- Mary Knows best
Thursday, July 15 (SyFy)
Series Debut: Whenever friends of The Only TV Column That Matter™ (yes, I have friends—I even claim my personal assistant Jackie as one) say "There's nuthin' good on TV," my usual response after "Thanks for reading" and "I told you: No eye contact" is "Quit bitching and get cable already." At the moment, however, my advice is blown to hell: Every single show debuting on cable this week sucks with the immeasurable force of a billion sucky things—and it starts right here with Mary Knows Best. Like a calculated mash-up of Ghost Hunters, Jersey Shore and an impromptu rectal exam, Mary Knows Best (about Long Island "psychic" Mary Occhino and her equally grating family of stereotypes) could be the biggest paycheck the network has handed a scam artist since they hired one to rebrand it as "SyFy."
Friday, July 16 (TLC)
Series Debut: Still no word on the fate of the Salt Lake City-based Little Chocolatiers reality series, but the former Learning Channel is crapping out new confectionary shows like nobody's business—well, nobody's but the Food Network. D.C. Cupcakes follows the daily baking lives of two sisters who run Georgetown Cupcake in Washington, D.C., (I know, I thought it was about a cupcake shop run by DC Comics characters, too). What do you want to bet that they overbook jobs, run low on product and bitch about how "crazy" and "overwhelming" things are in sidebar confessionals? It's been done to death, dug up and cold-violated time and again, and it's not even the worst new series this week ...
||A Billion Sucky Things
Saturday, July 17 (Biography)
Series Debut: ... Oh, here it is: The Biography Channel (or just "Bio," as yet another rebranding genius would like you to call it) scored a mild hit with Celebrity Ghost Stories last year, so to top that ... how about even less compelling noncelebrities doing the same damned thing? If it ain't broke, drop another steaming pile. That's not how the saying goes, I just "rebranded" it.
Monday, July 19 (TLC)
Series Debut: Jesus Fondant Christ—another "cake" show! On the upside, this new TLC series isn't about a single bakery and its wacky employees (I don't have the energy to slam Cake Boss again), but three different fancy bakeries every episode. Unfortunately, none are a fraction as interesting as Ace of Cakes' Charm City Cakes, or even Cake Boss' Mafia Cartoon Bake Shop (OK, I rallied). Just because the cakes are "fabulous" doesn't mean they can carry an hourlong reality show—especially when TLC could better fill this slot with the remaining unaired episodes of The Little Chocolatiers. Just sayin'.
Tuesday, July 20 (MTV)
Series Debut: After ghost shows and cake shows, the next reality genre that needs to just die already is "I'm an Idiot Teenager Who Got Knocked Up So Reward Me With My Own Reality Show" shows. All of these series happen to be on MTV, which only has one worthwhile property these days: Warren the Ape, the best "I'm an Idiot Adult Who's Hooked on Booze, Pills and Hookers So Reward Me With My Own Reality Show" show ever. If You Really Knew Me isn't about pregnant teens, but I'm lumping it in there anyway because I know most of 'em will be by graduation. What it's really about: Talking, hugging, crying and breaking down the clique walls within high schools—yes, it's The Breakfast Club; rebranded, regurgitated, whatever ...