At the monthly Tube Town fan-club meeting last week (held, as always, at the exclusive Bling-Bling Lounge in the Italian district of Draper), a guest put forth the question, “So, how do you feel about what your competition has to say about the new fall TV season?” We shared a chuckle, and then my personal assistants removed and “disposed” of the misguided sap. The crowd of faithful readers applauded and hooted, the strippers began grinding to the theme song from Harvey Birdman—all in all, a good night.
We all know The Only TV Column That Matters™ has no competition—not nationally, certainly not locally. Everything you need to know about television, you get it right here. The new shows you should absolutely be watching: Life With Bonnie, Push Nevada (ABC); CSI: Miami, Robbery Homicide Division, Without a Trace (CBS); Boomtown, Hidden Hills (NBC); Firefly, John Doe (Fox). The new shows you should absolutely avoid like the Olive Garden: MDs, That Was Then (ABC); Hack, Presidio Med (CBS); American Dreams (NBC); Fastlane (Fox); Family Affair (The WB); Half & Half (UPN). The rest of the new stuff falls somewhere in between, and here are the remaining debuts of the 2002-’03 TV season—we’ll discuss at the next meeting.
Bram & Alice (CBS; Sunday, Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m.): Uppity British novelist Bram (Alfred Molina) is happily coasting along on a single bestseller, free drinks and disposable female groupies, until aspiring author Alice (Traylor Howard) shows up on his doorstep. As with all writers, his first instinct is to get the hot new blonde in the sack—then it turns out she’s his long-lost daughter! Hilarity/icky ensues! Good: Molina and Howard have an easy comic chemistry. And no, they don’t get horizontal—this isn’t Showtime. Bad: Against King of the Hill? May as well be on Showtime.
Birds of Prey (The WB; Wednesday, Oct. 9, 8 p.m.): We all knew that Batman and Catwoman got it on, but they had a kid? Weren’t there any Bat Condoms in that utility belt? Now, with Catwoman dead and Batman flipped out on permanent vacation, it’s up to Batgirl (Dina Meyer), aforementioned super-offspring Huntress (Ashley Scott) and mega-psychic Dinah (Rachel Skarsten) to don skintight leather costumes and protect Gotham City against baddies like the Joker’s ex-girlfriend, Harley Quinn (Mia Sara). Good: Dark, Tim Burton-looking Gotham, major ass-kicking action and the skintight leather costumes. Bad: Geeks will set chat rooms ablaze with bitches about deviations from the comic book (sorry, graphic novel), sadly oblivious to the skintight leather costumes.
Girls Club (Fox; Monday, Oct. 21, 8 p.m.): Law-school gal pals Kathleen Robertson (Beverly Hills 90210), Gretchen Mol (Sweet and Lowdown) and Chyler Leigh (That ’80s Show) room in San Francisco and work together in a law firm and form, let’s say, a girls club to fight The Man, The Glass Ceiling and The Skinny-Assed Shame of Ally McBeal. Oh, and look faaa-bu-lous doing it. Producer David E. Kelley says Girls Club (not playing the lowercase game, Dave) will be more realistic than his previous legal dramas Ally or The Practice—then again, Birds of Prey is more realistic than Ally or The Practice. Good: No karaoke, hallucinations or karaoke hallucinations. Bad: The “real” approach probably also rules out any lingerie pillow-fights back at the loft.
The Grubbs (Fox; Sunday, Nov. 3, 8:30 p.m.): Randy Quaid and Carol Kane are the parental units of a Foxed-up family in a sitcom that’s so horrifically lousy that it rounds the corner of so-bad-it’s-good and slingshots back to Crapville at Mach 5. In a bid for Malcolm In the Middle cred, the 13-year-old son (Michael Cera) wants to become a better person—and get in his new school teacher’s (Lori Rom) pants. Good: Fine pants they are, but maybe the superior Andy Richter Controls the Universe will be coming back sooner than previously thought to replace this nag. Bad: Or, more That ’70s Show reruns.