Ghost Shark (Thursday, Aug. 22, Syfy), movie: “Maybe all we gotta do is stay dry, and it’ll leave us alone,” says Victim No. 46 of Syfy’s Ghost Shark, injecting logic where it damned well doesn’t belong—but at least this is more plausible than Sharknado: “A great white shark is tortured and killed by a fisherman, then returns from the dead, exacting vengeance on all humans.” Well, all humans and Night Court’s Richard Moll, who plays a crazy lighthouse keeper (is there ever any other kind?) who teams up with some meddling kids (including 7th Heaven’s Mackenzie Rosman) to stop the spectral-chomping wrath. The only legitimately scary aspect of this flick is that I’m referencing Night Court and 7th Heaven in 2013.
America’s Next Top Model (Fridays, The CW), new season: Cycle 20 (!) started a few weeks ago, but somehow, The Only TV Column That Matters™ totally missed it—and there are guys competing this season! America’s Next Top Model needed something new to shake things up; introducing sausage into the fest is a waaay better idea than previous gimmicks, like using just short girls, or that one painfully dull season when all of the contestants were mentally and emotionally stable (zzz). True TV’s picks—plural, because it’s unlikely that smizeinator Tyra Banks will let just one gender take it—to win are Nina and Phil, who look more like contestants on Portlandia’s Next Top Model.
Escape From Polygamy (Saturday, Aug. 24, Lifetime), movie: A struggling single mom (Mary McCormack) and daughter (Haley Lu Richardson) move into a polygamist compound, because, hey, what ever goes wrong on a polygamist compound? Then the daughter falls in love with a son (Jack Falahee) of the compound’s resident prophet, “Ervil” (William Mapother), who decides to give his kid the “lost boys” treatment. (For those of you who aren’t Mormon-studies scholars, this means banishment, not vampires in mullets.) That way, he can add the teen girl to his own stable of wives and move the whole operation to Mexico, because, hey, what ever goes wrong in Mexico?
2013 MTV Video Music Awards (Sunday, Aug. 25, MTV), special: The nominees for “Best Rock Video” at the 30th annual MTV Video Music Awards? Fall Out Boy, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Vampire Weekend, Imagine Dragons and Mumford and Sons. Barring an aneurysm or stroke, a full version of Old Man Frost’s “None of This Shit Is Rock!” as an annotated rant should be available shortly.
Teen Mom 3 (Monday, Aug. 26, MTV), season premiere: Now this is what MTV does best: exploiting stupid, destitute, pregnant teens to feed the already-astronomical profits of a multinational media conglomerate. After all, exploiting stupid, destitute musicians to feed the already-astronomical profits of a multinational media conglomerate is so 2003. Now that the original Teen Moms have, thanks to MTV, moved onto better, richer lives in prison and porn, four new girls have been called up from the 16 and Pregnant farm league to continue the franchise. Dr. Drew, you’re on deck.
Joe Rogan Questions Everything (Wednesday, Aug. 28, Syfy), season finale: Joe Rogan has the smartest show on Syfy? Didn’t see that coming. In the initial episodes of Joe Rogan Questions Everything—an extension of his Experience podcast—Rogan explored the dangers of worldwide disease pandemics (could happen), chemtrails (conspiracy-nut crapola) and the melding of man and technology (on its way … or are we living in it now?); in the season finale, he takes on “Psychic Spies.” Maybe next season, he’ll get to Teen Moms and Ghost Sharks.
DVD ROUNDUP FOR AUG. 27!
An author (Tia Carrere!) and a flight attendant (David Chokachi!!) attempt to fly a commercial plane full of passengers after a solar flare kills the pilot and fries the electronics. Wouldn’t a movie about human-killing solar flares be better? (Marvista)
Elementary: Season 1
Modern-day Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) comes to New York City to stay sober, become even quirkier and solve crimes, with the help of sidekick Watson (Lucy Liu) and a dazzling plethora of thrift-store-chic ensembles. (Paramount)
The Great Gatsby
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan star in Baz Luhrmann’s splashy take on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tale of decadence, excess and the evils of jazz in 1922 New York City. Or as close as you can get with a PG-13 rating. (Warner Bros.)
Pain and Gain
Three Miami personal trainers (Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie) try to extort money from a suspected crime boss (Tony Shaloub), only to have the plan blow up as only Michael Bay can explode it. (Paramount)
Sons of Anarchy: Season 5
Jax takes control of SAMCRO; Clay schemes to regain power; Opie has a bad night in prison; Gemma gets a new pimp boyfriend; Nero’s out for blood; Tara furrows her Muppet eyebrows; a tranny hooker saves the day; shit, in general, goes down. (Fox)
More New DVD Releases (Aug. 27)
Among Friends, At Any Price, Evil Inside, Grey’s Anatomy: Season 9, Meddling Mom, NYC Underground, Online, Pawn Shop Chronicles, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, A Resurrection, Ritual, Seattle Superstorm, Stranded, Tied, The Walking Dead: Season 3.