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TV Wasteland: The Dog Days Are Here
TV Wasteland sees summer programming start to wrap up.
By Rob Vaux
July 31, 2011
August arrives amid heat waves, political gridlock and summer cable shows preparing to finish up their runs. What’s on tap this week? Let’s have a look.
Eureka (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
A bank robbery results in a new danger to the town in some vague and undefined way. Carter is on the case.
Warehouse 13 (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Pete’s ex shows up to remarry… and considering that the team lives in an unincorporated town, she must be doing it solely to rub his little nose in it. Bitch.
Alphas (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
The team takes down a Red Flag hideout, even as a new terrorist threat looms large.
Teen Wolf (MTV, 10:00 PM EDT)
Allison’s poking into her family background, while Scott struggles to keep those close to him safe. Neither sounds like a sensible plan.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
They could at least have the decency to air the original one… you know: the one that doesn’t suck?
How to Train Your Dragon (Cinemax, 8:15 PM EDT)
This delightful effort from Dreamworks gets better with each progressive viewing… as well as featuring Gerard Butler in a role that doesn’t actively squander his stardom.
Sky High (Disney, 9:00 PM EDT)
Horrible remix of “I Melt with You” notwithstanding, this very Disney mash-up of high school movies and superhero movies is loads of fun.
Planet of the Apes (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
FX just won’t let go of the crappy remakes, will they? Tim Roth’s evil chimp is a revelation, but the rest of the film is too limp, too unfocused, and nowhere near as powerful as the original.
Category 6: Day of Destruction (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
Syfy enjoys rerunning this four-hour disaster flick about a giant storm that eats Chicago a lot. I’m still trying to figure out why.
Ghost Hunters International (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
We’re off to Merry Olde England for reports of ghost sightings at Castle Rising. English castles? Ghosts? I don’t buy it.
Wanted (FX, 7:30 PM EDT)
Angelina Jolie’s weight is really beginning to worry me. That said, she’s still awesome here… as is James McAvoy, playing a wimpy accountant turned bad-ass assassin.
Monty Python’s The Life of Brian and Monty Python and the Holy Grail (IFC, 8:00 PM and 10:05 PM EDT)
A night of lunacy from six of the funniest people who ever lived. Get it while it’s hot.
Machete (Cinemax, 8:00 PM EDT)
It still sucks. But it’s on.
Burn Notice (USA, 9:00 PM EDT)
A father abducts his sick little boy from a secure compound, with Michael and Sam hot on his trail.
Futurama (Comedy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Leela goes all Ahab on us while hunting a whale that can travel through time.
Ugly Americans (Comedy, 10:30 PM EDT)
Callie clones Mark in an effort to win a bowling tournament. I’m sure it all goes off without a hitch, as most cloning schemes do.
Big Trouble in Little China (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
If you have to ask, you’re never going to know… unless you TiVo this movie immediately.
Batman (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
Tim Burton became a directing superstar after helming this big-budget adaptation of the Caped Crusader that swooped down in the summer of 1989 and took all our money with it. It’s deeply flawed, but damn it looks good.
The Core (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
You’d think that, as often as Syfy is airing this these days, that it would actually be worth watching. Not so much.
Torchwood: Miracle Day (Starz, 10:00 PM EDT)
The source of Miracle Day is finally discovered… just as Death makes a triumphant return to the surface of the Earth. For those who have hung in there with this show, it promises to be quite a bombshell this week.
Haven (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Electrical charges result in several deaths, even as Nathan probes deeper into the town’s hidden secrets.
Thundercats (Cartoon, 8:30 PM EDT)
What are people’s thoughts on the new ’Cats? Word is that it’s much different than the original. In any case, Lion-O and his comrades battle pirates on the Sea of Sand this week.
The Descent (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Pacing is key in a movie like this which, presented uncut, is one of the best horror films in recent years. But it needs to maintain its relentless claustrophobia throughout, and once you throw in commercials, it’s pretty much sunk. Are you listening, IFC?!
Batman Forever (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
We were so surprised when Joel Schumacher crapped all over the Dark Knight in Batman and Robin. We should have known better.
War of the Worlds (TNT, 8:00 PM EDT)
Steven Spielberg attempts to reinvent the H.G. Wells classic, with mixed but admittedly fascinating results.
Outcasts (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
Forthaven is struck by a deadly virus, which may or may not stem from the ACs. Anyone watching the show care to enlighten the rest of us on what the hell that means?
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
*Checks*. Yup. Still awesome.
Predators (HBO, 8:00 PM EDT)
Nimrod Antal delivers the first Predator sequel that actually stands up well in comparison to the original.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (ABC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Saturday night is often Potter night on ABC; the fourth entry in the series is par for the course, which means it’s pretty damn good.
The Manhattan Project (FMC, 10:00 PM EDT)
John Lithgow heads up an intriguing bit of 80s paranoia about a high school genius who invents an atomic bomb.
Transformers (TNT, 8:00 PM EDT)
There are some very good moments here… which makes the bad ones all the more painful.
Dawn of the Dead (Syfy, 6:30 PM EDT)
Remember when Zack Snyder didn’t scare the Warners brass to death? Those were good days…
The Hills Have Eyes II (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
It’s ugly, it’s painful, and it’s not only a sequel, but a sequel of a remake. Approach with caution, if at all.
House of Wax (MTV, 10:00 PM EDT)
It’s just a night of horror remakes, isn’t it? This one isn’t wretchedly bad, but it still fails to capitalize on its central gimmick. And somebody tell MTV to put the damn music videos back up NOW.
Falling Skies (TNT, 9:00 PM EDT)
Falling Skies posts back-to-back episodes tonight, wrapping up the season with a slam-bang assault on the alien fortress.
True Blood (HBO, 9:00 PM EDT)
Marnie kicks into overdrive, forcing Bill to adopt some drastic measures in order to keep his kind safe. Bet Sookie is more than happy to have cut him loose at this point.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
I like it. I won’t defend it, but there it is.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (BBC America, 8:00 PM EDT)
This one I don’t like. At all. Neither does Alan Moore… or anyone else who’s seen it.