Thursday, Sept. 23 (NBC)
Series Debut: An insult to India and fans of Parks & Recreation—why exactly is Amy Poehler hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend if her show’s been pushed back to 2011 because of this crapfest? Outsourced takes a Kansas sales manager (Ben Rappaport) for a novelty-item call center and dumps him in India to teach a new crew of good-looking-but-Western-culture-free misfits how to sound ’Merican and move product. If this series were actually as racist as some early reports have claimed, it might be moderately interesting. No such luck. See you soon, Parks & Recreation!
Thursday, Sept. 23 (ABC)
Series Debut: An insult to a classic Who song and the city of Austin, Texas—nice twofer, ABC. My Generation is a whiny soap opera disguised as a “documentary” drama following Greenbelt High’s class of 2000 then (when they were blatant high-school stereotypes) and now (as they’ve become blatant broken-dream stereotypes). I’ve never met an Austinite as boring as any of these assholes; Hellcats is finding more forgiveness every week.
Thursday, Sept. 23 (CBS)
Series Debut: An insult to social media and William Shatner—and that’s only the beginning. Taking something as new (at least to the television production cycle) and immediate as Twitter and then watering it down and pouring it into a dinosaur CBS laugh-tracked sitcom is the dumbest idea since Cavemen, Baby Bob or even My Generation. Upside: At least someone’s finally made some money off of Twitter.
Also premiering Thursday: Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice (ABC); The Big Bang Theory, CSI, The Mentalist (CBS); Bones, Fringe (Fox); Community, 30 Rock, The Office (NBC)
Friday, Sept. 24 (CBS)
Series Debut: Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg and Bridget Moynahan headline a multigenerational police drama about a family of NYPD officers and … oh, it’s on Friday nights at 9. No one will ever see this. Move along …
Also premiering Friday: Medium, CSI:NY (CBS); The Good Guys (Fox); Smallville, Supernatural (The CW)
Saturday, Sept. 25 (SyFy)
A hybrid shark/octopus developed as a weapon for the military? Like, 100 feet from a Mexico resort beach? Makes perfect sense—until the electronic remote control duct-taped to its back falls off; now, it’s a bikini-babe buffet! Angry Navy commander: “You just unleashed an eight-legged man-eating shark on the world!” Scientist (Eric Roberts): “A minor setback.” Sharktopus could be the most T&A-loaded SyFy Saturday movie yet, which mostly excuses the bad writing, bad CGI and bad music (courtesy of The Cheetah Whores—yes, really), if not Roberts’ squandering of all that Dark Knight cred.
Also premiering Saturday: Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Sunday, Sept. 26 (Showtime)
Season Premiere: The funniest moment of the Season 5 opener: Dexter (Michael C. Hall) marveling at a funeral director’s fake sincerity (“How does he do it?” asks the former Six Feet Under star). The tear-jerking moment: A flashback to Dex and Rita’s (Julie Benz, back briefly from the dead) first date (even then, she was just a distraction from killing). After last season’s un-toppable Trinity Killer, this year’s Dexter is all about The Enemy Within: Finding a way to cope with—or at least seem to care about—Rita’s murder, figuring out how to be a single-dad serial killer, and dealing with suspicions that he killed his wife, not Trinity. The tense premiere episode sets up what looks to be Dexter’s most unpredictable season yet: What happens if there’s no Big Bad to off at the end of the season? Don’t offer up his sister, Deb haters.
Sunday, Sept. 26 (HBO)
Season Premiere: How in the hell does Salt Lake City Weekly (thanks for the shout-out, by the way) figure into the Season 2 opener of Brooklyn-set noir comedy Bored to Death? Same way Jason Schwartzman scrambling through the streets in full-on leather-mask bondage gear does—it’s all about context. In other new developments, barely employed author/completely unlicensed private detective Jonathan (Schwartzman) is now teaching a night class in fiction writing, Ray (Zach Galifianakis) attempts yoga, and George (Ted Danson) is fighting cost (and precious word!) cuts at his magazine, now owned by … Christians. No, that’s not the Utah connection.
Also premiering Sunday: Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters (ABC); The Amazing Race, Undercover Boss (CBS); The Simpsons, The Cleveland Show, Family Guy (Fox); Eastbound & Down (HBO)
Tuesday, Sept. 28 (ABC)
Series Debut: It’s a live-action version of The Incredibles, which was just a CGI version of The Fantastic Four (the lousy movies, not the classic comic series), which featured ex-Shield star Michael Chiklis, who now stars in No Ordinary Family. Follow? Alongside him is Dexter’s Julie Benz—connections abound this week—and a pair of teens. The setup: The Powell family’s plane crashes in the Amazon; upon their return to civilization, they slowly begin to realize that they have superpowers—super-strength, speed, super-intelligence and telepathy, to be exact. Do they use their newfound powers for good, evil or a new A&E reality show? (The last one’s mine.) Looks promising, but so did last year’s V. And those Fantastic Four movies.
Also premiering Tuesday: The Good Wife (CBS); Stargate Universe (SyFy)