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TV Wasteland: Labor Day Dulls
Last week before new shows start
By Rob Vaux
August 29, 2010
A pile of Meh in TV Wasteland
© Bob Trate
Labor Day marks the end of our long drought. Next week brings the premiere of Nikita, so we’ll finally have something new to talk about!
X-Men: The Last Stand (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
A pair of sub-par sequels highlights Monday night… though some are more sub-par than others.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (HBO, 9:00 PM EDT)
So is the even crappier follow-up to a fairly crappy original (like this one is) more disappointing than the merely mediocre follow-up to a pretty damn good original (like the X-Men movie)? The debate continues.
Warehouse 13 (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
HG Wells (Jaime Murray) returns as the team ventures to Russia to stop someone using artifacts from Artie’s (Saul Rubinek) past.
Unnatural History (Cartoon, 8:00 PM EDT)
A Viking artifact may hold the key to exonerating Henry’s (Kevin G. Schmidt) uncle, if only he can find it in time.
The Mummy (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Commercials are the devil, especially when they’re stuck in the middle of feature films. That said, this 1999 Brendan Fraser vehicle remains a ripping good time… if only we could sic the mummy on that new ShamWow guy who keeps interrupting.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
It’s on. Again. That is all.
A Fistful of Dollars (TCM, 8:00 PM EDT)
Is there anything sweeter than watching Clint Eastwood flash that six-gun from under his poncho and blow some greasy-haired bandit straight out of his boots? I think not.
Ghost Hunters (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
The Philadelphia Zoo is apparently a hotbed of supernatural activity. What haunts its walkways and exhibits? The ghosts of children struck by flung monkey poo? The disembodied hand of zookeeper “Lefty” Schultz, who was a bit slow feeding the tigers that one time? You’ll have to tune in to find out.
True Lies (AMC, 10:00 PM EDT)
I don’t care how many people like it, the damn thing still gives me the creeps.
Futurama (Comedy, 10:00 PM EDT)
The show celebrates its 100th episode as Leela takes her mutant underground movement to the streets. Devo guest stars, so be ready to whip it good.
The Universe (History, 8:00 PM EDT)
This week focuses on asteroids and the possibility of them colliding with the Earth. Some sources state that this will begin at 9:00 PM, so check your local listings if you want to watch it.
Stan Lee’s Superhumans (History, 10:00 PM EDT)
Surprisingly, this is a fairly entertaining little show if human oddities are your thing. The week delivers a man who lives with wolves and a free diver who can withstand crushing depths without a suit.
Return to Pandora (FX, 10:00 PM EDT)
FX gets back on board the Avatar train to cheerlead the re-release of James Cameron’s blockbuster. Because it clearly didn’t make enough money the first time.
Final Destination (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
This is the original, in which a group of teens who cheat death are menaced by what appear to be elaborate Rube Goldberg devices. Ali Larter is a standout, but the remainder is typical horror film piffle.
Stephen King’s “The Langoliers” (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
A crappy novel turns into an even crappier miniseries, presented here in its entirety and largely unwatchable despite strong performances from David Morse and Bronson Pinchot.
Burn Notice is off until November. Moonlight is off in perpetuity.
Human Target (Fox, 8:00 PM EDT)
If you missed this fun action show last year, Fox is re-running the pilot. Check it out, if only to worship at the altar of Jackie Earle Haley.
Smallville (The CW, 8:00 PM EDT)
Smallville re-airs its Season 9 finale, pitting Clark (Tom Welling) against General Zod for control of the planet. New episodes will begin later in the month.
Supernatural (The CW, 9:00 PM EDT)
The world ends with Season 5, as the CW re-runs its big season finale in preparation for new episodes.
9 (HBO, 7:00 PM EDT)
A flawed but fascinating animated feature about a band of living dolls fighting to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.
Stephen King’s “The Tommyknockers” (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
Everything I said about The Langoliers goes double for The Tommyknockers, only there aren’t any good performances in this one.
Eureka and Haven are off for the holiday weekend.
Stephen King’s “The Stand” (Syfy, 3:00 PM EDT)
Finally, a good Stephen King adaptation!
From Dusk Till Dawn (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
If you need to get the manky taste of Machete out of your mouth, tune in to Robert Rodriguez’s 1995 gem about a pair of criminals who stop at a strip bar run by vampires. He has the good sense not to preach anything here.
The Gates (ABC, 10:00 PM EDT)
Claire (Rhona Mitra) and Dylan’s (Luke Mably) background is revealed in the search for a kidnapped Emily .
Superman II (BBC America, 8:00 PM EDT)
This is the Richard Lester version, without Marlon Brando. I happen to think it’s the better version, but take a look for yourself and see.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Cinemax, 7:15 PM EDT)
A first-rate adaptation hopefully sets up the grand conclusion to the Harry Potter saga.
Silent Hill (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
This has been on Syfy’s rotation for a few weeks, and we’re still trying to figure out why.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
This cancerous afterbirth of a film ranks as one of the worst comic book adaptations ever made, and explains why Alan Moore stomps around cranky all the time. It also looks to be the last screen appearance of Sean Connery: an ignominious finale to an otherwise marvelous career.
True Blood is off for Labor Day.