Appealing TV: Toy Story of Terror, The Biggest Loser, Reign, and The White Queen

Everybody, give it up for the second canceled show of the 2013 – 2014 television season, CBS’s We Are Men. In its place will be reruns of Mike & Molly. We can only spare so many tears, as there are many more cancelations on the horizon to look forward to.

So, what else is on?

Monday, October 14
Pure Evel: American Legend (10pm, Discovery)
A documentary about the life and times of the flag wearing, helmet advocating, snake (canyon) jumping daredevil. Knievel would have been 75 on October 17. Can we just rebrand Columbus Day as Evel Knievel day? In nineteen-seventy-and-four, Knievel jumped the Canyon Snake. Still working on it. No word if the documentary will attempt to jump over 75 VHS tapes, in an allegorical stunt about the death of solid state media.

Tuesday, October 15
The Biggest Loser (8pm, NBC, season premiere)
People tweeting about watching the Biggest Loser while eating pizza was a lot of people’s first experimentation with snark and irony. It’s another season of exploitation, manipulation, and product shilling. (Think I’m being to harsh? Well, check out one stories from a past contestant detailing how they say they were mistreated while on the ranch.) So with that said, here’s a video of Ruben Studdard talking about not wanting to pass up on such an opportunity to appear on this season. Because celebrities. And because praise be to Monsanto and the our corporate masters for loading our modulated sodium blocks with corn syrup and fattening us up, so they can sell us on the low fat, gluten free alternative, which is just as processed and has as much nutritional value as the original products they shoved down our gullets to begin with.

Criss Angel Believe (10pm, Spike)
After watching Criss Angel Believe on Spike, you will believe that a man who looks like a misguided gritty community theater reboot of Peter Pan dipped in eyeshadow CAN FLY.

Wednesday, October 16
Toy Story of Terror! (8pm, ABC)
In a made for TV special that actually was able to secure the voice talent from the Toy Story films (thanks, Hanks), the Pixar people actually had a hand in making this! Which means it could be great, or it could be more fodder to bemoan Pixar’s fall, and to fail to accept that all good things come to an end (just like the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation said). Bone up on the study of chemistry, complainers! As Walter White said, it’s the study of change. Growth, decay, transformation.

Not sure if this special is canon.

Thursday, October 17
Reign(9pm, The CW, series premiere)
I bet that in a desperate bid to connect with their students (HOW CAN I REACH THESE KIDS), a high school teacher teacher will cite Reign, a show based on Mary, Queen of Scots, during one of their classes. Much like one time I took a geography course at Laney College and the teacher spent half the class debunking what he said was scientifically inaccurate about The Day After Tomorrow. Dammit if it isn’t a golden age to be a high school teacher right now! Movie adaptations of Great Gatsby, Much Ado About Nothing this year. And there’s still the Claire Danes/Leo DiCapro Romeo and Juliet, Ten Things I Hate About You, and even Clueless.

ANYWAY, essentially, this is Game of Thrones, but with sexy teenagers. Which I do realize I am using a fair amount in describing shows on the CW.

Covert Affairs (10pm, USA, season premiere)
Christopher Gorham, Peter Gallagher’s eyebrows, and Peter Gallagher join Piper Perabo for more sexy spy action. Television writing: where adding ‘sexy’ before a verb is an everyday occurrence. It’s like Halloween every day of the year.

Friday, October 18
The Birthday Boys (10:30pm, IFC, series premiere)
Sketch comedy group from LA is the latest to get a show on IFC, as per IFC’s (modulate gag reflex here) ‘alternative’ comedy programming mandate. The Birthday Boys features a post Breaking Bad Bob Odenkirk. The show is executive produced by Odenkirk and Ben Stiller.

Saturday, October 19
The White Queen (9pm, Starz, season finale)
They aren’t just miniseries anymore, they are miniseries events! Events, like watching your kid graduate high school, or placing third place in the annual Nathan’s hot dog eating contest. The White Queen (aye, where the white queens at?) focuses on the warring houses of York and Lancaster. It’s 1464 in England, before the Tudors (Showtime or otherwise) take power. More specifically, it focuses on three women and their own power plays in vying for the crown.

See, using the same history teacher I mentioned in the entry for CW’s Reign, Reign is what you say when you want to try and relate to your students in history class, The White Queen is what you say when you want to alienate them even further. (Oh, it’s British? Does it have that guy who plays Sherlock in it?) Except for maybe one or two students, but they were moody, arty, and was never meant for high school any way.

The Graham Norton Show (11pm, BBC America, season premiere)
It’s like a swinging trans-continental party with celebrities in your living room.

Sunday, October 20
Guy’s Grocery Games (8pm, Food Network, series premiere)
Richard Dawson, Peter Tomarken, Ken Ober, Chuck Woolery. Those were game show hosts. After the overproduced thought experiment Minute to Win It was canned, I’m not sure what giving him another game show, this time on his home base of the Food Network, is supposed to prove. And this isn’t even about like ‘OH HAY BRING BACK SUPERMARKET SWEEP’ but let’s bunt for the lowest common denominator. Because the meta message is that good could can be made from remodulated, overly processed blocks of sodium and corn syrup from our Monsanto overlords. But the mouth breathers this show is pandering to won’t even bother to try, because screw it.

But seriously, bring back Supermarket Sweep.

Comic Book Men (11:59pm, AMC)
Kevin Smith’s Comic Book Men reproves that despite how mainstream nerd culture is, a bunch of comic book fans can be sexist basement dwellers. Call it a throwback! Just like Pepsi made with real sugar!

See you next Monday!

the author

Paolo Sambrano adores television theme songs. You can follow him on Twitter @paolo. He is the creator of the card game, No Benefits and the writer/performer of the solo show Bi-Poseur.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!