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TV Wasteland: Kevin Smith Must Be Stopped
The filmmaker opens his Secret Stash to the world in Comic Book Men
By Rob Vaux
February 05, 2012
The Walking Dead returns to AMC
© AMC/Robert Trate
The big news this week is the return of The Walking Dead… which hopefully continues to improve after the slow start earlier in the season. Our own Joe Oesterle will provide weekly reviews and we’ll all have a chance to comment as it proceeds. Today, however, we’re going to look at the new show following it up.
Comic Book Men, a new reality series, covers the goings-on in Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash owned by filmmaker and uberfan Kevin Smith. Members of the store staff go looking for hard-to-find collectibles and comment on pop culture in general.
Excited? Neither are we. Little about it feels new or worthwhile; it’s not like the fan community needs a specific place to rally around, and Smith’s increasingly shopworn public persona can only carry it so far.
Antiques Roadshow and similar efforts can make the act of buying and selling paraphernalia interesting, but it remains to be seen whether the comic book community can get behind a retooled variation of the concept. Furthermore, fictional shows like The Big Bang Theory have already staked out a big chunk of this territory, and one wonders whether “real” comic book nerds can be as interesting as the make-believe ones on other shows. The Walking Dead should give it a nice lead-in, but don’t be surprised if this realty series drops faster than the price of that Betty and Veronica #23 with the chocolate stain on the cover.
Alcatraz (Fox, 9:00 PM EST)
The Sixty-Three of the week turns out to be a guard rather than a prisoner; so at least our heroes aren’t stopping another crime spree this time.
Being Human (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
Josh finds some new werewolves to hang out with and Sally meets a fellow ghost with whom she can commiserate.
Lost Girl (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
A fury targets a human woman and Bo feels obligated to protect her. Infidelity is involved somehow, but the fae probably don’t care.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EST)
Daniel Radcliffe is moving on with The Woman in Black, but it’s nice to see him ending the Harry Potter franchise on such a high note.
Stephen King’s Thinner (AMC, 8:00 PM EST)
Tom Holland delivers a mediocre-but-not-awful rendition of the Stephen King story about a fat man who begins to shed alarming amounts of weight under a gypsy curse.
Fantastic Four (FMC, 7:00 PM EST)
They’re getting the crappy one out of the way early tonight to make room for…
X-Men (FMC, 9:30 PM EST)
Ah… much better.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
Because no one out there has ever seen it before.
Iron Man (FX, 7:00 PM EST)
Stick around after the Robert Downey blockbuster for Justified if you can. It’s the best show on television right now.
Cujo (AMC, 8:00 PM EST)
Apparently it’s Second-Tier Stephen King Adaptations Week on AMC….
X2 (FMC, 10:00 PM EST)
The second-best X-Men film (after the terrific First Class) is actually the second X-Men film to be produced. Convenient, that.
Bolt (Disney, 8:30 PM EST)
Disney scores an unexpected winner in this CG movie about a TV dog who thinks he’s a superhero.
Sin City (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
Robert Rodriguez’s highly touted comics adaptation is high on style, but too slavishly adherent to the source to deliver the requisite liveliness.
Crank (Syfy, 7:00 PM EST)
These are the guys doing the new Ghost Rider movie. Good or bad, it’s going to be interesting…
Quantum of Solace (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
Daniel Craig’s second Bond film isn’t bad, but fails to scale the heights set by Casino Royale.
Ghost Hunters (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
Virginia’s Major Graham Mansion falls under the gaze of Ghost Hunters’ IR cameras this week.
Face Off (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
Vivica A. Fox and Sam Worthington are the gust judges as the remaining contestants need to create realistic werewolf wounds.
Pet Sematary (AMC, 8:00 PM EST)
This is actually one of the better Stephen King adaptations to come along, though not quite in the ranks of the elite.
The Losers (Cinemax, 8:15 PM EST)
I wish this had been better – the talent was certainly there, but the end result is so very forgettable.
Hatchet II (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EST)
With a title like that, you should know exactly what you’re in for.
Hostel and Hostel Part II (IFC, 8:00 PM EST and 10:00 PM EST)
The poster children for the torture porn movement embody all that is attractive and loathsome about that trend. Proceed accordingly.
Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (FMC, 9:00 PM EST)
You won’t find a worse movie of any sort to watch all week. Fairly warned thee be says I.
Hulk (Starz, 6:40 PM EST)
The middling Ang Lee adaptation certainly doesn’t fit in with Marvel’s current pravda, but contains its share of charms.
Priest (Starz, 9:00 PM EST)
Starz follows the Jennifer Connelly Hulk with an appearance from her husband Paul Bettany, playing a holy warrior in a dark future populated by vampires.
Final Destination 2 (Starz, 10:35 PM EST)
I know tonight’s line-up isn’t the strongest, Starz, but surely you can find something better to anchor the proceedings.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8:00 PM EST)
Sheldon acted like a complete cretin last week without receiving any kind of comeuppance. He’ll get a chance to make amends when he helps Amy out with her lab monkeys.
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8:00 PM EST)
There’s a plot at a ball in a gigantic mansion. I have to admit, this at least sounds like something actual vampires could conceivably do. You may proceed, Vampire Diaries.
The Secret Circle (The CW, 9:00 PM EST)
Diana drinks the wrong potion at a sleep-over and all hell breaks loose. This sounds like a typical episode of any other CW show, with “potion” replacing “ecstasy.”
Christine (AMC, 8:00 PM EST)
John Carpenter’s entry in the Stephen King sweepstakes is hit-and-miss, but when it hits, it is truly a thing of beauty.
Sucker Punch (Cinemax, 8:05 PM EST)
No. Just… no.
WALL-E (Disney, 8:30 PM EST)
Best Pixar movie ever? It’s certainly in the running… and that’s saying something.
I, Robot (FMC, 9:00 PM EST)
Alan Tudyk really saves the day here, using a mo-cap suit to create a robot accused of murder.
Mega-shark vs. Crocosaurus (Syfy, 7:00 PM EST)
This is happening. Just so you know.
Dinocroc vs. Supergator (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
So’s this. Wear your goggles because the crappy CG will be flying all over the place.
Fringe (Fox, 9:00 PM EST)
A Fringe event traps the team in a small town where they seemingly cannot escape.
Grimm (NBC, 9:00 PM EST)
Nick has earned a name for himself in the creature world, a fact that could put Juliette in danger.
Nikita (The CW, 8:00 PM EST)
Percy sets his sights on Nikita’s mentor in an effort to take over Division.
Supernatural (The CW, 9:00 PM EST)
Sam and Dean investigate the worst birthday party ever, in which the children’s darkest fears come to life and kill everyone. The Evil-Clown-O-Meter will presumably be set to maximum.
Spartacus: Vengeance (Starz, 10:00 PM EST)
Spartacus quells unrest within his ranks while Lucretia reveals a closely held secret in order to better herself. Also, genital stabbings.
Merlin (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
Morgana bewitches Merlin in an effort to kill Arthur. Yikes! This chick really means business.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Cartoon, 8:00 PM EST)
They’re kidnapping Chancellor Palpatine! No word yet on whether said kidnapping is the one seen in Revenge of the Sith or not. Tune in and we’ll see.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (TCM, 8:00 PM EST)
This unquestioned masterpiece rarely ranks as anyone’s absolute favorite Steven Spielberg film, but I’m betting it cracks the top 5 on everybody’s list.
Blade Runner (AMC, 8:00 PM EST)
They don’t say which version this is, but all of them are worth watching.
Casino Royale (BBC America, 8:00 PM EST)
With the exception of Goldfinger, this is easily the best James Bond to date.
Underworld (Cinemax, 7:15 PM EST)
Death Race (FX, 8:00 PM EST)
Oh Jason Statham, we just can’t stay mad at you!
The Fades (BBC America, 9:00 PM EST)
As more Fades appear, Paul works to discover why he returned from the dead.
Paul (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EST)
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost star in a fine effort about a pair of sci-fi nerds who pick up an actual space alien.
Triassic Attack (Syfy, 7:00 PM EST)
Three dinosaurs come to life and wreak havoc on a small town.
Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
You have to admire Syfy’s sheer brazen chutzpah at this move… and it may end up being better than the big budget production whose coattails it presumably intends to ride.
Watchmen (TNT, 8:00 PM EST)
TNT unveils the controversial adaptation of Alan Moore’s seminal graphic novel. We still think it’s forty kinds of awesome; do you agree?
The Walking Dead (AMC, 9:00 PM EST)
Rick struggles to restore order while Hershel disappears as the horror series returns from hiatus.
Comic Book Men (AMC, 10:00 PM EST)
A new series about life in Kevin Smith’s comic book shop premieres on AMC, hoping to cash in on that tasty lead-in. See the top of the article for more.
Once Upon a Time (ABC, 8:00 PM EST)
Mr. Gold’s house is robbed, while various town princesses plan an evening out.
Up (Disney, 8:00 PM EST)
Maybe this is the best Pixar film ever… hard to say…
The Devil’s Rejects (IFC, 8:45 PM EST)
I’m telling you: Rob Zombie has the goods on whoever runs programming at IFC.
End of Days (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
For the love of God, who thought this was a good idea? Bring them to us for fitting punishment!