Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys (Sunday, May 25, Animal Planet), movie: So … Animal Planet is in the original-movie game now? At least it’s not another season of (Never) Finding Bigfoot. The exhaustingly titled Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys (they’re slimy, toothy, eel-like fish—not unlike Ryan Seacrest) looks like Syfy B-flick cheese, because it’s “from the creators of Sharknado,” and stars Shannen Doherty (whom you’d expect to be here) and Christopher Lloyd (wha?). The surprises end there: Bikini babes and hapless townies get chomped via lake, swimming pool and, yes, toilet (top that, Sharknado 2), while Doherty and Lloyd (re)act and wait for the checks to clear. In case you hadn’t noticed, terrible TV movies are replacing terrible reality shows as social-media “events,” which is a step … up?
Petals on the Wind (Monday, May 26, Lifetime), movie: Speaking of trainwreck cable flicks as hashtag bait, remember January’s loony-tunes Flowers in the Attic, starring Heather Graham and Ellen Burstyn? There’s a sequel! Based on the second installment of a book series The Only TV Column That Matters
The Night Shift (Tuesday, May 27, NBC), series debut: It was too much to hope that The Night Shift would be the long-long-overdue TV adaptation of the 1982 Henry Winkler/Michael Keaton comedy of the same name. Instead, it’s just another Pretty Doctors Who Barely Have Time to Bang Between Traumatic Events dramedy tossed out as summer filler until someone at NBC figures out where they misplaced those leftover episodes of The Michael J. Fox Show. Will these docs who “work hard and play harder” run afoul of their new no-nonsense boss? Will old loves/lusts be rekindled? Will anyone notice The Night Shift before it’s canceled in two weeks? Yes, yes and Chicago Fire reruns are locked and loaded.
I Wanna Marry “Harry” (Tuesdays, Fox), new series: In what I really want to believe was originally called Royally Screwed, 12 ’Merican women are flown to England to court “Prince Harry,” who’s actually just a nobody ringer. It’s been about 10 years since Fox brought us reality dating fake-outs Joe Millionaire and My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance, and there have been plenty of suckers born every minute since—but people believe that a British royal is going wade through the skank factory of U.S. reality TV to find love? That’s as realistic as thinking that you are all following my advice and not watchingI Wanna Marry “Harry.”
Rogue (Wednesday, May 28, DirecTV), season premiere: In the 2013 debut season of DirecTV’s Audience Network original Rogue, Thandie Newton starred as a darkly eff’dup Bay Area cop on leave working undercover in a Russian drug ring to find the killer of her young son. Ten episodes and as many double-crosses, dead bodies, duplicitous sexual encounters and inexplicably nonlethal bullet wounds later, she was, naturally, promoted to the FBI. Rogue may be a ridiculous, just-go-with-it action thriller, but Newton’s (mostly) restrained performance is undeniably magnetic, deeper than the “supermodel Jack Bauer” first impressions. And yes, that is Vancouver trying to pass for San Francisco—don’t dwell.
DVD ROUNDUP FOR MAY 27!
When a college student (Trevor Morgan) saves a teen girl (Elizabeth Rice) from a suicide attempt, she turns out to be a clingy, crazy hot mess who makes his life hell. If that’s not enough, there’s also talking soap and exploding heads. (Breaking Glass)
A remake of the 1966 film you’ve never heard of: A master thief (Colin Firth) plots to rip off a rich widower (Alan Rickman) with the help of a woman (Cameron Diaz) who resembles his late wife. Written by the Coen Brothers, no less! (Sony)
Faceless alien invaders of indeterminate origin attack on the Fourth of July, and it’s up to the president, a firefighter and a gorgeous blonde scientist to save the day. But it’s not Independence Day; that’s a matter for the lawyers. (Anchor Bay)
Journey to the West
A young Buddhist demon hunter defeats and then reforms/recruits three demons, then embarks on said Journey to the West … or something. It’s directed by Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle), so there’s plenty of action and distractions. (Magnolia)
Run and Jump
After her husband has a debilitating stroke, a housewife (Maxine Peake) struggles to keep her family together and strikes up an unconventional relationship with a lonely neurologist (Will Forte). Neither running nor jumping are involved. (MPI)
More New DVD Releases (May 27)
24 Exposures, The Bob Newhart Show: The Compete Series, Blue Movie, Cheap Thrills, Claire, Could This Be Love, Covert Affairs: Season 4, Endless Love, Suits: Season 3, Tapped Out, Tokyo Stray Girls, The Trials of Cate McCall, Wishes.