Sad to say, but "criticizing things" can be a real cutthroat business! If I'm not keeping up with the other TV and movie critics in the country, I could easily find myself at the bottom of a dumpster, licking cheese out of a discarded Domino's box. That's why, in honor of the new fall season of TV shows, I've decided to institute a new "rating system"—just like every other hack critic employs when they're unable to use "words" to say whether they like something or not. But instead of numbers, stars, pineapples, or other fruit, I'll be rating the new fall shows with an old standby: THUMBS.
The problem is, of course, I only have two thumbs. So how am I supposed to give a show I like four thumbs if I only have two? I obviously need a LOT more thumbs—which is why I turned to Craigslist.
Weirdly, I didn't get much response from my ad requesting lots of thumbs. However, a self-described "amateur butcher" and "parts collector" emailed me back, saying he had "an extensive collection of thumbs" and due to pressing "legal problems" he wouldn't mind parting with a few of them. YAY!! So here I am, sitting on a packed ice chest and ready to give some of these new shows the thumbs they deserve! Such as...
Hawaii Five-O (CBS, debuts Mon Sept 20, 10 pm). This reboot of the classic Honolulu cop show twists the concept slightly by making McGarrett's gang a troubled secret task force designed to bust the baddies. Expect the same gorgeous locales sprinkled with dark shenanigans and half-naked cavorting from Lost's Daniel Dae Kim and Battlestar Galactica's Grace Park! Rrrrowrrr!! I give this show a horny FOUR COLD THUMBS!
Raising Hope (Fox, debuts Tues Sept 21, 9 pm). An awful name for what could be a great show! A dumb-as-rocks slacker (Lucas Neff) inherits a baby and tries to raise it with not very much help from his hilariously inept hillbilly family. This one has solid, prickly jokes that suck you in before b-slapping you with eye-moistening emotion. Check it out, because I'm giving this one a huge... hmmm... let's see... FIVE AND A HALF THUMBS (because I can't seem to locate the other half of the sixth).
Running Wilde (Fox, debuts Tues Sept 21, 9:30 pm). Again with the "Blank-ing Blank" titles! UGH! However, this has serious potential because it comes from the creators of Arrested Development and stars Will Arnett (Gob from AD) as a richie-rich trying to woo his former maid's hippie-dippy daughter (Felicity's Keri Russell). However, because of the title I'm only going to give it TWO BLUE THUMBS AND ONE THAT'S KINDA TURNING GREEN.
Undercovers (NBC, debuts Wed Sept 22, 8 pm). J.J. Abrams (Lost, Alias) returns to the spy game with this story of two verrrrry sexy African American former CIA agents who are dragged back into the game, and use their adventures to reignite their sex lives! An awesome premise that deserves SEVEN THUMBS... except I only have six left. WAIT! Found an eyeball at the bottom! SIX THUMBS AND ONE EYEBALL!
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
9:00 NBC THE APPRENTICE
Season premiere! Sixteen new contestants, all shitcanned by the economic downturn, turn to Donald Trump for help. (HAS IT REALLY COME TO THIS??)
10:00 FX IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA
Season premiere! In the return of this delightfully nasty sitcom, Mac tries to single-handedly destroy gay marriage.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
8:00 TOON SYM-BIONIC TITAN
Debut! Teen aliens crash on Earth and try to escape an evil general in this action-packed cartoony.
9:00 TOON STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS
Season premiere! Clone cadets butt heads during clone training. (Hey, if they're causing trouble, clone some more! Sheesh!)
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
11:30 NBC SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
A repeat of one of the best episodes of the season, hosted by Betty Mothereffing White!! EEEEEEEEEE!!!
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
10:00 AMC MAD MEN
Peggy's efforts to be taken seriously result in another professional setback. Damn you, patriarchy!
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
8:00 ABC DANCING WITH THE STARS
Season premiere! This year starring America's #1 most hated teen mom, Bristol Palin! BOOOOO!!!
9:00 FOX LONE STAR
Debut! A new drama about a con man living two lives in Texas. You, sir, are no Don Draper!
10:00 NBC CHASE
Debut! Hotsy-totsy US Marshal chases the baddies in this new "has-potential" action drama.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
8:00 FOX GLEE
Season premiere! The Gleetards are split when a... shudder... CHRISTIAN wants to join the club!
10:00 ABC DETROIT 1-8-7
Debut! A promising new cop show starring The Sopranos' Michael Imperioli!
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
9:00 ABC MODERN FAMILY
Season premiere! Don't miss this legitimately funny sitcom about a nutso extended family.
10:00 CBS THE DEFENDERS
Debut! Two Vegas lawyers fight for justice in Sin City, starring the fat kid from Stand by Me and John Belushi's living brother.