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TV Wasteland: Schwarzenegger is Here to Save Us!
With Conan coming, TV may offer an alternative.
By Rob Vaux
August 14, 2011
Schwarzenegger is Here to Save Us in the TV Wasteland(2011).
© Robert Trate
So they’re really going ahead with this Conan remake aren’t they? Man, that’s so depressing I could just about die. Maybe TV can assuage the pain… let’s see what’s on.
Eureka (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
Cancelled?! I know it’s been said before, but you suck, Syfy. They’re not even expounding on this week’s episode: just the title (“Of Mites and Men”) and a big blank spot. You really suck, Syfy
Warehouse 13 (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
And no, renewing Warehouse 13 doesn’t make it all right (though it’s a nice move regardless). In any case, Bering and Latimer have to throw a lifeline to Fargo, who gets trapped in a video game based on the Warehouse.
Alphas (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Bill and Gary have an excellent adventure. More than that, Syfy is unwilling to say.
Teen Wolf (MTV, 10:00 PM EDT)
I snicker at this show a lot, but at least it delivers plenty of juicy details about each episode… like how there’s a war brewing between werewolves and werewolf hunters with Scott stuck in the middle.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (TCM, 8:00 PM EDT)
The great Lon Chaney delivers a stunning silent rendition of Quasimodo in this 1923 version of the Victor Hugo book.
The Phantom of the Opera (TCM, 10:00 PM EDT)
In point of fact, this celebrated 1925 version of the story isn’t all that great… except for Chaney, delivering his single greatest performance as the haunted, misshapen Phantom. The big reveal of his character’s face remains one of the most shocking moments in all of moviedom (and the inspiration for a future article).
Armageddon (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
Considering its status as the ultimate Michael Bay movie, it’s surprising how many big stars showed up here before we knew who they were. And damn if there aren’t a couple of Oscar winners in there!
Ginger Snaps (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Werewolves never found the traction that vampires did, which is a shame because this marvelous film from north of the border easily puts the Twilight idiocy to shame.
Lake Placid (IFC, 10:15 PM EDT)
This, on the other hand, is all kinds of silly: a David E. Kelley joint about a giant crocodile in a Maine lake. But the cast is good and giant crocs are pretty cool, so we’ll let it go. (Just tell the producer to keep his hands off our superheroines.)
Jennifer’s Body (Cinemax, 8:15 PM EDT)
Maligned reputation aside, this horror-esque satire of high school life does much better than it has any right to. Megan Fox does not get naked, however.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
The second entry in the Pirates franchise is pretty good, if a tad too Lovecraftian for the Happiest Movie Studio on Earth.
Ghost Hunters International (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
We’re still in New Zealand, with a look at the allegedly haunted Napier Prison.
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Tina Turner in chainmail. Hot damn…
Predator 2 (FMC, 9:30 PM EDT)
Danny Glover does not look as good as Tina Turner – even when he’s wearing chainmail – but he leads the cast in a not-bad follow up to the Schwarzerrific original.
Apocalypto (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Mel Gibson is a sick fuck, isn’t he?
TCM is airing The Maltese Falcon at 8 tonight. It’s not genre; it’s merely awesome.
Burn Notice (USA, 9:00 PM EDT)
Michael and Sam work on tracking down Max’s killer, while Fiona and Jesse take on a surveillance job that’s more than it appears.
Futurama (Comedy, 10:00 PM EDT)
The crew uncovers evidence of a secret mission Dr. Zoidberg conducted many years ago. I’m guessing that shellfish and creepy sexual innuendos are involved.
Ugly Americans (Comedy, 10:30 PM EDT)
The show riffs on Little Shop of Horrors after Randall is infected by the spores of a mysterious plant. Anyone for a rousing rendition of “The Dentist?”
Wilfred (FX, 10:00 PM EDT)
A double dose of Wilfred finds Ryan’s crazy mother moving in and Wilfred making efforts to get Ryan to socialize.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (IFC, 8:05 PM EDT and 10:05 PM EDT)
For reheated leftovers, they’re not bad. At least the first one isn’t. The second one… okay yeah, it blows.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
Look, nobody cares whose side everyone is on. Would y’all shut up and start shooting monkeys out of cannons already?!
Batman Forever (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
Among its other sins – which I could spend the entire column recounting – it ruined a perfectly good Seal song.
Conan the Barbarian (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
AKA, The Real One.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Cinemax, 10:0 PM EDT)
This rousing adaptation of a bestselling young adult novel never quite caught on the way it should have. I blame poor marketing.
ThunderCats (Cartoon, 8:30 PM EDT)
Okay, I never watched the original show. Was there ever a mystic element called “Thundrilium”? Because there is here, and that’s kind of awesome.
Torchwood: Miracl Day (Starz, 10:00 PM EDT)
It’s all about Gwen this week, as she learns far more about the Miracle than she ever wanted to know.
Haven (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Audrey gets caught up in a rehash of Groundhog Day when the same 24 hours keeps repeating over and over.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
If you have to explain who Mina Murray is and why she never takes off her scarf, it ruins the freaking gag! Stupid Hollywood…
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (IFC, 7:45 PM EDT)
A classic it’s not, but in the “Dear God don’t screw this up” department, it passes with flying colors.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Showtime, 7:55 PM EDT)
I love watching the stars of this series show up at press conferences with that “please don’t judge us, we’re trying to have a career” look on their faces. The films suck kids, but we won’t hold that against you if you follow them up with something awesome.
Doctor Who (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
The BBC’s retrospective on the Matt Smith years continues with a look at the coolest monsters from last season.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Cinemax, 6:45 PM EDT)
Sam Neill is missed but the rest of the film does all right for itself.
Deep Blue Sea (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
God bless Sam Jackson. That is all.
Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Okay, did these two monsters show up on previous Syfy features or not? And do the winners of these showdowns get more shitty movies made about them as a reward? So many questions…
Watchmen (TNT, 8:00 PM EDT)
I love this film, but it’s not the shortest movie ever made and padding it out with commercials? That’s just sadistic.
True Blood (HBO, 9:00 PM EDT)
Marnie sets her sights on a vampire tolerance festival in Maine, while Bill and Eric continue to mend fences. Also, boobs.
Clash of the Titans (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Someday, they’re going to stop airing this. That will be a good day.
The Devil’s Advocate (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
If you look closely, you can actually see Al Pacino’s forehead veins plotting a mad escape from his skull.