Archives for Documentary

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – January 12, 2012


30 Rock
– They’re back, and Jenna gets her wish for bigger fame when she becomes a judge on a reality talent show called Kidz Got Singing.

The Big Bang Theory
– Penny gives Sheldon advice on how to be a better boyfriend after he hurts Amy’s feelings.

The Vampire Diaries
– Caroline’s getting a surprise 18th birthday party! Oops, guess it’s not a surprise anymore.

8PM | VH1
17th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards
– The fact that Paul Scheer and Rob Heubel are hosting is reason enough to watch yet another movie awards show, methinks.

8:30PM | NBC
Parks and Recreation
– April and Andy decide to get a pet. They kind of have their hands full trying to keep each other alive, no?

8:30PM | CBS
– I’m pretending this new Rob Schneider doesn’t exist. If you choose not to, warning: crapload of stereotypes and lame, lame jokes ahead.

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
– The documentary catches up with the West Memphis Three, who continued their efforts to overturn their 1993 conviction in the murder of a trio of elementary school children, using DNA evidence and witness testimony that wasn’t available at the time of the original trial. Spoiler alert, in case you missed it: The three were freed last summer. But don’t let that deter you from watching Paradise Lost – the filmmakers’ third documentary on the West Memphis Three – because the end result doesn’t begin to tell the compelling story of how 18 years of legal wrangling took a toll on all involved.

The Office
– Dwight heads off to Sabre HQ offices in search of a new job, while Andy tries to horn in on Oscar’s trivia hobby. Can anyone make an argument that this show should continue? Seriously, I’d like to hear it if so, because it increasingly feels like it may never be funny again. So why suggest it as a viewing pick? Eh, sometimes you have to stick with a show ’til the end (see also: Chuck).

Project Runway All Stars
Mark Badgley and James Mischka are guest judges for tonight’s challenge, in which the designers have to whip up elegant ball gowns for a night at the opera.

American Stuffers
– Yes indeed, this is a reality show about taxidermists. No avocation is unworthy of its own reality series. Or, if the first one becomes a hit, many, many reality series (see also: Pawn Stars, Cajun Pawn Stars, American Pickers, etc.)

10PM | MTV
Jersey Shore
– Homesick Vinny considers leaving the house. Because there almost certainly must be tons of other ways he could make money as easily as he is on Jersey Shore.

10PM | CBS
The Mentalist
– As Jane investigates the murder of a high-price divorce attorney, he also has to answer FBI questions about Red John’s involvement with Panzer’s death.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– Brennan and Booth look for a new home on Bones (8PM, Fox);
– The Snow Boot and Avalanche Alley are among the challenges on Wipeout (8PM, ABC);
– The Bones spin-off The Finder (9PM, Fox) premieres;
– Teddy questions Cristina about Henry’s surgery on Grey’s Anatomy (9PM, ABC);
– Reese and Finch pull Carter into a case on Person of Interest (9PM, CBS);
– On Up All Night (9:30PM, NBC), Kevin (guest star Jason Lee) worries Ava is ashamed of him;
– Sam and Pete have bachelors’ night out on Private Practice (10PM, ABC).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Ricky Gervais;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Dolly Parton;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Mike Allen;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Senator John McCain;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Betty White and Gerard Butler;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Meryl Streep;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Daniel Radcliffe;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Hugh Laurie;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Chris Hardwick (REPEAT).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – September 22, 2011


Parks and Recreation
– So harsh: Leslie (Amy Poehler) has to choose between Ben (Adam Scott) and her dream of running for political office. Meanwhile, one Tammy ex-wife isn’t enough for Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman): his first Tammy ex is headed back into his life, and she looks a lot like big-screen star Patricia Clarkson. Because she is.

Big Bang Theory
– Penny’s so upset about sleeping with Raj that she considers leaving town, while Sheldon becomes a paintball cap’n on the one-hour season opener.

Charlie’s Angels
Minka Kelly‘s cool, and that’s the best thing you can say about this lackluster remake of the ’70s “jigglefest” series. So why’s it on my Picks list? Because you might want to see for yourself how badly it fails to live up to original series …

The Wire‘s Michael K. Williams guest stars as Jeff’s new biology teacher (who kicks Mr. Winger out of class) and the great John Goodman plays the recurring role of Greendale Vice Dean Laybourne, the head of the Greendale Air Conditioning Repair Annex, and the new thorn in the side of beleaguered Dean Pelton.

The X Factor
– The early auditions continue. What did you think of the new show and the return of Simon Cowell?

Grey’s Anatomy
– Meredith is bounced after messing with McDreamy’s clinical trial.

The Office
– New Sabre CEO Robert California (James Spader) starts his job, but we still don’t know who the new Scranton boss will be ….

Person of Interest
– Love the cast – Jim Caviezel and Lost‘s Michael Emerson – but the pilot of this drama, about a CIA agent who’s presumed dead (Caviezel) and the super wealthy software developer (Emerson) he teams with to try to prevent crimes before they happen, didn’t really grab me. But again, with that cast, and a good general premise (not to mention J.J. Abrams as producer), it’s worth checking out for a few episodes.

Project Runway
– The designers have to whip up rockin’ threads for the rock band the Sheepdogs, while American Idol alum Adam Lambert is the guest judge.

– NBC’s Thursday-night comedy line-up has 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Community, The Office … and now Whitney. Which one of these things is not like the others? It’s the unfunny one, by which I mean Whitney. But if that promo in which Whitney’s (titular comedienne star Whitney Cummings) busted for eating a cupcake at a wedding entices you to watch anyway, come back and share your feelings with the group, by which I mean the comments, afterwards.

10PM | FX
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
– Dennis and Sweet Dee take the gang to the Jersey Shore, where they spent several happy summers. Now … not so happy for them.

The Mentalist
– Jane is in prison and has to prove the man he killed was Red John.

Prime Suspect – My biggest issue with this remake of the British female homicide detective drama that originally starred Helen Mirren (and stars Mario Bello in this American remake) is that, after a night of comedy on NBC, do you really want to slide into murder at 10PM?

10:30PM | FX
– The ISIS gang keeps trying to rescue Archer, who doesn’t want to be found, because he’s happily ensconced as the new pirate king on the island.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– Tyler and his mama have an emotional meltdown on Vampire Diaries (8PM, The CW);
– After her trip to the police station after her accident, Snooki gets a visit from her boyfriend and ends up making a jackass of herself, a-gain, on Jersey Shore (10PM, MTV);
– The new documentary series Prison Diaries (10PM, TLC) revolves around female inmates who reflect on the crimes they committed and their lives in jail afterwards;
– It’s the series premiere of Sweet Genius (10PM, Food Network), a new dessert competition series in which pastry chefs compete to win $10,000 for their confections.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Jonah Hill;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Jennifer Granholm;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Tavis Smiley;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Chris Cornell and Sofia Vergara;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Jamie Foxx;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Daryl Hall;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Julianna Margulies and Wyatt Cenac;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Chris Hardwick;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Doug Elin.

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – August 25, 2011


Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero
– Ground Zero will ultimately be a 16-acre complex that includes four skyscrapers, a transportation hub, a museum and a 9/11 memorial with the largest man-made waterfall in history. This miniseries, produced by Steven Spielberg, documents the construction, including the remembrances of those who were in lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2011 and those who are involved now in this massive, emotional rebuilding effort.

Burn Notice
– Michael worms his way inside a group of hijackers as a way to help Jesse with a security job, but he’s caught by surprise when the hijackers take hostages at an airport. And the person trying to help the hostages escape? Maddie, of course.

Project Runway
Survivor meets PR? The designers not only have to conceive a new frock based on sneakers and sportswear, but they actually have to participate in a running event.

10PM | MTV
Jersey Shore
– They’ve been teasing it for months, and tonight we finally see the big throwdown between Ronnie and The Situation. Oh, I feel just a little bit more ridiculous every time I type that name.

10PM | FX
Dwight Yoakam guest stars as a guy who may confirm Ryan’s suspicions that his friendship with Wilfred may not be totally healthy.

Childrens Hospital
– Glenn (Ken Marino), finally, gets a bar mitzvah.

Gabrielle Union guest stars in “Tijuana, We’ve Got a Problem,” as plans for the space shuttle are stolen and sold to Mexico, and Trent (Paul Scheer) and the gang must retrieve them.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– It’s family team night on Wipeout (8PM, ABC);
– It’s eviction night on Big Brother (8PM, CBS);
– Katie and Marisol continue to trash their friendship for a dude on Degrassi (9PM, TeenNick);
– Fry sneezes and reintroduces the common cold into the future on Futurama (10PM, Comedy Central);
– Mike questions why Harvey fired a certain executive on Suits (10PM, USA);
– On Louie (10:30PM, FX), Louie … Afghanistan … comedy ensues.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Jim Parsons (REPEAT);
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Michael Wallis (REPEAT);
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Robert Wittman (REPEAT);
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Paul Rudd;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Dolly Parton and Ben Bailey (REPEAT);
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Howie Mandel (REPEAT);
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Ryan Reynolds and Fountains of Wayne (REPEAT);
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Kal Penn;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Adam Pally (REPEAT).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – August 16, 2011


– The Bruce family is back for another season, and though, at first, their financial situation appears to have improved, unexpected health woes challenge them again. In tonight’s premiere, husband Todd wants to use the fam’s savings to buy a house instead of renting, but wife Laura is skittish about emptying their bank account. The unfortunately well-timed series may hit a little too close to home for a lot of people, but I highly recommend giving it a chance … the Bruces are an endearing family, and though you’ll probably yell at the TV screen with some of their financial decisions, it’ll also make you rethink some of your own.

50 Documentaries to See Before You Die
, Part 3 Henry Rollins and Michael Moore are among the interviewees as Morgan Spurlock continues his countdown of the best documentaries of the last 25 years (which, in tonight’s episode, includes Bansky‘s Exit Through the Gift Shop).

Memphis Beat
– Dwight (Jason Lee) tries to keep his personal life separate from his work life, but that becomes impossible when his co-workers find out he has a new girlfriend.

What Not to Wear
Jenny McCarthy and Dancing With the StarsCheryl Burke ask Clinton and Stacy to makeover their assistant, Becky, who spends so much time keeping their lives running that she hasn’t had enough time to focus on her own.

– Apples, onions and udon noodles are among the ingredients in the mystery baskets (let’s hope not all in the same basket).

Family Restaurant
– Following the adventures of the Quon family, whose oldest son, Miles, is trying to modernize the fam’s Edmonton Chinese restaurant, The Lingnan.

10PM | MTV
Teen Mom
Maci struggles with her classwork while Tyler and Catelynn finally graduate, but it’s Amber whose life continues to spiral out of control as she has a blowout fight with her mother.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– Four bakers compete to see who gets to whip up treats for Comic Con on Cupcake Wars (8PM, Food Network);
– Aria wavers with her feelings about Jason on Pretty Little Liars (8PM, ABC Family);
– Alli wants her parents to accept Dave on Degrassi (9PM, TeenNick);
– On the season finale of The Nine Lives of Chloe King (9PM, ABC Family), Chloe makes secret plans to meet with her dad, while Alek is heartbroken when he overhears her admit she’s in love with Brian;
Billy battles geese and a bobcat on back-to-back episodes of Billy the Exterminator (10PM, A&E);
– You’ve seen the promos … someone gets shot on the HawthoRNe season three finale (10PM, TNT);
– Jenna worries that Matty doesn’t see her as girlfriend material when she gets a stalker on Awkward (11PM, MTV).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Jason Momoa and Anne Hathaway;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Matt Long;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): The STS-135 astronauts;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Ray LaMontagne (REPEAT);
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Ryan Reynolds, Matt Nathanson and Sheryl Crow (REPEAT);
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Jamie Foxx;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Alec Baldwin (REPEAT);
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Rosie Perez;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Evan Glodell (REPEAT).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – August 15, 2011


The Lying Game
– Another series based on novels by Pretty Little Liars author Sara Shepherd, The Lying Game revolves around twins Emma and Sutton (As the World Turns alum Alexandra Chando). The twins meet for the first time, and foster teen Emma agrees to swap lives with rich kid Sutton, who wants to research the twins’ mother. But when Sutton goes MIA, Emma has to decide whether or not to continue the ruse (duh … there’d be no show if she didn’t). PS – Other stars of the series include Heroes alum Adrian Pasdar and The Office alum Andy “David Wallace” Buckley as Sutton’s dad, Ted.

8PM | VH1
Basketball Wives
Reunion Part 1 – You know how the other women hated on Meeka Claxton most of the season? It continues at the reunion.

The Closer
– Brenda considers hiring an attorney, but it’s Fritz who will have to make the financial sacrifices a high-priced lawyer will necessitate.

Gloria: In Her Own Words
– Another fine entry in HBO’s summer documentary series, this profile of Gloria Steinem includes interviews with her, as she discusses her career as a journalist, her childhood and her role as an icon of the women’s lib movement of the ’70s.

Top 100 Number Ones
Nick Cannon host this 10-part(!) countdown of hit songs of the 2000s. Hey man, Mariah’s blinged out Ring Pops don’t pay for themselves.

Warehouse 13
– Fargo gets trapped inside a video game that was inspired by Warehouse 13. What a great idea for an actual videogame.

Most Eligible Dallas
– The network would have us believe this is the best thing to hit Bravo since Real Housewives. Let’s hope they mean Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and not the Miami or D.C. bunches.

Teen Wolf
– Scott has to rely on friends and enemies to try and stop the killings (and reunite with Allison).

– While Shane thrives in his new internship, Andy and Silas clash over how to run the bike shop/pot store and Nancy’s relationship with her supplier is, um, complicated by the arrival of her old cellmate.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– Paint-soaked balls are thrown to see who gets eliminated from the Bachelor Pad (8PM, ABC), and guess who Vienna and Kasey target? Yes, of course, Jake;
– Carter talks to Allison about her mental condition on Eureka (8PM, Syfy);
– The top nine complete on Hell’s Kitchen (8PM, Fox);
– A voicemail stirs up drama between Amy and Ricky on Secret Life of the American Teenager (8PM, ABC Family);
– A stressed-out Drew becomes obsessed with his ultimate-fighting workouts on Degrassi (9PM, TeenNick);
– Tonight’s four-ep marathon of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (9PM, Comedy Central) includes the classic “The Nightman Cometh” at 9:30PM;
Patti Stanger returns for a 5th season of trying to kook up the lovelorn on Millionaire Matchmaker (9PM, Bravo);
– Oh, Austin … he and Derek seem destined to be enemies now (again) on The A-List: New York (10PM, Logo);
– Bill and Gary test their powers with a case outside the team on Alphas (10PM, Syfy);
– On Pawn Star$ (10 and 10:30PM, History), the big get is a pilot license signed by Orville Wright;
– Maura’s mama (guest star Jacqueline Bisset) visits on Rizzoli & Isles (10PM, TNT);
– Thanksgiving family dinner at Cathy’s house turns into a family drama on The Big C (10:30PM, Showtime) when Cathy reveals a big secret.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Kathy Griffin;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Ali Velshi;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Susan Rice;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Harrison Ford (REPEAT);
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Train and Olivia Wilde (REPEAT);
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Betty White;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Mila Kunis (REPEAT);
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Betty White and Patton Oswalt (REPEAT);
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Shane Smith (REPEAT).


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