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Welcome to Andy's Wasteland

CINESCAPE's new TV column debuts

By Andrew Hershberger     March 24, 2003

Greetings Cinescapers. A new dawn is upon us and, alas, a dusk as well. Brilliant, gregarious, gorgeous and great Sonia Mansfield has moved on and for the time being your one stop guide to what's on the telly will be handled by my humble old lonesome self.


But don't fret Mansfieldittes, you can still revisit your favorite Remote Patrols via the CINESCAPE archives and a quick Google or Yahoo search will no doubt turn up a myriad of other Mansfield articles, some of current vintage, which will satisfy one's insatiable appetite for all that is Mansfield.


That said, this saddened fan would like to relate his favorite Mansfield related incident. I was leaving the senior citizen's home for a quick breath of fresh air, when I spotted a gorgeous blue-hair not ten walker steps away from me. Recalling Mansfield's succinct advice on dating, I quickly put the kibosh on my standard, always-fail "What's a lovely girl like you doing unescorted" and tried the more rebellious approach. I only had time to utter "Move aside granny, Senior Macho coming..." before her purse felled me to the ground.


One hip replacement later I'm back writing for my favorite genre website and thanking Ms. Mansfield for encouraging me to go back out into the wonderful/scary world of dating, regardless of the consequences.


So best you lock up your grandmothers and great-grandmothers, cause Senior Macho is on the prowl.


But enough about me, we've got some serious television to talk about. And don't forget to drop me a line at feedback@cinescape.com and do send your regards to Mansfield as well. That's one rocking dame.


MONDAY


SCOOBY DOO AND THE ALIEN INVASION & SCOOBY DOO AND THE CYBER CHASE (7 pm, TOON) Cartoon Network, the unofficial Scooby Doo Network, offers up a pair recent Scooby Doo DTV films for those craving a four hour marathon of non-stop Scooby snacking.


SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS (8 pm, NICK) That rascal of a living sponge, SpongeBob, does some housesitting and discovers that mean humor is a child's favorite type.


STARGATE SG-1 (7 pm, SCI-FI) A mini-marathon of Stargate awaits, as the Sci-Fi Channel runs four back to back episodes. Get that popcorn machine ready.


MISS USA 2003 (9 pm, NBC) Declining ratings may be the case, but I'll still vouch for this pageant any day over the shameless Victoria's Secret one. Now if only there was a MISS SENIOR CITIZEN USA!


TUESDAY


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (8 pm, UPN) A new episode, "Lies My Parents Told Me," featuring Giles and Spike reminds us why this is called "the best written show on television."


SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS

Jason Alexander and Tyler Christopher in the premiere episode of UPN's THE TWILIGHT ZONE

(8 pm, NICK) Tune in for more inspired lunacy from the zaniest, talking, clothes-wearing sponge ever to live at the bottom of the sea.


SMALLVILLE (9 pm, WB) Clark tumbles into a cave where a clue to his origins and a beautiful girl await. (repeat)


MOONRAKER (9 pm, TNN) Thought to be about a gardener on the moon, this is actually the 11th James Bond film. Capitalizing on the STAR WARS craze, this spacesploitation picture puts Bond in the cosmos to mediocre effect.


THE TWILIGHT ZONE (11:30 pm, SCI-FI) A TV classic, "Nightmare at 20,000 feet" has a young William Shatner attempting to convince his fellow passengers that a demonic creature is wreaking havoc on their airline mid-flight.


WEDNESDAY


BEYOND BELIEF: FACT OR FICTION? (7 pm, SCI-FI) Back to back episodes of this show; will convince even the non-believer that even the least plausible situations will be presented as possible when seen on TV.


ENTERPRISE (8 pm, UPN) "Precious Cargo." Trip gets involved with a sexy alien and helps her to escape her oppressors; smells like Kirk. (repeat)


TEEN WOLF (8 pm, FAM) Michael J. Fox stars as a young man who happens to be a lycanthrope, but who uses his wolf powers to win at basketball. Yet another insightful glance into the psyche of '80s youth.


SHOWGIRLS (8 pm, VH1) ROBOCOP director Paul Verhoeven tried his second stab at soft-core after BASIC INSTINCT with this hysterical, over-the-top exposé of a psychotic showgirl. Fun, Fun, Fun.


ANGEL (9 pm, WB)

Kyla (Tamara Feldman) and Clark (Tom Welling) explore an ancient Indian cave in the "Skinwalker" episode of SMALLVILLE

The circumstances behind Cordelia's pregnancy are a mystery for Angel and gang to solve. Meanwhile Gwen attempts to save a kidnap victim.


THE TWILIGHT ZONE (9 pm, UPN) A gated community and teenage rebellion make up one half, Death as a hospital patient makes up the other, in this repeat.


THURSDAY


TREMORS II: AFTERSHOCKS & TREMORS III: BACK TO PERFECTION (7 pm, SCI-FI) The giant worms are back in modified form in this double bill; a nice prelude to the TV series debut.


Sabrina, The Teenage Witch (8 pm, WB) Sabrina asks advice from Cinderella. I'd say something snide, but I don't want to be hexed by Satan's mistress.


SPELLBOUND (8 pm, TCM) Vintage Hitchcock about an amnesia patient whose repressed memories hold the solution to a murder. Features a dream sequence designed by Salvador Dali.


OCTOPUSSY (9 pm, TNN) Don't think deformed cat, think 13th Bond film.


FRIDAY


THE HUDSUCKER PROXY (8 pm, IFC) The Coen brothers score a rare misfire with this flat reworking of the films of Frank Capra.


TREMORS: THE SERIES (9 pm, SCI-FI) Sci-Fi debuts the eagerly awaited series with two brand spanking new episodes and then repeats them. Lord forgive me for saying this, but as long as Perfection is having problems, I'll be stuck in front of my TV watching this.


SCARY MOVIE 2 (9 pm, TMC) Sophomoric humor abounds, most of it falling flat, yet there is a tour de force performance from Chris Elliot to be found here, and that alone makes this worth a watch.


SATURDAY


MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATRE 3000 (9 am, SCI-FI) Low rent cheese fest THE BAT PEOPLE gets a well deserved drumming.


PRETTY IN PINK (8 pm, WE) Molly Ringwald steals the show as a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who falls in love with a seemingly unavailable Andrew McCarthy.


THE ANNA NICOLE SHOW (9 pm, ETV) An hour and a half block of stupidity so shameless as to make one laugh while becoming depressed.


SUNDAY


FUTURAMA (7 pm, FOX) The gang are reverted to various youthful states via hot tar, in this brand spanking new episode.


THE SIMPSONS (8 pm, FOX) Monty Python Alumnus Eric Idle guests as a British filmmaker whose snide ways make Lisa reconsider her career path.


SHANGHI NOON (9 pm, CBS) Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson team up in what amounts to a period piece RUSH HOUR with fewer or more laughs depending on how one feels about Wilson's cerebral wit.


HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS (8 pm, AMC)

It's a TV Wasteland out there.

I'm as big a fan of the HALLOWEEN series as anybody, but does this deserve to be considered an American Movie Classic?


Well, that wraps up the week. Remember, if there are any shows that you are partial to, don't hesitate to contact Cinescape at feedback@cinescape.com. We will try to include them in future columns.


TV Wasteland is our brand new weekly Television column.


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