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TV Wasteland: The Neighbor of the Beast
666 Park Avenue marks a week full of TV premieres.
By Rob Vaux
September 24, 2012
© ABC/Robert Trate
There’s a huge slew of premieres this week – including Haven, Fringe and The Big Bang Theory – but our attention is drawn to a new show. 666 Park Avenue picks up where The Devil’s Advocate left off, delivering a swanky Manhattan apartment complex literally run by the devil. Normally, we’d be skeptical of such an offering, but the sheer overwhelming soapiness of the premise is hard to resist. Then there’s the presence of Terry O’Quinn as the building’s owner: an actor who not only understands the value of understatement, but can deploy it with the effectiveness of a Roman Legion. Most of the returning shows this week are reliably entertaining. This one is a wild card with the potential to blow our socks off… or make us hide our heads in shame for even suggesting that anyone should watch it.
Either way, you can find out this Sunday night at 10:00 PM EST on ABC.
Revolution (NBC, 10:00 PM EST)
NBC can’t accuse the fans of not showing up for this one, making it one of the big winners on its premiere night. We’ll see if it can follow up on its success, as Miles looks for Nora in the hopes that she’ll help them rescue Danny.
Alphas (Syfy, 8:00 PM EST)
Hicks starts working for Parish, who’s planning a huge blackout as part of some larger plot.
Warehouse 13 (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
Brother Adrian takes off the gloves, while Mrs. Frederic and Steve head to the Vatican in search of answers.
Flubber (Cinemax, 8:20 PM EST)
Robin Williams reprises the role that Fred MacMurray made famous, though with considerably diminished returns.
The A-Team (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EST)
Liam Neeson makes everything better.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (FMC, 7:30 PM EST)
I’m glad Chris Evans found another Marvel character to hang his hat on. He’s a pretty cool guy.
Fantastic Four (FMC, 9:30 PM EST)
They also ran this earlier in the day, so it’s not really putting the original after the sequel.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
Sam Rockwell steals the show as intergalactic smarmmeister Zaphod Beeblebrox, but Alan Rickman scores a few hits too.
Kung Pow: Enter the Fist (IFC, 10:15 PM EST)
Limp satire is perhaps the saddest of all movies. And they don’t get any limper than this half-hearted kung-fu parody from would-be satirist Steve Oedekerk.
Face Off (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
The video game Dishonored becomes the subject this week, as the contestants create make-up for distorted features.
Hot Set (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
The contestants need to build a throne room for an alien queen this week. No word on whether it’s for a sexy Flash Gordon queen or an alternatively sexy H.R. Giger queen.
The Time Traveler’s Wife (ABC Family, 6:00 PM EST)
This sci-fi weepie about a man who travels through time without rhyme or reason (and the woman who loves him) is clever, heartfelt and will make you cry like a little girl if you let it.
Hancock (FX, 8:00 PM EST)
No crying here, but Will Smith makes a pretty awesome Super Dick.
A Thousand Words (HBO, 8:30 PM EST)
The stink lines coming from this Eddie Murphy vehicle – about a father who will die if he says 1,000 more words – are too potent for me to overcome.
The Forbidden Kingdom (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
I wanted to like this film. I really, really did.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Showtime, 8:00 PM EST)
Dear God, when will it end?
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Showtime, 10:10 PM EST)
Oh right, November. We can hang on that long.
Gamer (Spike, 7:00 PM EST)
You may have seen worse films in the past five years, but you won’t find many this sleazy.
Doom (Spike, 9:15 PM EST)
It’s not so much a video game adaptation as a lame approximation of watching someone else play a video game.
Battle: Los Angeles (Starz, 7:00 PM EST)
Aaron Eckhart takes on alien invaders… and who are we to bet against that chin?
Underworld: Awakening (Starz, 9:00 PM EST)
Does anyone else want to see Kate Beckinsale’s Selene take on Milla Jovovich’s Alice? Now that would be a movie!
LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out (Cartoon, 8:00 PM EST)
Cartoon Network debuts a new entry in the surprisingly charming LEGO Star Wars universe, with Darth Vader taking on Darth Maul while Luke struggles with his fans.
Ghost Hunters (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
A new member joins the team, just in time to check out a haunting at the Alexandria Zoo in Louisiana.
Paranormal Witness (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
A family lives in the former home of a serial killer and for some reason starts picking up bad vibes. Funny how that works.
The Truman Show (AMC, 8:00 PM EST)
Jim Carrey has never been better – though that’s not saying a whole heck of a lot – in a prescient science fiction story about a man whose life is televised to the world.
Escape from New York (BBC America, 7:00 PM EST)
Dear Hollywood: if you try to remake this, we’ll come for you in the night. All of us.
X2: X-Men United (Cinemax, 8:45 PM EST)
Though First Class eventually eclipsed it, this still stands as one of the best entries in the ongoing X-Men franchise.
The Devil’s Rejects (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
I can’t say I’m a fan of Rob Zombie, but if you can’t enjoy this one, you may as well give up on him completely.
The Exorcist (IFC, 10:15 PM EST)
The best horror movie ever made? You could make a very convincing case.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Starz, 9:00 PM EST)
You will believe that a movie based on a theme park ride can still be good.
Also, a new South Park is up tonight at 10:00 PM EST on Comedy Central, for those so interested.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8:00 PM EST)
The hit comedy returns with Howard still in space and Bernadette throwing down against his mother.
Last Resort (ABC, 8:00 PM EST)
ABC’s new series about a nuclear submarine that goes rogue after receiving unconfirmed orders has a lot of promise, especially with the great Andre Braugher at the helm.
Elementary (CBS, 10:00 PM EST)
Look, I love Lucy Liu as much as the next man but this new modern updating of Sherlock Holmes feels like crap… especially with the brilliant BBC version still kicking all kinds of ass.
The Princess Bride (AMC, 8:00 PM EST)
Do I have to tell you why this is so awesome?
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (AMC, 10:00 PM EST)
Steven Spielberg precedes his masterpiece E.T. with an equally compelling look at visitors from outer space.
Your Highness (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EST)
I don’t think I can forgive Danny McBride for this one. Ever.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (FMC, 8:00 PM EST)
The sheen of Oscar bait is hard to swallow, but the rest of the film isn’t too bad.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (HBO, 9:00 PM EST)
Andy Serkis shows us why he’s the best at what he does in a magnificent reboot of the venerable Apes franchise.
Rambo 4 (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
If you like Lionsgate CG blood, have we got a movie for you…
Valhalla Rising (IFC, 9:45 PM EST)
If you’re looking for a down-and-dirty Viking apocalypse thriller, this bad boy has everything you need.
The Return of the King (Starz, 8:35 PM EST)
The only fantasy movie to win Best Picture. Period.
Saw III, Saw IV and Saw V (Syfy, 4:30 PM EST, 7:00 PM EST and 9:00 PM EST)
Yeah, we don’t get this scheduling choice either.
Fringe (Fox, 9:00 PM EST)
The final season opens with the team released 20 years in the future, when the Observers rule the world.
Grimm (NBC, 9:00 PM EST)
A robbery at a church sends Monroe to investigate, while Nick finds himself pursued by a seriously dangerous enemy.
Haven (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
Some Olde Tyme Vikings appear on the streets, and Audrey and Nathan have to figure out exactly why they’re here before the whole “rape, loot, pillage and burn” thing gets out of hand.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (ABC Family, 6:00 PM EST)
This is the good one.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (ABC Family, 8:30 PM EST)
The Green Mile (AMC, 8:00 PM EST)
Though too earnest and overly long, this Stephen King adaptation still has a lot going for it.
In Time (HBO, 8:00 PM EST)
Trust me, it’s not as bad as you’ve heard.
Source Code (Showtime, 7:25 PM EST)
Jake Gyllenhaal helms one of the best science fiction movies in the last few years, as a soldier sent into the body of another man in order to prevent a terrorist attack.
Real Steel (Showtime, 9:00 PM EST)
It leaves a lot of unanswered questions, but you could do a lot worse.
Blade: Trinity (TNT, 8:00 PM EST)
That Jessica Biel sure is awesome, but the rest of the movie brings an ignominious end to the Blade franchise.
Daredevil (TNT, 10:00 PM EST)
This got a lot of flak when it was released because Ben Affleck was horribly overexposed. I maintain that it’s not just a good film, but a flat-out great one. Also, Michael Clarke Duncan.
Doctor Who (BBC America, 9:00 PM EST)
Amy and Rory say their good-byes as various statues in New York City mysteriously come to life. As always, Confessions of a Neowhovian has the hook-up for you. (www.neowhovian.com)
Lake Placid 2 (Syfy, 7:00 PM EST)
Not even Cloris Leachman can replace the great Betty White in a giant-crocodile-run-amuck series that really should have quit while it was ahead.
Lake Placid: The Final Chapter (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
The title is lying. That is all.
Aladdin (ABC Family, 8:03 PM EST and 10:04 PM EST)
Remember when people didn’t want to kick Robin Williams repeatedly in the junk for dreck like Old Dogs? Good times…
Independence Day (A&E, 8:00 PM EST)
It’s neither art, nor entertaining, which makes one wonder what it’s doing on this network.
Shrek (Cartoon, 7:00 PM EST)
Leave it to this magnificent modern classic to steal the first-ever Best Animated Feature Oscar away from Pixar.
Beyond (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EST)
A detective joins forces with an Alaskan psychic to find a missing girl. That’s all I got folks; let me know if it’s any good.
Tormented (IFC, 10:00 PM EST)
You know why you don’t pick on the other kids? Because one of them might come back from the dead and kill you and all of your friends.
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (Showtime, 7:30 PM EST)
Angelina Jolie looks great in scuba gear. The rest of the film is much less great.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Starz, 9:00 PM EST)
Why, oh why did they remake this in English?
The Book of Eli (TNT, 8:00 PM EST)
A little Denzel Washington goes a long way, as this post-apocalyptic thriller proves.
Once Upon a Time (ABC, 8:00 PM EST)
The surprise hit returns with the residents of Storybrooke begin to remember their former lives, while Sleeping Beauty awakens in the fairy-tale world.
666 Park Avenue (ABC, 10:00 PM EST)
A new series premieres about a luxury Manhattan apartment literally run by the devil. Guilty pleasure? You’re soaking in it! See the top of the article for more.
Dexter (Showtime, 9:00 PM EST)
Season Seven begins with the devastating fallout of Debra catching Dexter doing what he does best.
The Lion King (ABC Family, 8:00 PM EST and 10:00 PM EST)
It’s overrated. That is all.
Kingdom of Heaven (BBC America, 7:00 PM EST)
Ridley Scott’s been better, but there are some intriguing elements to his historical drama about the Crusades. I’ve heard good things about the director’s cut too (which sadly isn’t this version).
Troy (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EST)
I forgive it a lot of flaws simply for the comparative novelty of wondering if the right side really won.
Bolt (Disney, 8:00 PM EST)
I wouldn’t put it in the same category as Snow White, but it remains a wonderful little surprise nonetheless.
Click (FMC, 8:00 PM EST and 10:30 PM EST)
Adam Sandler has rarely been more insufferable here, playing a job-first dad who gets his hands on a magic remote control.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (FX, 8:00 PM EST)
Michael Bay cannot be stopped. We can only hope to contain him.
Apocalypto (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
Mel Gibson is a sick, sick man.
Shutter Island (Syfy, 8:00 PM EST)
The screenwriter’s name is Laeta Kalogridis. She also headed up the Birds of Prey writing staff. She is exactly, precisely, what is wrong with this movie.
The Mummy (TCM, 8:00 PM EST)
There’s no better way to start October than with a little Universal monster mayhem… in this case the classic 1932 film starring Boris Karloff.