Usually when I sit down to write this column on a Sunday (yes, it is published Monday so heaven forbid I actually do something in advance) I’m sometimes left wondering exactly what to write about it. Thanks to an outstanding episode of SATURDAY NIGHT LIFE this past Saturday night I am thankful to the TV spirits because after watching it from the DVR this Sunday morning I have a column that I’m pretty sure will write itself.
I was looking forward to this past week’s SNL because it was being hosted by Jesse Eisenberg. I admit I was looking forward to Eisenberg himself but I was also looking forward to the fact that an actor was hosting that wouldn’t get in the way of the writers and might bring some positive feedback to the writing process. Eisenberg seems to be the type of actor that comes off as a simple, if not somewhat neurotic, talent that more than likely wouldn’t intimidate the writing staff. The past three installments of the show (Jeff Bridges, Jim Carrey and Gwyneth Paltrow) have been extremely hit or miss (Carrey a complete miss for me and Bridges came off as almost disconnected in a “Why am I doing this?” performance) but I found myself extremely entertained by nearly every skit that Eisenberg was in. The best of the skits, which you probably won’t find on-line thanks to music rights issues, was the DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS skit which literally brought me to my knees with laughter (I was standing in the kitchen making breakfast for the family at the time). I highly suggest anyone who wants a good laugh to find even the poorest of YouTube rips of this skit before NBC forces them to be taken down.
The item that naturally is getting all of the big headlines is the fact that FACEBOOK creator Mark Zuckerberg, who EISENBERG has received an Oscar nod for portraying in THE SOCIAL NETWORK, actually dropped in to the opening monologue. This was not only an outstanding surprise for us the audience but it also broke us out of the typical and almost predictable type opening monologue that we’ve been handed lately. This was a great move for Zuckerberg since it helps to show the public that he isn’t the character portrayed in THE SOCIAL NETWORK and he actually has a sense of humor about the whole thing. Regardless of the motivation it really helped to make the monologue enjoyable. The only thing I wish was that his presence at the close of the show hadn’t been so awkward.
If you didn’t see the opening I’m referring to the good folks over at HULU make it really easy for you to take almost all of the show in (with the exception of that stellar DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS skit).
Now let’s set my Eisenberg adoration aside and get down to the real nitty-gritty of this week’s TV offerings!
NBC - 8:00 PM: Tonight’s episode of CHUCK was originally intended as a season ender before NBC came through with a full season pickup. Everything has been building up to this point so if you’re a CHUCK fan I don’t even need to tell you to be watching this tonight.
ABC - 8:00 PM: Tonight on THE BACHELOR they head to Vegas because that’s just the type of place you go to find true love.
CBS - 9:00 PM: CBS continues the SHEEN stalling with a repeat of TWO AND A HALF MEN.
SYFY - 9:00 PM: There was enough in the first two episodes of BEING HUMAN to get me check it out one more week.
FOX - 8:00 PM: Another GLEE-peat tonight reminds us just how this show put the HORROR back into ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. Seriously, this was bad.
NBC - 8:00 PM: All of the contestants are reunited on the ranch on tonight’s episode of THE BIGGEST LOSER. No more anonymity and I’m sure game play will come out hardcore.
FX - 8:00 PM: What does it say about the night when I view one of the best options on TV is a cable-edited version of STEP BROTHERS?
LIFETIME - 10:00 PM: Want to know what things are really like in a maternity ward? See the blessed moment and some of the embarrassing ones on ONE BORN EVERY MINUTE.
FOX - 8:00 PM: Please forgive me for the following admission: I’m really enjoying STEVEN TYLER on AMERICAN IDOL.
FX - 8:00 PM: OK, really, where’s all the new TV? I’m looking at a cable cut of TROPIC THUNDER and thinking it sounds like a good idea tonight.
A&E - 9:00 PM: After seven seasons even DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER resorts to a clip show as they look back at their most memorable catches.
ABC - 9:30 PM: COUGAR TOWN is the only new sitcom in ABC’s comedy Wednesday line up. See what I’m saying?
NBC - 8:00 PM: I really want to recommend tonight’s episode of COMMUNITY because I love the show but I just haven’t been feeling it for the least two episodes. Will tonight pull it out?
ABC - 8:00 PM: Why do I like WIPEOUT? Show titles like HOCKEY PUCKS AND BIEBER FEVER.
FOX - 9:00 PM: Tonight on BONES the body that’s found is dressed as a scarecrow in a cornfield. This simple idea terrified me as a child.
THE CW - 8:00 PM: SMALLVILLE finally returns after it had a week delay at the hand of the most nasty of villains: network executives.
NBC - 8:00 PM: The family tree docuseries WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? returns as we once again get treated to seeing why the famous even have ancestors cooler than we were.
CBS - 9:00 PM: Ever wonder what the top ten of the SUPER BOWL’S GREATEST COMMERCIALS would be if people voted? Tonight you get your answer.
ABC - 10:00 PM: BARBRA “buzz kill” WALTERS comes out with another special tonight titled A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH where she interviews celebrities and their brushes with death. What an uplifting way to end my work week.
BBC AMERICA - 11:00 AM: TOP GEAR all day. Again I say TOP GEAR all day. That is all.
SCIENCE CHANNEL - 8:00 PM: There is nothing greater than KARL PINKERTON in AN IDIOT ABROAD. If you haven’t seen this than you are in for a treat because it’s three episodes airing back-to-back-to-back.
ABC - 9:00 PM: For a while I was worried that SHREK THE THIRD would be just a lackluster final installment in the SHREK series. Thankfully it wasn’t.
NBC - 11:30 PM: No you aren’t having a flashback to the 90’s, DANA CARVEY is hosting SNL tonight.
FOX - 6:00 PM E / 3:00 PM P: I can’t wait to watch it all and talk about the greatest moments of SUPER BOWL XLV. You know that I’m talking about the commercials. There has to be at least one stand out one this year, right?
ANIMAL PLANET - 6:00 PM E / 3:00 PM P: Don’t know what to do with your infant during the big game? Use that other TV to put on the PUPPY BOWL. Maybe you can even put it on in a picture-in-picture window.
FOX - 10:30 PM E / 7:30 PM P: It’s the super big post-game GLEE. Yeah, they put GLEE on after the SUPER BOWL. This programming makes just a bit more sense than trying to sell wrestling to the Oprah Network.
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