This Week's TV: Erica Durance and Michael Shanks star in the worst thing you've ever seen. Ever.

Illustration for article titled This Week's TV: Erica Durance and Michael Shanks star in the worst thing you've ever seen. Ever.

This week's television is chock full of premieres: True Blood is back! Tron: Uprising and Teen Wolf debut in their regular timeslots. Through The Wormhole with Morgan Freeman tackles a thorny issue. But more than that, there's the debut of a TV show that can only have been greenlit as a result of prodigious amounts of cocaine and incriminating photos, judging from the promo — starring Stargate's Michael Shanks and Smallville's Erica Durance. Oh, and Syfy also has its most mortifying TV movie of all time.


Television: It just keeps on giving.


Adventure Time (7:30 PM, Cartoon Network):
Princess Bubblegum is wandering into some pretty fricken deep territory this time around:

"Goliad" – Princess Bubblegum, concerned over her mortality, reveals her designated successor to Finn and Jake.

And yes, Goliad is that weird creature that Princess Bubblegum is introducing them to in our new clip. That's followed by a new Regular Show and a new Mad.

Eureka (8 PM, Syfy):
Fargo is convinced that Holly is still alive inside the Matrix computer, but the DoD is determined to wipe the hard drive clean, erasing her forever. That's followed by a brand new (to Americans) episode of Lost Girl ("Fae Gone Wild.")

Teen Wolf (10 PM, MTV):
And now this show is back, in its regular timeslot. In "Shape Shifted," here's what happens: "Isaac's father is murdered the night before a full moon; Scott, Stiles and Derek plan a break-out."

Also on TV tonight: A brand new Alien Surf Girls on Teennick at 8:30 PM.


Total Drama Revenge of the Island (7:30 PM, Cartoon Network):
This weird cartoon reality TV series is back, featuring "13 losers all vying to win $1,000,000" on "a toxic island where anything can and will go hysterically wrong." Just FYI.


Also on TV tonight: A brand new Alien Surf Girls on Teennick at 8:30 PM. At 9 PM, Travel has a new Mysteries at the Museum.


Illustration for article titled This Week's TV: Erica Durance and Michael Shanks star in the worst thing you've ever seen. Ever.

Through The Wormhole with Morgan Freeman (10 PM, Science):
Somehow, Morgan Freeman keeps surviving being tossed into wormholes, so he can come back and ask us more questions, like "Is there a Superior Race?". And yes, that means race as in ethnicity. Here's the synopsis:

What are the biological differences between different races? Genetic anthropologists have discovered that up to 7 percent of our genes have mutated to new forms in the past 50,000 years. These changes are not just related to skin and eye color, but also to our bones, our digestive systems, and even our brains. Some of these genetic mutations are specific to certain racial groups.

This leads to an unsettling question. Could the brains of different races be different? It's an idea that has spawned war and genocide. But some scientists are daring to probe into our differences. The answers could tell us where the entire human species is headed. One day, pretty soon, we won't have to rely on natural selection to become a smarter species. With advances in genetic technology, we will be able to take matters into our own hands and build a superior race of humans. But genetic technology comes at a cost. Will this create one future race of "haves," and another of "have nots?"

Or will the natural evolution of the brain continue, making our distant offspring far smarter than us? One scientist is testing the limits of the human brain. He thinks the brain is already close to its maximum potential. But another researcher thinks the rapid growth in communication technology will get us all thinking together, forming a giant, global collective mind. If that's the case, there will never be a superior race. But together, we can become a superior species.


Also on TV tonight: A brand new Alien Surf Girls on Teennick at 8:30 PM.


Tron: Uprising (9 PM, Disney XD):
The second episode of this show airs in its regular timeslot. Guest starring Lance Reddick! Here's what to expect:

"The Renegade Part 1" - Beck's training with Tron is interrupted when he's captured by a Recognizer patrol and sent to the Coliseum to fight in the games. There, Beck meets a fellow prisoner, Cutler, a fierce warrior program who has been inspired by The Renegade's actions. Recharged by their shared passion for freedom, Beck and Cutler fight their way out of the deadly disc games. Meanwhile, Zed and Mara head out for a night on the town but run into trouble when an enchanted Zed is lured away by Perl, a program from the wrong side of the tracks.


And that's followed by a new episode of the dystopian future cartoon Motorcity.

Saving Hope (9 PM, NBC):
Michael Shanks (Stargate: SG1) stars in an entire series based on that awesome season finale of Magnum P.I. where Magnum becomes a ghost/astral body. Here's the skinny:

In "Saving Hope," when charismatic Chief of Surgery Charlie Harris (Michael Shanks) at Hope-Zion Hospital ends up in a coma, he leaves the hospital in chaos — and his fiancée and fellow surgeon, Alex Reid (Erica Durance), in a state of shock. Along with newly arrived star surgeon, Joel Goran (Daniel Gillies), Reid races to save Harris' life. As the action unfolds, the comatose Harris explores the hospital halls in "spirit" form, not sure if he's a ghost or a figment of his own imagination. Reid, along with her fellow doctors, press on to save his life and those of their other patients as they deal with the complicated and courageous decisions that are made in their daily struggle to keep hope alive.


Doesn't that sound kind of unimaginable? And just check out this cheesetastic trailer.

Also on TV tonight: A brand new Alien Surf Girls on Teennick at 8:30 PM.


The Link (7 PM, National Geographic):
This time, the show that deals with the connections between different technological innovations follows the link "from fireworks to forensics."

Phineas and Ferb (9 PM, Disney):
It's "Sleepwalk Surprise" and "Sci-Fi Pie Fly."

Candace's plans to hang out with Jeremy are derailed after he becomes interested in playing Phineas and Ferb's newest game, jet pack volleyball. Meanwhile, when Dr. Doofenshmirtz discovers he invents "-inators" in his sleep, he decides to go back into his dreams to find out what is happening... Phineas and Ferb create their own flying saucer to help solve the mystery of a recent rash of crop circles. Meanwhile, Candace tries to give up her tattling habit by taking a "me" day, and across town, Dr. Doofenshmirtz challenges the local pizzeria's "37 Minutes or it's Free" rule by using his "dough-blow-inator" to generate a powerful current of air to hold the pizza dough aloft indefinitely.



Young Justice (10:30 AM, Cartoon Network):
It's "Depths." In which:

Artemis rejoins the team to defend a critical satellite launch. But will her first mission back also be her last?


But before that, at 9:30, it's the first half of the season finale of Thundercats, "What Lies Above, Pt. 1":

The Cats find a way to reach the next Stone, but Mumm-Ra also finds a way and the battle for the next Stone ensues.

Illustration for article titled This Week's TV: Erica Durance and Michael Shanks star in the worst thing you've ever seen. Ever.

Legend of Korra (11 AM, Nickelodeon):
Sorry that we missed out on including this show last week — the listings we checked online didn't include a new episode. But there's definitely a new one this week, called "Out of the Past." Korra begins to understand the meaning of her visions, while Tenzin and Lin Beifong search for Equalist prisoners.

Illustration for article titled This Week's TV: Erica Durance and Michael Shanks star in the worst thing you've ever seen. Ever.

Kaijudo: Legend of the Duel Masters (8 PM, The Hub):
Here's another one we missed out on including last week. It's the second episode of this reimagining of the Duel Masters series, in which one very special kid has the ability to master Kaijudo: The Way of the Creature. Here's what happens this time around:

Ray, Allie, and Gabe explore the wonders of the Kaijudo Temple and learn the basics of creature dueling. The Kaijudo Duel Masters are impressed by Ray's abilities (but skeptical of his unconventional techniques) when he summons the powerful creature, Tatsurion the Unchained.

Jersey Shore Shark Attack (9 PM, Syfy):
It is for this that our ancestors lived and fought and died, that we might have the freedom to watch TV movies that attempt to combine the most heinous reality TV show with the "shark attack" craze. The description pretty much speaks for itself:

Led by an all-star cast of Tony Sirico (The Sopranos), Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas), Jack Scalia (Dallas), Joey Fatone ('N Sync), William Atherton (Die Hard) and Vinny Guadagnino (Jersey Shore) the movie unfolds during the July Fourth weekend at the Jersey Shore, where angry sharks are on a rampage, devouring residents, leaving it to the local Guidos to save the day. The movie also stars Jeremy Luke as The Complication, Melissa Molinaro as Nooki, Joey Russo as Donnie, Daniel Booko as Balzac, Audi Resendez as B.J., and Alex Mauriello as J-Moni.


Actually, we're starting to regret calling Saving Hope the worst thing ever. We should have known we were just asking for something like this.


True Blood (9 PM, HBO):
Now that Game of Thrones is over, you've got nothing to watch on Sunday nights... or have you? Maybe we're all ready to give True Blood another shot. If so, here's what to expect:

As the dust settles in Bon Temps, Sam and Luna's plans for a fresh start are interrupted by a new arrival, hell-bent on revenge. Meanwhile: Sookie's vow for a life without vampires is put to the test; Lafayette struggles with his latest acquisition; Patrick calls in a favor from Terry, that will put his relationship with Arlene under pressure; Jessica takes a backseat, while Jason caters for anunwelcome house guest; Pam tries to make amends, and Bill and Eric plan their escape from the forces now pursuing them, but are soon drawn into a plot that will shatter the very foundations of the vampire hierarchy, and bring them face to face with their deadliest enemy.


Also on TV tonight: There's a new Mythbusters on Discovery at 9 PM, and a new Metalocalpyse on Adult Swim, just after midnight.

Sources: Futon Critic, MSN TV, TV Guide, and various TV studio press releases.



Charlie Jane Anders

Cut and pasted from one of the discussion threads:

Now that I've had some time to ponder this, here are some additional thoughts:

1) Anybody who is saying I reviewed Saving Hope based on the trailer needs to look up the definition of "review." This was clearly not a review, by any meaningful understanding of the term.

2) For those who are new to io9, every Monday I do a preview piece about this week's TV. This could be intensely boring. To keep it more entertaining, one of the things I do is make fun of some of the more ridiculously trashy things on TV based solely on their trailers. Case in point: Jersey Shore Shark Attack, which I also mock in this article.

3) Anybody who wants to claim I shouldn't mock things based only on their trailers should watch the trailer for Jersey Shore Shark Attack, and then come back here. If you really, really want to assert some kind of universal principle here, then you have to extend it to Jersey Shore Shark Attack. Are you willing to do that?

4) You make snap judgments about things based on their trailers. So does everybody else. I know this because Pluto Nash was a huge flop, despite starring the then-bankable Eddie Murphy. We support your right to make snap judgments based on trailers — we even published a guide to doing that recently. Whoever edited the trailer for Saving Hope certainly went out of their way to make it look like an insane cheese platter.

5) I have huge, massive amounts of love for trashy TV. Case in point: I spent hours compiling some of the best scenes from the TV movie My Future Boyfriend, about a time traveler who falls in love, even though I knew nobody else would even care.

6) That said, perhaps my headline and lede for this particular TV preview should have been a bit gentler. Instead of calling Saving Hope the worst thing ever, I should have called it "the most cheesetastic show ever" or "the most ridiculous thing ever." Next time I do this sort of headline, I will try harder to let the love of trashy television shine through. That is all.