Monday: Samantha Who?
Perhaps our most egregious miss from the 2007 television season was Samantha Who? We wanted to watch it … honest! It just fell through the cracks of our DVR. Thankfully, ABC was kind enough to catch us up on Samantha’s comings and goings; the four-minute clip posted online that sums up season one is more charming and funny than most full-length episodes of shows we actually watch. So, like Christina Applegate’s titular amnesiac, we plan on making amends for our once bad behavior. Catching the second season of Samantha Who?, which premieres tonight, is going to be one of our top priorities. [ABC, 9:31 p.m.]
Tuesday: Bottle Rocket
All of the usual Wes Anderson accouterments exist in Bottle Rocket, but they feel more lo-fi and organic than they do in the rest of his filmography. This isn’t to say that the film is Mr. Anderson’s best work, because, frankly, it’s not. However, there is a real sense of wonder to all that goes on here. Think of it as Mr. Anderson’s Mean Streets, only without all those pesky religious undertones. [@Max, 1:50 p.m.]
We know Soapdish, the ever-so-meta movie about a soap opera within a soap opera, is totally hack. But! We defy you to think of a better cast. Just listen to this roster of comedic geniuses: Kevin Klein, Sally Field, Robert Downey Jr., Whoppi Goldberg, Cathy Moriarty, Elisabeth Shue, Garry Marshall, Carrie Fisher, Teri Hatcher. Not surprisingly, the cast lifts the film to heights it doesn’t really deserve. Soapdish is funny, likable and really watchable. Plus, since Kevin Klein doesn’t work enough, we have to get our fix wherever we can. [HBO Comedy, 8:25 a.m.]
Thursday: Grapes of Wrath
We’re pretty sure we haven’t heard the Great Depression referenced this much since junior high school. Hey, media … you’re scaring us! Anyway, if breadlines and massive unemployment are in our near futures, what better way to prepare than to watch John Ford’s Depression-era classic Grapes of Wrath. [More Max, 4:05 a.m.]
Not to be outdone by HBO, Showtime and AMC, Starz! is the latest cable television channel to try out the episodic television show waters. Unfortunately, they chose Crash as their first series. Based on the 2004 Best Picture winner (that still looks wrong in print), Crash follows the lives of a group of interconnected Angelenos and their daily struggles with racial tension. Dennis Hopper stars, looking like he stepped out of those ubiquitous Ameriprise Financial commercials and onto the set, while the rest of the cast is designed to remind you of the original film’s many movie stars. (They don’t.) Starz! posted the first two episodes online, so if you really can’t wait until Friday, you can watch them now at your leisure. [Starz!, 10 p.m.]