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News » TV & Games

Stars & Stripes

Studios, Stargates, soldiers and stand-ups.



Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Thursdays (NBC)
Remember that excitement about NBC allowing Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip to play out its final episodes over the summer? Over it. Waaay over it. What was originally a crackling showbiz dramedy with touches of creator Aaron Sorkin’s old West Wing zing has devolved into a painfully overextended diatribe against the Iraq war, the president, the media, the Christian Right, prescription drugs, troublesome blondes'all worthwhile targets to piss on, but damn … It’s finally over next week; I’ll apologize for ever defending Studio 60 when the rest of the critical intelligentsia does.

Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis
Friday, June 22 (Sci-Fi)
Series Finale/Season Finale: If only Studio 60 could manage to even be half as funny as Stargate SG-1'observe this brilliantly subtle jab at the Sci-Fi Channel from an episode a few weeks ago: Sam: “The Stargate program just doesn’t get the support it used to from the people in charge.” Jasec: “Why not?” Scientist working in background: “Eureka!” Ha! See, Sci-Fi has canceled the decade-old SG-1 but kept on fluffier fare like Eureka … never mind. Geek territory. Atlantis will, however, remain. No, I don’t know why, either.

Katie & Peter
Saturday, June 2 (E!)
Season Finale: Model Katie Price and singer Peter Andre are huge in Britain, where they met on a U.K. reality show. They’re dumber than Nick & Jessica and shallower than Posh & Becks. E! has wasted three months of valuable airtime that could have been given to, oh, Sunset Tan on these gigantic boobs. And Peter.

Army Wives
Sundays (Lifetime)
I know, I know'why the hell is The Only TV Column That Mattersâ„¢ watching Lifetime? Because the network has finally delivered a juicy, borderline ridiculous (and liberally patriotic!) soap opera on par with its Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives reruns (really, better than the Housewives reruns). Get this: One Wife’s Westpoint-bound teen secretly beats her'and her husband may have just been shot down in Iraq! Another Wife secretly carried surrogate twins to pay off a secret debt! Another Wife’s new hubby secretly paid off her ex to sign secret adoption papers for her kids! Another Wife’s (husband, actually) mate has returned from combat with a secret'she’s batshit crazy with secret post-war syndrome! Another … well, she’s keeping all these secrets from the Army-base brass'secretly! All this, plus the secret fact that I’ll watch anything with Catherine Bell'even saw JAG once, but it’s a secret.

Big Love: In the Beginning
Sunday, June 24 (HBO)
Special: Ever wonder what life was like in the early days at the Henrickson house(s)? Probably not, but this time-rewinding threesome (get it?) of 10-minute vignettes illustrates the introductions of Nikki and Margene into the polygamous family as well as the wives pleading to have their overcrowded household split into a trio of connected homes in Sandy'to which Bill replies, understandably, “No way, no way, no way!” It’s a standard initial reaction to Sandy; the local accuracy of Big Love is uncanny.

Last Comic Standing
Wednesdays (NBC)
Local Alert: Look for Salt Lake City stand-up comedian Ryan Hamilton in the early rounds'but don’t root for him to win. The only work Last Comic Standing winners can apparently get is serving as judges on future editions of Last Comic Standing or appearing on a never-ending string of “wacky” morning radio shows alongside the constantly bitching losers (also known as the Eighth Suburb of Hell). Would you really wish that on the poor guy? Didn’t think so'take a dive, Ry.