I've got a super-awesome idea... that may be just a weeeee bit "illegal." BUT HEAR ME OUT, OKAY?! The economy is a poop-covered cluster-eff swirling down a filthy rest-stop toilet. We hold this truth to be self-evident. Therefore! It is more important than ever for the networks to hold on to their viewing audiences, while continuing to find out what they like—am I right? For example, I like booze. And I like TV. So why can't the networks figure out some way to COMBINE THE TWO?
See, there's this thing called "Thirsty Thursdays" which is celebrated at bars, saloons and ballparks throughout the country. On select Thursdays, you stop in to one of these establishments, get loaded for cheap, and then wobble home to be yelled at by your nagging spouse. It's an American tradition!
So here's what the networks should do. Let's pretend I'm NBC for a moment, and I'm trying to push a particularly enjoyable Thursday night roundup of shows. I choose some select bars with lots of TVs and advertise the fact that if you sit down in the saloon and watch My Name Is Earl, The Office, and ER all in a row, NBC will pay for all your booze and get you stinking crap-faced drunk!
WOW! What an awesome plan! Talk about gaining and attaining viewer loyalty! (Of course, there's the small matter of post-viewing public inebriation or drunken fights over whether ER's Dr. Neela should continue her gross affair with Dr. Brenner. But don't stop me—I'm on a roll!)
EVERYTHING looks better when you're drunk—even NBC! Hey, that could be their catchphrase. Anyhoo, this week's "Thursday" has me especially "thirsty," and I swear I'll watch every one of these shows if the networks promise to keep my throat wet with liquor.
• Kath & Kim (NBC, 8:30 pm). Molly Shannon and Selma Blair star as a dysfunctional mom/daughter team in this sitcom, which was originally a big hit in Australia. Expect a lot of critical sniping claiming it's not as good as the original. However, thanks to NBC's "Thirsty Thursday" promotion, I will be too unconscious to notice any significant difference.
• Eleventh Hour (CBS, 10 pm). Dr. Jacob Hood is a government-hired scientist who fights "science crimes." Meanwhile, I am an alcoholic who drinks beer other people leave on their tables.
• Life on Mars (ABC, 10 pm). Yet another import (this time from England) Life on Mars tells the sci-fi-riffic story of a cop in 2008 who's hit by a car and mysteriously winds up in 1973, where moral and pretechnological hilarity will surely ensue. They had malt liquor back then, right? I am so there.
• Testees (FX, 10:30 pm). Kenny Hotz—of the gut-busting show Kenny vs. Spenny—created this sitcom about two roommates who become human guinea pigs for a medical testing facility named "Testico." Can the boys live normal lives even after growing hair in weird places or an eye on their penis? I ask myself this every day! (And now you see why I need to drink.)