The two biggest events on TV this week are the build-up to the release of The Incredible Hulk — like two giant green fists, pounding out their primal tattoo of movie hype — and the last Battlestar Galactica episode until 2009. But there are other highlights, including some surprisingly great cartoons, a documentary chock full of space porn, and new episodes of Doctor Who and Charlie Jade. Click through for listings (with minor spoilers).
I'm trying a slightly different format here. Instead of doing it by days of the week, I'm grouping things into categories. The highlights of this week's TV are:
Hulk-mania. Your screen will be green this week, as television hypes this weekend's release of The Incredible Hulk with all its might. The Sci Fi Channel is showing marathons of the Hulk TV show all day, every day, this week (including right now.) And an exclusive three-minute Hulk clip (featuring Banner's transformation) will air during Sci Fi's new Ghost Hunters episode on Wednesday at 9. (Just how badly do you want to see a Hulk clip? In any case, I have a feeling it'll turn up on various blogs, including this one, pretty quickly.) Just to top things off, Sci Fi is showing Ang Lee's Hulk movie on Thursday at 9, just to get the mutant poodle cravings out of your system before you see the new poodle-free movie.
There's more! HBO has a "First Look" special about the Hulk on Wednesday evening at 9:30. Also, Hulk star Liv Tyler is on Jimmy Kimmel's Game Night primetime special on Thursday and Regis And Kelly on Friday. And Tim Roth is on the regular Jimmy Kimmel late night show Thursday night. (I sort of vaguely remember this movie had a male lead, but I can't remember his name. And anyway, he's not doing any appearances.)
Other movie promo. HBO has a "First Look" at Get Smart tonight at 8:30. And the stars of M. Night Shyamalan's doomed R-rated disaster movie The Happening are promoting it as hard as they can: Marky Mark is on Letterman tomorrow night, Regis and Kelly Wednesday daytime and Conan O'Brien Wednesday night. And Zooey Deschanel is on Letterman Wednesday.
Battlestar's season finale. I'm just putting it out there: Friday night's Battlestar Galactica is a season finale, since the second "half" of the season won't see the light of day until 2009 by all accounts. At least the finale has the promising title of "Revelations," and unless the promo is totally deceptive (like last week's promo) we actually see the four secret cylons "come out" about their status. But here, you can watch and judge for yourself. And then tune in on Sci Fi at 10 on Friday.
Doctor Who and the labors of Hercule. This week's Doctor Who (Friday on Sci Fi at 9) is the one where he meets Agatha Christie. It's quite similar, in a way, to the ones where he meets Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare. But that doesn't make it any less entertaining, and there are some nice treats, including a weird moment with a clergyman. Here's our recap of the episode, and here's a chunk of the episode itself:
More universe-hopping fun. And before Doctor Who and BSG, Sci Fi has the second episode of South African/Canadian universe-hopping show Charlie Jade at 8 PM. Charlie starts to realize he's not in his real universe when he comes to Cape Town instead of Cape City. And his apartment is derelict and trashed. Meanwhile, the evil Corporation chooses an agent to be their emissary to the other universes.
Awesome cartoons. Saturday at 10 AM is the season finale of Spectacular Spider-Man on The CW. "Nature Vs. Nurture" deals with the running black costume/Venom storyline. Eddie Brock has finally merged with the symbiote and only has one goal in mind — to destroy Spider-Man. Also at 10 AM Saturday, there's a new Ben 10: Alien Force on the Cartoon Network: "Cash and JT steal a gauntlet from Kevin's car and decide to use it against Ben, but an evil spirit within the glove possesses Cash instead."
And at 10:30 AM Saturday on Cartoon Network, there's a new Transformers: Animated, "Autoboot Camp." Bumblebee reminisces about his days in Autobot Academy (will there be hazing? Please tell me there's hazing!) and an Autobot cadet he met named Wasp. Bumblebee learns Wasp has been sprung from prison and decides to track him down. And here's most of the episode already, presumably from its early airing overseas.
Meanwhile, am I the only person who didn't know "Weird" Al Yankovic was doing voice work for this show?
Adult swim. More awesome cartoons air Sunday night as part of Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" block. There's a new Venture Bros. at 11:30 PM, called "The Invisible Hand of Fate" — but I couldn't find an episode description anywhere. What do they have to hide?? Also, there's a new Metalocalypse at midnight, called "Dethrace." And here's the synopsis:
Murderface plans a racing event with support from Nathan and Pickles. Meanwhile, Skwisgaar and Toki try to get licenses.
Strain yourself again. In case you missed out on the awesomeness (well, it was sorta pretty) of A&E's remake of The Andromeda Strain, it's showing during the day on Friday, at 9 AM and 2 PM. It's got Bucky balls, and Benjamin Bratt, and mopey boys on mopeds. And Will from Will and Grace running through a biohazard zone getting shot at, and somehow not dying.
Superhero movies. In case you want to channel your inner superhero-hating Nashawaty, FX is showing a bunch of recent superhero movies. On Monday, it's X2: X-Men United and Fantastic Four, on Tuesday it's Fantastic Four and Batman Begins, and on Wednesday it's Batman Begins and Hellboy.
Random other movies. Here are some of the movies on TV this week: AMC is showing WarGames today, starting at 5 PM. On Tuesday morning at 3:15, TCM is showing the awesomely titled Don't Worry, We'll Think Of A Title, a 1966 movie about a bumbling incompetent who gets mistaken for a defecting Russian cosmonaut. I'm sold. On Wednesday at 10, AMC has Species, about Gandhi facing off with a sex-hungry alien hybrid. Sci Fi is showing The Thing on Thursday at 7, which overlaps with USA's 8:30 showing of Raiders Of The Lost Ark (in case you want to remember when Indy and Marion had chemistry). And on Friday morning at 3 AM, Sci Fi is showing Momentum, about government agents chasing telekinetics. Also on Friday, at 8 PM, AMC has Escape From New York, and USA has Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom at 8:30 PM. On Saturday, Sci Fi is showing disaster movies, with titles like Tornado Terror, all day.
Inspiring documentary. On Sunday night, The Discovery Channel has another four hours of its mega-documentary When We Left Earth, which cover everything from the Apollo 1 disaster to Skylab to the moon landing. It starts at 9 PM and goes on until 1 AM. Here's a trailer:
Scary documentaries. There's a new Mega Disasters, all about "Volcanic Winter," on the History Channel on Tuesday at 9. Could a super-volcano cover us in so much ash we'd be stuck in a deadly ice age? (And History has reruns of The Universe and UFO Files tonight.) And there's a new MonsterQuest, about ghosts, on Wednesday night at 9. If that's not daring and inquiring enough for you, the Discovery Channel has a new documentary on Wednesday called simply, Mars: Alive? (As in, is the whole planet actually sentient, and out to get us? One can only hope.) Actually, I think it's about the Phoenix lander.