Only Two Slices Left
There is no worse night to be stuck home watching TV than a Friday night in early summer. The season is still filled with big plans and possibilities, and that banal "Can you believe it's July already?" talk is still a few weeks away. Even your parents are probably out grabbing dinner and a movie at the new mall two towns over. Go have some fun this evening, and nurse that hangover tomorrow night as your favorite brightly-colored baking goods show takes its second-to-last bow.
Pushing Daisies [10 PM, ABC] SATURDAY
This is the second to last episode of PD before it shuffles off this mortal coil, and we are surprised by the complete lack of coverage by critics who fervently campaigned for it this past fall. Emerson Cod (Chi McBride) searches for his daughter Penny's whereabouts while investigating the murder of millionaire Roland Stingwell (Starsky & Hutch's Fred Williamson). Sure, you can catch Anna Friel at the multiplex, but she's much cuter while making pies.
Whale Wars [9 PM, Animal Planet] FRIDAY
For some reason (boring childhood, perhaps), we've have always been more likely to give to charities that benefit animals. Not that humans don't have problems, but animals just seem so much more sympathetic, which is why shows involving the protection of animals, especially giant mammal who think boats are their friends, usually catch our eye. Skipper Paul Watson and his lefty crew are back fighting Japanese whalers and keeping the blubber out of the market and in the water.
Ultimate Burger Bash with Food Network All-Stars [8 PM, Food] FRIDAY
If you are going to stay home, at least you can spend that time drooling over cooked meat. Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri and the Neely's help you make your burgers better with various tips and ingredients that you will be too lazy to follow through on or purchase. For once, just once, there should be a special where the super chefs make fun of ordinary cooks. Instead of surprising someone with helpful tips, Chef Flay could completely ruin their day and trash their kitchen. There's your Throwdown.
Monster-in-Law [8 PM, TNT] FRIDAY
The 'second act desert' is a screenwriting term to describe the difficulty of getting one's characters to the end of the film; having them change, then change back and realize their mistakes while keeping the audience interested. Monster-in-Law uses a common strategy (also employed by School for Scoundrels and Anger Management) where the middle of the film is basically two people destroying each other's lives in myriad ways. When the dust finally settles on the Jane Fonda-Jennifer Lopez chicanery, it's impossible to believe that the man they were fighting over (Michael Vartan) would want to see either of them again.