPN) The best of the Bonds features the awesome Lotte Lenya (Kurt Weill's widow, theatre superstar) as an agent of SPECTRE with pointy shoes.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY'S REVENGE (8 pm, AMC) Oh American Movie Classics, I will say good day to you.
STARGATE SG-1 (9 pm, SCI-FI) Season premiere!!! Remember last season with all that Anubis stuff? Well, let me tell you, team SG-1 is going to resolve it with some serious butt kicking. HOORAY! Rerun madness ends! Plus: Another episode featuring Anubis trying to put their dickish moves on Jonas' planet.
SATURDAY, JUNE 14
JFK (8 pm, UPN) Movie blames everybody for Kennedy assassination, popularizing the "I killed Kennedy" buttons that took America by storm in the early '90s. (I still have mine, but then again I'm guilty.)
The Karate KID (8 pm, FAM) When I first saw this film, I cried.
MAXIM'S HOT 100 (9 pm, NBC) Maxim tells us who the 100 hottest mamas are! Cinescape is going to let the cat out of the bag and give you the skinny - #1 is super housekeeper and future prisoner Martha Stewart! YUM!
SUNDAY, JUNE 15
FIRESTARTER: REKINDLED (7 pm,
FUTURAMA (7 pm, FOX) If you give an idiot a refund, they will find insane ways to spend it. Rerun madness diminished by a new episode.
THE SIMPSONS (8 pm, FOX) Homer hires a P.I. to spy on Lisa. Lord knows how Homer gets his bankroll. Prostitution? (Repeat)
HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER (8 pm, AMC) A Western ghost story of sorts, features Clint Eastwood in his best post-Leone film role as a drifter who doles out retribution on a town that allowed their previous sheriff to be lynched. To quote Eric Cartman, "sweeeeet."
Well, it's time to bolt. Don't forget to send in your "worst SMALLVILLE season ever" scenario to email@example.com, and until next week I leave you with these lyrics:
"Here we are/
We are show room dummies/
We are show room dummies" - Kraftwerk
Sorry, rerun madness acting up again.
TV Wasteland is our weekly Television column.