My name is Wm. Steven Humphrey. For the fashionably ignorant among us, this name is the most trusted name in an industry filled with dicks who think they know more about TV than I do. Why am I most trusted? Because I know that you don't give two willies and a handshake about demographics, advertising, and market shares -- subjects of endless fascination to fat, boring TV executives and television critics (a.k.a. "dicks") who think they know more than I do. Unlike them, I realize your concerns are three-fold, and include (a) getting laid, (b) getting drunk, and (c) knowing what to watch on TV. These are imperative points, because if you're doing one when you should be doing another, your precarious hold on sanity can easily be tossed asunder, leaving you (a) wailing at an uncaring universe while (b) attempting to kick yourself in your big fat ass with the heel of your foot, in an attempt to (c) punish yourself for not listening to Wm. Steven Humphrey who, as previously mentioned, knows so much more than those other dicks.
That being said, what follows is a night-by-night breakdown of possible television-watching choices, which can either be adhered to or ignored, if one chooses to engage in drunkery or a trip down the booty trail. However, before we begin, here's a quick rundown of the networks we'll be examining, and the audiences they generally lick the asses of:
CBS: They lick old people's asses. Home of geriatric faves Diagnosis Murder and Touched on the Swimsuit Area by an Angel.
NBC: They lick baby boomers' asses. Inexplicably still #1 even though they only have two popular shows (Friends & ER).
ABC: They'll lick anybody's ass. With NYPD Blue running on empty, and the loss (thank GOD) of Home Improvement, ABC should be eating out of a dumpster within two years.
FOX: They'll also lick anybody's ass -- the difference is, they really enjoy licking ass! FOX is the dirtiest of all the networks, and this season you can expect even more dirty ass-lickin' fun.
The WB: They lick teenager ass. (Which might not be too bad, depending on the teenager.) Home of Dawson's Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Felicity, the WB has cornered the lucrative teen market, and eventually could wipe MTV off the too-cool-for-school map.
UPN: No one will let UPN lick their ass. Best known for Moesha, Star Trek: Voyager, and... yep, that's about it.
AND NOW -- What You Should Watch This Fall!
8:00 pm -- If you're like me, you've had it up to here with The Simpsons. However, unless for some reason you prefer that dingbat Felicity (WB) which moves from Tuesdays, or the new ER knockoff about paramedics, Third Watch (NBC), you'll have to put up or shut up.
9:00 pm -- It's the last season of The X-Files (FOX), so things had better start perking up a bit! But if you've had it with their stupid conspiracy theories, check out David E. Kelley's (Ally McBeal, The Practice) new private-dick show Snoops (ABC) starring hotty Paula Marshall (formerly of Cupid) and really hot-hot-hottie "Ouch! You so HOT, mama!" Gina Gershon.
10:00 pm -- Though The Practice is quickly becoming the weirdest show on TV, it's still the best thing on snoozeville Sunday nights.
8:00 pm -- If you're a fan of train wrecks, check out the consistently annoying Jennifer Love Hewitt (ex-Party of Five member, current Neutrogena girl) in her new show Time of Your Life (FOX) -- otherwise it ain't nothin' but Moesha (UPN).
9:00 pm -- How do you feel about Ally McBeal (FOX)? Ohhh-kay, then how do you feel about a boring spin-off of the already boring Law & Order called Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC)? Well, then you have no choice but to watch Jaleel White's (the brilliant Urkel from Family Matters) new sitcom The Grown Ups (UPN). (That'll teach you to complain!)
10:00 pm -- Mondays at 10:00 is historically TV's great wasteland, but check out Family Law (CBS), which would sound coma-inducing were it not created by Paul Haggis, the big brains behind the brilliant and (surprise!) short-lived EZ Streets.
8:00 pm -- I love Tuesdays, yes I do! I love Tuesdays, how 'bout YOU?! Mainly because Tuesday means Buffy the Vampire Slayer (WB), the best goddam show in the universe. So watch that, and ignore that stupid 30-minute version of Ally McBeal called Ally (FOX). Remember: Whether it's 30 minutes or an hour, poop is still poop.
9:00 pm -- More hunky dreamboat fun at 9:00 with the Buffy spin-off Angel (WB), which is about the Buffster's ex-b-friend's adventures in L.A. (where hopefully he'll cheer up a smidge and stop being such a grumpy-dump gloomy Gus). You can also check out Secret Agent Man (UPN), but these types of spy parodies never work out... especially on UPN.
10:00 pm -- The "10-strikes-you're-out" production team of Herskovitz and Zwick (thirtysomething, Relativity) try one mo' time with the appropriately titled Once and Again (ABC), another relationship drama that will sit in for NYPD Blue until it's moved into a shitty time slot where it will be quickly canceled.
8:00 pm -- An absolutely horrendous hour featuring Dawson's Creek (WB), Two Assholes, Another Asshole and a Pizza Place (ABC), and Cosby (CBS), which is followed by the new Mad About You abomination Work with Me (CBS) starring Kevin Pollack and Nancy Travis. I never thought I'd say this... but turn to UPN for the often-sly sci-fi show 7 Days.
9:00 pm -- Things turn around at 9:00 with two (finally!) interesting choices: West Wing (NBC), the White House comedy/drama starring Rob Lowe (St. Elmo's Fire) as a horny George Stephanopoulos, and Roswell (WB), which is like Dawson's Creek except with aliens (which is how it should've been in the first place).
10:00 pm -- Back into the toilet with Law & Fawking Order (NBC).
8:00 pm -- Still stubbornly refusing to be unfunny, Friends (NBC) should have no trouble kicking the crap out of two new high-school shows, Popular (WB), a teenage class-warfare comedy, and Manchester Prep (FOX), the Cruel Intentions/Dangerous Liaisons/Les Liaisons Dangereuses rip-off.
9:00 pm -- Kevin "Someone Stop Me Before I Create Again" Williamson (Dawson's Creek, Scream) poops out another series called Wasteland (ABC), about six (yawn) friends (yawn) who move to New (yawn) York. Doogie Howser (Neil Patrick Harris) returns at 9:30 with Stark Raving Mad (NBC), which unluckily goes head-to-head with the buzziest show of the season, Action (FOX), a reportedly hilarious spoof on Hollywood that's dirty, dirty, dirty!
10:00 pm -- For some reason the producers of ER (NBC) are deathly afraid you're going to stop watching their shitty show, and are enlisting the talents (?) of Rebecca DeMornay and (gulp!) Alan Alda -- the TV equivalent of filling your catheter with hot sauce.
8:00-10:00 pm -- Yay! Friday is "Drunky McGetlaid Day," which means I'll watch Kids Say the Darndest Things (CBS) at 8:00, and if The Downtowners (a new animated series on the WB) and Harsh Realm (Chris "X-Files" Carter's latest spookfest on FOX) stinks up the 9:00 hour, then I'm out the door for Booty Hunt '99 at Lushy's Lounge!
8:00-10:00 pm -- Ouch! Saturday is "Achy Nuts McHangover Day," which means at 8:00 I'll be checking out the new series Freaks & Geeks (NBC), an '80s-style Revenge of the Nerds/Square Pegs/Post-Columbine Shoot-Out comedy. At 9:00 I'll be taking an ice bath and huffing speed balls, which should give me just enough strength to watch Walker, Texas Ranger (CBS) at 10:00 before scooting off for Booty Hunt '99 at Lushy's Lounge: The Sequel! Whew! I can tell already it's going to be a very busy year!