So, what else is on?

Monday, August 18
America’s Next Top Model (9pm, CW season premiere)
Boys are against girls in cycle 21 of the Tyra Banks hosted reality show. But why be a supermodel when you can just be popular on Instagram and have people reblog your selfies on Tumblr?

Tuesday, August 19
Wizard Wars (10pm, SyFy, series premiere)
I thought I was having a stroke when reading the description for Wizard Wars. I thought SyFy was rebroadcasting The CW’s Penn and Teller: Fool Us, which is another reality competition show with Penn and Teller as hosts. I guess we now have the television equivalents of The Prestige and The Illusionist. This one is about magicians using everyday objects to create tricks illusions for a panel of judges. Listen, if no wizards are actually at war with each other and launching fucking fireballs from their fingertips and summoning troll warriors to fight on their behalf on this show, I just might fucking burn a motherfucker down (using an immolation spell, duh).

Wednesday, August 20
Happy Valley (Midnight, Netflix, complete first season)
Happy Valley is an Netflix acquisition from BBC. Premiering earlier this year across the Atlantic to high ratings, it’s about a small-town police woman’s personal and professional dealings with the man she believes murdered her daughter when he is released from prison. Judging by the trailer alone, it is feeling like the inverse to Rectify, with a dash of Fargo mixed in.

Well, I’m intrigued.

Thursday, August 21
Rectify (10pm, Sundance, season finale)
In the past couple of weeks I started and caught up on all of Rectify. Season one (six episodes) is on Netflix, and can be enjoyed on its own. Season two feels like it is turning into another show before our eyes, but is still retaining the humanity that critics adore and people don’t watch. But seriously. Quiet performances. Meditations on humanity. It is Friday Night Lights-esqse in how fucking human it is. It feels like swimming in a deep fat fryer of emotions. I’m just not sure I totally agree with the WAM! BAM! SOUTHERN GUITAR RIFF! method Sundance has been trying to push the show though.

The Simpsons (FXX)
FXX (aka cable Siberia) has been waiting the almost-year it has been in existence for this. After acquiring the entire Simpsons catalog for $750 million, FXX will embark on a twelve day marathon of Every! Single! Simpsons! (and the movie) starting on Thursday, and ending on September 1. Sure beats back to back showings of Tom Cruise’s Knight and Day, that’s for damn sure.

Friday, August 22
Bering Sea Gold (9pm, Discovery, season premiere)
There’s gold in dem der bering seas.

Saturday, August 23
Doctor Who (8pm, BBC America, season premiere)
I think about Doctor Who lately, and I get so angry that The Rock isn’t the Doctor. Can you imagine The Rock in a Doctor suit Rock Bottoming a Dalek? Anyway, The Thick of It’s Peter Capaldi is the new Doctor, because The Doctor is a straight white man despite not being bound by the rules of race or sex, and maybe we’re all just sick of Stephen Moffat at this point. Fuckity bye, indeed.

Intruders (10pm, BBC America, series premiere)
Mira Sorvino and John Simm star in this paranormal thriller about spirits that possess people? There are also conspiracies an secret societies in play. I am still not super sure what it’s about, but it does look creepy as get out.

Sunday, August 24
Breathless (9pm, PBS, series premiere)
Breathless is a period piece about about a male doctor in the 60’s performing abortions, so while I may have described Cinemax’s The Knick as Mad Men, but with medical care instead of advertising, this is Mad Men, but instead of advertising, it’s abortion, and actually takes place in the 60’s. At last, I get to bust out “Breathless like Godard” all over again. Also the fact that this is on PBS must be it has to be already critically acclaimed.

True Blood (9pm, HBO, series finale)
What the fuck has been going on with True Blood in its farewell season? I haven’t even been watching, but what the fuck is even happening over there?

The Last Ship (9pm, TNT, season finale)
From Michael Bay, what we have here is a rinky-dink action series that feels like a jumbled mess of Battlestar Galactica meets ABC’s Last Resort meets the board game Pandemic. Which could all have been forgiven if the action sequences were any good, but its limp action and balsa-wood-caliber performances from Eric Dane (criminally miscast) and Adam Baldwin made it feel like a slog. It will be coming back for a second season though (makes sense since TNT’s other Sunday night action show, Falling Skies, will be ending after next season).

2014 MTV Video Music Awards (9pm, MTV)
Yeah, but who will win the Moon Man for “Vine of the year disguised as a viral marketing campaign for a dying music industry?”

Thank you for everything, Robin Williams.

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.

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