The Week in DVR: Big Love for Big Love, Comedy Central’s New Funnyman, Truffaut’s Blows

Monday: Big Love
Since you were busy watching the Oscars on Sunday night, chances are you missed Big Love. That’s okay; we miss the show a lot ourselves. Still, when we have watched it this season, Big Love has been fantastic. For all the press that the casts of Mad Men and Lost rightly get, doesn’t it seem like everyone is quietly napping on Bill Hendrickson and his lovely wives? The lack of Emmy recognition for Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Ginnifer Goodwin, and, especially, Wuz Girl Chloe Sevigny, who does more on Big Love with a single raised eyebrow than most actresses do with their entire careers, is borderline criminal. [HBO2, 11 p.m.]

Tuesday: The 400 Blows
It’s not every week that the cable television gods bestow us with an unquestionable classic. Enough has been written about Francois Truffaut’s most famous film that you don’t need us to rehash why The 400 Blows is so important to the history of cinema; try to watch the last five minutes without thinking that directors like Martin Scorsese, Terrence Malick and Paul Thomas Anderson based their entire careers on that one sequence. However we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out Jean Constantin’s magnificently heartbreaking score. His haunting music elevates The 400 Blows from “simple masterwork” to “something handed down by God.” [TCM, 1:45 p.m.]

Wednesday: Important Things with Demetri Martin
Demetri Martin is having a pretty great year. The former Daily Show correspondent and recent New York cover boy (who also has a key role in the next Ang Lee movie, Taking Woodstock) saw his new Comedy Central show debut to record ratings when it premiered two weeks ago; Important Things was the highest-rated premiere the network has seen since Chappelle’s Show hit the tube in 2003. However, the similarities end there. Whereas Mr. Chappelle’s show relied on his manic energy and social commentary, Mr. Martin is deadpan to the point of inertia. Don’t get us wrong; we think Mr. Martin is pretty funny–he’s like some lab-created combination of Jason Schwartzman and Andy Samberg–but the laughs would resonate a lot more if they had something stronger behind them. [Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.]

Thursday: Babel
Frost/Nixon, this is your life! If you’re looking for an object lesson in how quickly non-winning Oscar contenders can fade into ignominy, look no further than Babel. The ensemble drama–Crash by way of Traffic–was one of the belles of the ball in 2006, only to see its Oscar hopes dashed by The Departed. And like that, it was gone–brushed to the wayside of your memory along side such films as Finding Neverland and Seabiscuit. But, unlike those films, Babel is a terrific movie to go back to on DVR, since you can fast-forward through the parts that don’t work at all (a good chunk of the south-of-the-border stuff) and watch the parts that do (anything with Rinko Kikuchi or Brad Pitt). [Showtime 2, 7:15 p.m.]

Friday: Shaun of the Dead
After a long and soul-deadening week at your 9-5, what better way to spend a Friday night than by watching a couple of slackers kill zombies with blunt objects? Since Shaun of the Dead pays homage to everything from George Romero to Assault on Precinct 13, it wouldn’t be out of line to say that director Edgar Wright went to the Quentin Tarantino School of Filmmaking–something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. But whereas Mr. Tarantino seems to have lost some of the bemused wonderment he had when he first started out, Mr. Wright is still wide-eyed and excited. We can’t wait to see what he does with Michael Cera in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. [HDNet, 9:45 p.m.]

The Week in DVR: Big Love for Big Love, Comedy Central’s New Funnyman, Truffaut’s Blows