TV This Week: High School Superheroes And Time-Travel Drama

Illustration for article titled TV This Week: High School Superheroes And Time-Travel Drama

This week sees the end of Chuck (for now) and Life On Mars (for good). Can the U.S. launch of Torchwood season two compensate for the loss of those two shows? Your answer may reveal more about you than about television. Here's our guide to the week's television, including mild spoilers and trailers.


Monday night is, once again, a block of teenage almost-superheroes. At 8 PM on ABC Family, Kyle XY continues the "OMG my hawt female counterpart is outta control!" plot. Except now Jessi is going to Kyle's school and acting extra bratty. Before you know it, she'll be faking a broken neck to freak out the stuck-up head cheerleader or something. Here's the trailer:
Then at 9 PM, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is also about our male hero going to school with his weird female companion. The only difference is, our female Terminator isn't a crazy show-off like Jessi. Or maybe she kind of is, judging from the man-grabbing action in this trailer:
Also on Monday, at 10 PM, is Life After People on the History Channel. It's a porntacular look at how the world would get on without any of us pesky humans cluttering it up. Pretty well, by all accounts.

Tuesday at 9, there's the final episode of time-travel cop show Life On Mars on BBC America. Gene rushes to catch a notorious cop killer. Meanwhile, Morgan promises to Sam that after just "one more job" he can go home to 2006. It's the heart-stopping climax where we find out what's really been happening all this time.

Wednesday night... umm... League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is showing on FX. CMTV has Little Beauties, a child beauty pageant that really ought to be science fictional but isn't. Besides that... I dunno. get out of the house. Go bowling. Does your town still have a bowling alley? They're dying out, you know.

Thursday, the final two episodes of Chuck completed before the strike are airing. But not back-to-back. NBC couldn't possibly be that sensible. Instead, it's a "Chuck sandwich," with a new episode of Celebrity Apprentice smushed between two Chucks at 8 and 10 PM. Does NBC think there's some crossover audience that loves Chuck and is just waiting to discover Celebrity Apprentice? As for the plot of the two episodes... there's an evil spy, and we learn more about why Jayne from Firefly is so mean. (It's because he's Jayne from Firefly, duh.) Here's a trailer:
Also on Thursday at 8, there's a Smallville rerun.

Friday as usual, it's all about the Scifi Channel, the only channel that expects its core demographic to stay home on a Friday night. At 8, there's Flash Gordon, which sounds like a new peak of awesomeness for the series. For starters, the cold region of Mongo is called Frigia. And it has a queen, who I'm guessing wears frosty blue lipstick and a white spangly leotard. Flash has to rescue her, so he can fulfill the final step of the prophecy and become the savior of Mongo. Speaking of which, is anybody else tired of prophecies in science fiction?

And then at 9 PM, there's a new Stargate: Atlantis. Speaking of queens and perilous journeys and stuff, Sheppard and McKay have to escort a young princess on her "rite of passage" so she can become a queen. There's no prophecy, as far as I can tell, but there is a beast. Here's the trailer:
Saturday sees the first episode of Torchwood season two on BBC America at 9 PM. (Here's our spoilery review of the episode, which you can always go back and read after you see it.) A less spoilery description: Captain Jack returns from swanning around with David Tennant, and the crew is all pissy with him for staying away so long. But then they have to work together when Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer arrives through a hole in time, wanting to suck their blood kiss them. And here's another trailer:


Sunday, you're on your own. Unless you take the title of Scott Baio Is 46... And Pregnant literally, which would make it sci-fi-ish.


Charlie Jane Anders

@Mercurypdx: Chuck had better ratings than Journeyman for sure. As for Bionic Woman, it started out with way better ratings than Chuck, then went into freefall. By the time the last ep of Bionic Woman aired, I think it was below Chuck, which was staying steady.