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TV Wasteland: RIP Tony Scott
The late filmmaker's new miniseries premieres on A&E.
By Rob Vaux
September 03, 2012
The Democrats’ convention follows hot on the heels of the Republicans’, but those sneaky programmers found a way to slip a few notable genre shows in the midst of it all. As far as series go, Doctor Who is now back on our screens for an all-new season of Tardis-based adventure, while Cartoon Network’s The Riders of Berk brings the How to Train Your Dragon crew to television.
On the mini-series front, A&E uncorks a new version of Coma, the story of a nice young doctor (Lauren Ambrose) who discovers a not-so-nice organ harvesting operation going on at her hospital. In our remake-glutted era, it wouldn’t normally merit mention… save that the late Tony Scott serves as one of the producers (along with his big brother Ridley). This is the first effort of Tony’s to see the light of day since his shocking suicide a few weeks ago, and thus provides a nice opportunity to remember the work we did, as well as seeing what he was up to the last few months of his life. RIP Tony. Here’s hoping that Coma stands among your finest achievements.
The two-part miniseries airs Monday and Tuesday nights at 9:00 PM EST on A&E.
Coma (A&E, 9:00 PM EST)
Ridley and Tony Scott produced this new version of the Robin Cook sci-fi thriller. See the top of the article for more.
Grimm (NBC, 10:00 PM EST)
A virulent new disease is unleashed on Nick and the gang during an accident investigation. Have fun with that, kids!
Planet of the Apes (FMC, 8:00 PM EST)
They’re never going to run the originals, are they?
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Showtime, 7:55 PM EST)
Look, I’m not fan of Kristen Stewart, but she has a point when she says Rupert Sanders deserves at least as much heat as her. Probably a lot more. Also, the film sucks, but we all knew that.
Return of the Jedi (Spike, 8:20 PM EST)
George Lucas made a lot of horrific changes to Star Wars, but his removal of the yub-yub song was perhaps the most unforgiveable. It’s preceded by Empire at 5:00 PM EST, for those so inclined.
Syfy’s Vampire Marathon (Syfy, 8:30 AM EST)
Syfy celebrates Labor Day with a refreshingly eclectic (if not always good) set of vampire movies. It starts with Prowl (8:30 AM EST), followed by Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (10:30 AM EST), 30 Days of Night: Dark Days (the sequel) (12:30 PM EST), True Bloodlust (2:30 PM EST), the must-see Stake Land (4:30 PM EST), Blade II (6:30 PM EST), Daybreakers (9:00 PM EST) and Dracula 3000: Infinite Darkness (1:00 AM EST). As far as I can tell, they are all sparkle-free.
Alphas and Warehouse 13 are off for Labor Day.
Coma (A&E, 9:00 PM EST)
That plucky chick from Six Feet Under gets to the bottom of the mystery as the A&E miniseries concludes. See the top of the article for more.
Dreamworks’ Dragons: The Riders of Berk (Cartoon, 7:30 PM EST)
Hiccup, Toothless and their friends headline an all-new series covering the adventures of their Viking clan and its passel of pet dragons. Based on the animated hit How to Train Your Dragon.
Face Off (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
This episode takes a Chinese twist to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. Ought to be interesting.
Collection Intervention (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
Unlike this turkey, which can’t go away quickly enough.
Jumper (FX, 8:00 PM EST and 10:00 PM EST)
Hayden Christensen is a better actor than this. Really.
Hop (HBO, 8:00 PM EST)
This film actively hurts in ways I scarcely thought possible.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Starz, 6:30 PM EST)
A part five may be pushing it, but this fourth entry in the Pirates series constitutes quite a good time.
Freaky Friday (Starz, 9:00 PM EST)
Lindsay Lohan takes over the airwaves tonight to show us exactly, precisely what deflowered innocence looks like. (Her breakthrough Mean Girls is running over on MTV at 7:30 PM EST).
Ghost Hunters (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
They’re investigating the ghost of a serial killer, so there’s a fair amount of leeway here. (I’m crossing my fingers for John Wayne Gacy because undead serial killer clowns are super freaky!)
Paranormal Witness (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
The title is “Lady on the Stairs,” which is scary enough to earn a pass this week.
Frequency (FMC, 8:00 PM EST and 10:30 PM EST)
They drop the ball at the goal line, but the rest of the movie is actually one of the smarter and more thoughtful takes on time travel you’re likely to see.
Spy Kids 3: Game Over (Disney, 8:30 PM EST)
Oh Sly… and we gave a good review to Expendables 2 and everything!
Groundhog Day (AMC, 8:00 PM EST and 10:30 PM EST)
Who knew that one of the best science fiction movies in a long, long time would turn out to be a rom-com starring Bill Murray?
Futurama is off.
Collection Intervention (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
The title for this week’s episode is a bad pun on a Styx song, which is probably all you need to either tune in voraciously or ignore it completely.
Mulan (ABC Family, 7:00 PM EST and 9:00 PM EST)
One of Disney’s more underrated efforts smacks a tad of political correctness, but delivers a strong story and a winning heroine in the process.
Final Destination (FMC, 7:00 PM EST and 9:00 PM EST)
Hard to believe there’s been five of these things which, relatively speaking, spin a whole lot of stew out of one tiny little oyster.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (HBO, 6:40 PM EST)
The whole Harry Potter thing kicks off with a surprisingly subdued entry that nonetheless lays a lot of the important groundwork for later entries the well-regarded series.
The Forbidden Kingdom (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
All it needed was a Chinese kid in the lead and it might have been awesome.
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (Showtime, 8:00 PM EST)
This could never be awesome, but look: Angelina Jolie back when she actually had curves!
Burn Notice is off.
Lost Girl (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
With the fate of all Fae hanging in the balance, Bo learns a vital secret about Trick that fundamentally shifts existing allegiances.
Battlestar Galactica (BBC America, 5:00 PM EST)
The end is the beginning on BBC America, which covers both sides of the gritty Battlestar reboot tonight. It starts with the series finale at 5:00 PM EST. The Plan follows at 7:00 PM, with the two-part miniseries that started it all at 9:00 PM. They go the order reversed, but still… this is pretty awesome.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (FX, 7:00 PM EST and 9:30 PM EST)
I said something last week about Hugh Jackman making things work on raw unfiltered charisma. That goes double for this one.
The Gate (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
Testing the then- recently minted PG-13, this bloodless 80s horror film about a rift leading to hell is strictly for the kids.
Curse (IFC, 9:45 PM EST)
Things don’t improve much on IFC with Wes Craven’s stillborn werewolf story. Hold tight though: a better one’s coming along tomorrow night.
Doctor Who (BBC America, 9:00 PM EST)
The Doctor encounters an empty spaceship full of dinosaurs as the new series continues. Our far-flung correspondent Marcia Franklin has all your Who needs covered over at Confessions of a Neowhovian
. Check it out!
Sand Sharks (Syfy, 7:00 PM EST)
“Sharks! In the sand! Here to punish us for our wanton drunkenness and debauchery! RUN!!!”
2-Headed Shark Attack (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
Everyone clear on this one? The title is a little vague…
Jaws (Cinemax, 6:50 PM EST)
If you get tired of Syfy’s silly shark movies, Cinemax has one from a guy named Spielberg that’s a wee bit better.
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (FMC, 8:00 PM EST and 10:00 PM EST)
Yes, it really is that bad.
Independence Day (A&E, 8:00 PM EST)
Fox is releasing a 3-D version next year… which is apparently an attempt to “improve” it.
Apollo 13 (AMC, 8:00 PM EST)
No need to improve this first-rate piece of historical space travel about the ill-fated lunar mission.
Scream 3 (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
The series had completely lost its way at this point, but Jay and Silent Bob show up for some yuks.
Ginger Snaps (IFC, 10:30 PM EST)
Ah yes, that good werewolf movie we ordered is here!
Clash of the Titans (BBC America, 7:00 PM EST)
We pretty much have Laurence Olivier saying “Release the Kraken” on perma-loop around here.
The Incredibles (ABC Family, 7:00 PM EST and 9:00 PM EST)
I’m not quite willing to go there, but you could make a case for this as the best superhero film of all time.
Underworld (Cinemax, 8:00 PM EST)
This isn’t the best of anything… except maybe Movies Featuring Kate Beckinsale in Skintight Catsuits.
The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (Disney, 8:30 PM EST)
Robert Rodriguez seriously drops the ball in a half-baked children’s film starring Taylor Lautner before he got hunky.
2012 (FMC, 7:00 PM EST and 10:30 PM EST)
Step away from the post-apocalyptic scenario Roland. We’re not going to ask again!
The Exorcist (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
*Checks* Yup. Still terrifying.
Teeth (IFC, 10:45 PM EST)
This isn’t quite in the same league as the film it follows, but it’s still a solid movie regardless.
Battle: Los Angeles (Starz, 9:00 PM EST)
Aaron Eckhart’s chin alone could thwart any alien invasion.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Syfy, 7:30 PM EST)
Syfy’s decided to go with the dismal low point of the Pirates franchise for its Sunday night. Let us know how that works out, boys.