It’s time once again to take a look at The Week in Gay TV, your guide to the shows battling for your attention in the next few days. The traditional TV season is getting ready to give way to the summer schedule and that means plenty of your regular faves are getting ready to deliver their final chapters for the next few months (providing things go well when the networks announce their fall schedules next week) including Raising Hope, The Fabulous Beekman Boys and Parks and Recreation.
“Oh Clark, it’s been too long since we’ve looked into each others’ eyes so intensely.”
Ten seasons of superheroics, bromantic relationships and plenty of homoerotic tension wrap up Friday night when Smallville airs its final episode. There have been fans of hoyay for a long time but this was the series that brought them out into the open so later shows such as Heroes would openly court their support.
The two-hour finale will include the return of Michael Rosenbaum as Lex as well as promises of several reminders of the series’ days gone by. Meanwhile, there’s also a battle with Darkseid — though I’m expecting that to be as anticlimatic as last season’s battle with Zod — as well as putting Clark in the blue, red and gold tights.
While Smallville’s never been a great show, it usually knew how to deliver just enough fun, sometimes because of its ability to bring out viewers’ snarky side, and sometimes because of the way it adapted the DC comics characters that had never been a part of a live-action drama. Throughout it all, Smallville had a cast full of good-looking guys like Tom Welling, Sam Jones and Justin Hartley, a sure way to get a following among gay superhero fans.
Friday also brings a new episode of Friday Night Lights that sees the Lions take a road trip with lasting consequences and Coach Taylor dealing with recruitment regulations.
Neil Gaiman with Doctor Who’s Matt Smith and Suranne Jones.
Fandoms collide Saturday when Doctor Who debuts a long-awaited episode written by Neil Gaiman. The story finds The Doctor following a signal that sounds like it could come from a fellow Time Lord, a decision that only ends up putting The Doctor and his companions in danger. Considering the passion both Doctor Who and Neil Gaiman inspires among fans, this is a highly anticipated episode and the early reviews say the story doesn’t disappoint.
Following Doctor Who, BBCAmerica has a new episode of The Graham Norton Show. This week, Graham’s guests include Twlight star Robert Pattinson — who I hope turns out to be far more chatty than when he appeared on The Daily Show — Reese Witherspoon and Hugh Laurie.
Saturday also brings a new episode of Pretty Hurts which sees Janice Dickinson and Raven visit Rand Rusher’s clinic. Honestly, a reality show about cosmetic procedures is a tough enough sell for me. Adding Dickinson and Raven into the mix doesn’t increase my interest.
Remember how last week I told you that fx pulled those Running Wilde episodes it was planning on burning off on Thursdays and moved them to Fridays? The canceled comedy seems to have gotten another time slot downgrade as it’s now airing on Saturday nights.
Saturday also sees Geotge Takei advising the Supah Ninjas as they deal with a mutated biology teacher while Ed Helms hosts Saturday Night Live with musical guest Paul Simon.
Sunday sees the end of another season of Desperate Housewives with a two-hour finale. This episode sees Susan deal with the charge of poisoning Paul, while Gaby learns about the mystery man sneaking around her home (Desperate Housewives’ second Ugly Betty alum, Tony Plana).
When the season began, I thought things looked really promising. Vanessa Williams was turning out to be a great addition to Wisteria Lane, Gaby’s baby-switch storyline turned out to be a lot more nuanced than I initially expected, and somehow, for once Susan wasn’t an obnoxious twit the show expected viewers to find lovable. Then, as the season progressed, Renee started to get fewer stories, Gaby lost all the personal growth prompted by losing her biological daughter and Paul’s storyline became more and more confused.
“Great, somehow I became the second coming of Katherine Mayfair and I didn’t even get to hook up with anybody from a Joss Whedon show.”
Desperate Housewives has certainly had its off years but at least those seasons had a bit of consistency. This season Paul’s story went all over the place, as he went from seeking revenge to being the victim of Felicia’s schemes without experiencing a change of heart. Hopefully, next year the Desperate Housewives team will have a tighter focus for the next big story arc.
Fox has a Sunday night of new animated comedies starting with Francine starting work at Stan’s office on a new episode of American Dad. I’m sure you won’t be surprised when that goes badly and Stan’s workplace becomes a nightmare. That’s followed by a new episode of The Simpsons as Lisa discovers a secret classroom inside Springfield elementary.
Sunday also brings the season finale of The Cleveland Show, as the family heads to a comic convention where they encounter Emily Deschanel, Danny Trejo, Eliza Dushku, Katee Sackhoff and Robert Rodriguez. It turns out Rodriguez is revisiting one of his early movies, a blacksploitation film that starred Donna.
Sunday also brings a new episode of In Plain Sight, hopefully with more Dan Bucatinsky as the AUSA who gets pushed around by Mary. Finally, if you’ve missed any of the second, excellent season of The Fabulous Beekman Boys, Planet Green has a marathon starting at 8:00 AM.
I’d say Ted is illustrating how this past season left many of us feeling.
It’s been a frustratingly hit-and-miss season of How I Met Your Mother with too many irritating storylines for Ted, including an even more irritating romance. Monday, that season concludes as Robin and Barney start interfering in Ted’s life. If that leads to the return of Barrobin, I might be able to get over the many disappointments.
Monday also brings the season finale of Hawaii 5-O, which sees Wo Fat make his big move against the 5-O team, a step that neutralizes Governor Jameson’s ability to shield them from facing the same rules as other law enforcement agencies. I guess that means it’s time for Steve to put away the shark cage he uses to interrogate suspects.
Logo has a double-feature of Jonathan D Lovitz on Monday. First he appears on Setup Squad as Renee continues to try to get Helen and Lauretta to work things out. Then Lovitz joins the panel for a special 1 girl, 5 gays. Showtime has a new United States of Tara. It looks like Max and Marshall end up experiencing Kate’s brand of in-flight hospitality. Those poor guys.
Finally, the CW has the season finales of 90210 and Gossip Girl. Once again, there’s no mention of Teddy in the episode description so I figure his screen time will be just long enough to throw his hat in the air. Meanwhile, Georgina is back for another Gossip Girl finale.
“Ever get in one of those moods when every depressing sight strikes you as a metaphor for your life?”
Tuesday brings a bunch of finales including the closing chapter of The Good Wife, which sees Alicia put aside her differences with Kalinda for the good of their latest case; Meanwhile, with Alicia separated from Peter, a romance with Will looks like a possibility again. It looks like Alicia’s brother Owen will be showing up in the episode, I wonder if he will continue to encourage her to pursue Will now that it’s an actual possibility.
It’s also time for the season finale of The Fabulous Beekman Boys as Brent and Josh face a potentially life-changing decision. Brent gets the chance to work as a doctor in Sharon Springs, which would require him to spend less time on the Beekman business but would allow Josh to live on the farm full time. Will Josh give up the city life (as much as he says he hates it), and will Brent take the job?
Tuesday also brings the penultimate episode of Glee which is ominously-titled “Funeral” and includes an “unexpected loss.” Since Pavarotti already died a few episodes earlier, I’m at a loss at characters I can imagine Glee killing off. (Who are your guesses on Glee’s death?) Meanwhile, Jesse finds a new way to be a pain to New Directions as he goes from being their enemy to becoming a consultant for the Glee Club.
That’s followed by the season finale of Raising Hope, featuring a flashback to Jimmy’s 18th birthday, a time when Jimmy was going through his goth phase. ABC has the Body of Proof some of you have been awaiting with Eric Sheffer Stevens (unfortunately, he isn’t in any of the promotional pictures) in a guest role while the Food Network has a new Chopped.
Finally, NBC has a the second “battle round” on The Voice and judging by the previews, Nakia should be fighting to stay in the competition. As much as I enjoyed the auditions, I was left feeling mixed by the first battle round and not just because Tyler was eliminated. I would have liked to see more screen time dedicated to the mentoring and less to judges taking long pauses before announcing their decision. Still, some of those duets were fun to hear.
Wednesday brings the season’s penultimate night of ABC comedies as the family gathers for Alex’s graduation from middle school — or, at least, they’re trying to gather together. As usual, each family has their own little distraction that threatens to keep them away from being there for Alex on her graduation day.
That’s followed by a new Cougar Town as Travis continues to deal with a downward spiral of heartbreak and Lou Diamond Phillips helps Andy and Laurie work on their newest business idea.
Between that wallpaper and that quilt, I’m pretty appalled by this apartment.
Wednesday also brings the penultimate Happy Endings double feature starting with an episode where Penny tries to get Alex to forget about her disastrous wedding with a girls’ nights out, and Dave moves in with Max. Uh-oh, that sounds like this might be that second episode that Brent didn’t like. At least we’ll get to find out what happened to the guy who gets Alex to ditch her own wedding. That’s followed by an episode where the gang goes to see a band they liked when they were in college.
I’ve been a fan of Happy Endings since the beginning but after last week’s episodes I’m really hoping this show gets a second season. The writing for Max is something truly groundbreaking. Much like how Modern Family took the family comedy and made the gay couple a part of the joke, Happy Endings is taking the twentysomethings-in-the-city comedy and giving a gay character an equal part of the action.
More importantly, while this season has been awash in romantic comedies, Happy Endings has been the rare show not to rely on stale battle-of-the-sexes jokes about how men are lovably immature dragged down by women who want to ruin their fun (Better with You, Traffic Light and Perfect Couples come to mind). Happy Endings has largely let its characters be individuals, not variations on gender stereotypes, making it one of the funniest new comedies.
Finally, if that’s not enough comedy for you, Comedy Central also has a new South Park.
It’s the end for several Thursday comedies, but the big event is probably the season finale of The Office, which will focus on the search for a new manager. In addition to Andy, Dwight and Darryl, the candidates will include special guest stars Ricky Gervais, Jim Carrey, Will Arnett, James Spader, Ray Romano and — ohmygodohmygodohmygod — Catherine Tate.
My passion for The Office has faded over the years, especially as I’ve realized that Oscar probably won’t get another great episode like “Gay Witch Hunt,” but if Tate were to join — especially if they found a way to get her to play multiple characters — my enthusiasm would be back.
That’s followed by a two-episode finale for Parks and Recreation that sees Chris make some changes to the Parks Department before Pawneee has to mourn one the passing of one of its most beloved residents.
CBS’ comedy line-up also wraps Thursday as Big Bang Theory’s Wolowitz finds himself mocked for being the only member of the gang without a Ph.D while Current mocks the week in media with a new infoMania. (By the way, declaring Silvio Berlusconi as Italy’s equivalent of The Situation? Brilliant.)
As usual, I’d like to know what show you’re most excited to see in the week ahead:
Last week, the season finales of The Vampire Diaries and Brothers & Sisters couldn’t match your excitement for a Happy Endings double-feature where both episodes had a story about Max’s love life. Happy Endings got 34% of your votes while The Vampire Diaries came in second with 19% and Brothers & Sisters took third place with 17%.
Next week, we’ll see even more shows wrap up their season, including Supernatural, The Simpsons and Happy Endings.