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Barack Obama was sworn in as president. King of Pop Michael Jackson passed away. The second-greatest film in cinematic history, Crank 2: High Voltage, was released. Now-decade-old 2009 was an auspicious AF year.

TV had a pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good 2009 as well. Here are nine iconic-to-obscure shows that debuted 10 years ago to stream while pondering what in the hell you’ve done with your life.

Parks and Recreation (Seasons 1-7 on Prime Video and Hulu): Community—which also premiered on NBC in 2009—may carry more cred with smug culture nerds, but Parks and Recreation is as warm and timeless as a Li’l Sebastian snuggie. Leslie Knope, Ron Swanson and the rest of Pawnee, Indiana’s finest created a bottomless pit of quotable memes over 125 perfect episodes, which are best enjoyed with a chilled tumbler of Snake Juice.

Archer (Seasons 1-8 on Hulu): There’s no tighter animation voice cast than that of Archer—though star H. Jon Benjamin’s other cartoon, Bob’s Burgers, is close. As international super-spy Sterling Archer, HJB has swaggered/drunkenly stumbled through the hilariously profane and shit-talking series with no lessons learned, except for maybe phrasing (wait, are we still doing that?). Better than Bond.

The League (Seasons 1-7 on Hulu): Fantasy football leagues are monumentally stoopid—and addictively bonding. The League illustrated this over seven hysterical seasons, following a group of pals who’ll stop at nothing to win The Shiva, the league’s trophy. Sportsball knowledge isn’t required; The League is all about pranks, one-upsmanship and brazenly un-PC insult tsunamis. Could not be made in 2019.

Dollhouse (Seasons 1-2 on Hulu): An underground company rents out the services of persona-imprinted “Dolls” whose brains are wiped clean after every escort/mission … or are they? Creator Joss Whedon and star Eliza Dushku never quite found a clear path for Dollhouse, but it’s fun to watch them sell complex identity sci-fi on TV nearly a decade before Westworld. Somebody give Dushku a new show now.

Eastbound and Down (Seasons 1-4 on HBO Go): Washout former Major League Baseball pitcher Kenny Powers (Danny McBride) plots a comeback on the diamond—rules, logic and fashion be damned. Eastbound and Down rides on the glorious mullet of Kenny Fucking Powers (full name), whose narcissistic journey back to glory is as quasi-inspiring as it is profanely funny. Could the roots of #MAGA be traced to E&D?

Nurse Jackie (Seasons 1-7 on Netflix): During the heyday of the male antihero (think Breaking Bad, Californication, Rescue Me, etc.), ex-Sopranos star Edie Falco came out of nowhere as a pill-popping, adulterating, morally ambiguous New York City nurse spinning more sketchy webs than Tony Soprano. It’s a tense drama, but Nurse Jackie also delivers laughs (thanks to breakout co-star Merritt Wever).

Hung (Seasons 1-3 on Prime Video and HBO Go): Down-and-out high-school basketball coach Ray (Thomas Jane) needs a second job—and fortunately, what he lacks in luck (his ex-wife is Anne Heche; ’nuff said), he makes up for in dick. Soon, well-endowed male escort Ray, and his pimpstress Tanya (Jane Adams), are in business, and Hung turns out to be a surprisingly heartwarming comedy—with mucho banging, or course.

United States of Tara (Seasons 1-3 on Hulu): Writer Diablo Cody (Juno, Jennifer’s Body) took a swing at TV with 2009 Showtime dramedy United States of Tara, starring international treasure Toni Collette. Tara (Collette) is a suburban mom with dissociative identity disorder, a condition that leaves her randomly switching between four wildly different personalities. One of the kids: future Captain Marvel Brie Larson.

Party Down (Seasons 1-2 on Hulu): It’s a cult favorite today, but comedy Party Down, about a group of nobody L.A. actors and writers (including Lizzy Caplan, Adam Scott and Jane Lynch) working for a catering biz, was an initial fail. Starz, the “Is Pepsi OK?” of cable, canceled Party Down after 20 episodes, but it holds up far better today than its polar Hollywood opposite, Entourage. Seriously—fuck Entourage.

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The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (Tuesday, Sept. 8, CBS), series debut: No one’s probably more excited about the long-awaited arrival of new Late Show host Stephen Colbert than James Corden, who’s been working The Late Late Show for more than three months without a proper lead-in—just reruns of CBS dramas (and no comedian should be forced to follow the unintentional hilarity of CSI: Cyber). As for Colbert, the Late Show Stephen Colbert will be the real Stephen Colbert, not the hyper-arch “Stephen Colbert” of Comedy Central’s Colbert Report … follow? Night One’s guests are no great shakes (reliable charmer George Clooney and GOP snoozer Jeb Bush), but don’t worry: Trump can’t stay away for long.

Drunk History (Tuesdays, Comedy Central), new season: The most educational program on television (sorry, PBS) is back for a third season of wasted comedians narrating elaborate re-enactments of Great Moments in History. Tonight, in “Miami,” actor Clark Gable (played by Josh Hartnett) joins the World War II Air Force; Griselda Blanco (Maya Rudolph) takes over the local cocaine trade; and Ponce de Leon (Johnny Knoxville!) battles for Puerto Rico. See? You’ve learned something already.

The Awesomes (Tuesday, Sept. 8, Hulu), season premiere: Hulu’s original content ranges from expectedly average (Quick Draw, Deadbeat, The Hotwives) to surprisingly good (Difficult People, the rescued-from-Fox Mindy Project); animated superhero comedy The Awesomes falls somewhere in the middle. Producer Seth Meyers voices Dr. “Prock” Awesome, the son of retired superhero Mr. Awesome, who reluctantly turned the super-team brand over to his (mostly) power-free kid. Prock’s assembled replacement squad of reject superheroes (voiced by Taran Killam, Kenan Thompson and Rashida Jones, among others) isn’t exactly The Avengers, hence, comedy. It’s more hit than miss, and who can resist a supervillian team called P.R.I.C.K.S. (“Primates Really Into Crime and Killing Sprees”)?

Cake Boss (Tuesday, Sept. 8, TLC), season premiere: Six years ago, I declared Cake Boss an unwatchable knockoff of reality classic Ace of Cakes and questioned the “Learning” component of The Learning Channel. Now we all know that TLC stands for Toddlers, Lunatics and Cake (thanks, Natasha Leggero); Ace of Cakes is long gone; and Cake Boss is now entering Season 7 (!). This inexplicable survivor of the Guido Reality Wave (Remember when this nation was rapt with Jersey Shore? We’re far more sophisticated now!) is just as obnoxiously stoopid and overtly scripted as it was in 2009, so let’s hear it for consistency!

The League (Wednesday, Sept. 9, FXX), season premiere: Meanwhile, adding insult to idiocy, The League is ending after Season 7! The series has had a great run, however—hell, it’s survived an NFL near-lockout and a move to FXX, two hits that would have killed a lesser fantasy football comedy (if there were another fantasy football comedy, anyway). The League is more about the fine art of trash talk and friendly-occasionally-turning-nasty rivalry than football stats, and the cast (Mark Duplass, Stephen Rannazzisi, Nick Kroll, Jon Lajoie, Paul Scheer and Katie Aselton) has ratcheted both up to ridiculous new levels every year. (Last season ended with a beach house in flames and a ghost Adam Brody—OK, now what?) Don’t let the sportsball angle deter you; catch up on The League before the quarterback throws the final homerun hard in the paint.

You’re the Worst (Wednesday, Sept. 9, FXX), season premiere: The most buzzed-about new comedy of 2014 began as a decadent raunch-com about a pair of narcissistic Los Angelinos (Chris Geere and Aya Cash) who fell in love in spite of themselves, and ended on the sweet/sour note of them (ack!) moving in together. You’re the Worst, from casting to writing, was so sharply perfect that Season 2 seems like an impossible dream. Fortunately, the first couple of episodes show no sign of waning. Unlike Jimmy (Geere) and Gretchen (Cash), who are so terrified of becoming a “boring couple” that they’re partying 24/7 at near-lethal levels. (If you’ve ever fantasized about hijacking a Google Car, prepare to squee.) You know what? Forget everything else I’ve written (like you already haven’t): You’re the Worst is the only show you need to watch.

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The League (FXX; Wednesday, Sept. 3, season premiere): The funniest sorta-sports-related show ever returns, with Katie as the reigning (and insufferable) fantasy football league champion. Thanks to The Simpsons, FXX is finally on America’s radar.

Boardwalk Empire (HBO; Sunday, Sept. 7, season premiere): In the fifth-season (and final-season) premiere, Nucky’s in Cuba wooing Bacardi Rum as Prohibition ends, and the Great Depression of the 1930s sets in. So, if you though the show was a downer before

Sons of Anarchy (FX; Tuesday, Sept. 9, season premiere): In the premiere of the seventh and final season, Jax sets a new mission for SAMCRO: Avenge the murder of Tara, as soon as he figures out who did it. Yes, the premiere is 90 minutes, and yes, half of it is musical montages.

Z Nation (Syfy; Friday, Sept. 12, series debut): In Syfy’s answer to The Walking Dead, a group of survivors must transport a man with the potential cure across a zombie-ridden U.S. of A. Finally, we’ll learn if West Coast zombies are more laid-back than East Coast zombies.

Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories (Adult Swim; Thursday; Sept. 18, season premiere): Last year’s Halloween special is now an anthology series, with Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim inflicting more weirdness on a higher budget than ever. Like $200.

Squidbillies (Adult Swim; Sunday, Sept. 21, season premiere): The redneck sea creatures return for Season 9 (!), this year taking on “marriage inequality, taint cancer, speciesism, and the impending Russian snake apocalypse.” Thanks a lot, Obama!

South Park, Key and Peele (Comedy Central; Wednesday, Sept. 24, season premieres): No one knows what Trey Parker and Matt Stone have in mind for Season 18 of South Park, probably not even them. Same goes for Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele with their new season. Godspeed, Comedy Central censors.

Homeland (Showtime; Sunday, Oct. 5, season premiere): It’s now The Carrie Mathison Show, as our precarious heroine is deployed to the frontline in the Middle East (great plan, CIA). No, she won’t be bringing the Brody baby—she’s not that nuts.

American Horror Story: Freak Show (FX; Wednesday, Oct. 8, season premiere): In 1952 Florida, a traveling troupe of carnival folk (including AHS regulars Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson, as well as newcomers Michael Chiklis and Wes Bentley) encounter dark, evil forces. Insert Florida joke here.

The Walking Dead (AMC; Sunday, Oct. 12, season premiere): Will Rick and the gang get out of the boxcar alive? Or will they become Terminus burgers? Are Carol and Tyreese on the way? Where’s Beth? Will the Z Nation entourage pass through Georgia? Why the hell is Comic Book Men still on? So many questions.

The Affair (Showtime; Sunday, Oct. 12, series debut): Joshua Jackson, Maura Tierney, Dominic West and Ruth Wilson star in the story of how an extramarital affair affects two families. It’s a departure for Showtime in the fact that only one affair is happening.

Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways (HBO; Friday, Oct. 17, series debut): Director Dave Grohl documents the history of musical landmark cities over eight episodes. Oh, and the Foo Fighters record one song for their new album Sonic Highways in each town.

Web Therapy (Showtime; Wednesday, Oct. 22, season premiere): Lisa Kudrow is back for a new season as online therapist Fiona Wallice, with a new patient list that includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Jon Hamm, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Matthew Perry, Allison Janney, Lauren Graham, Craig Ferguson, Calista Flockhart, Dax Shephard and Nina Garcia. Then, in November, Kudrow returns to HBO in the comeback of The Comeback—she’ll be starring in two comedies on two premium-cable networks simultaneously. What are you up to, David Schwimmer?


Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Cap (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and the Falcon (Anthony Mackie) battle an inside conspiracy against S.H.I.E.L.D. and the titular Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). It ties in with a certain TV show below. (Marvel/Disney)

Homeland: Season 3

Carrie (Claire Danes) and Saul (Mandy Patinkin) search for the CIA headquarters bomber, while Brody (Damian Lewis) takes on a mission of redemption in Iran, which doesn’t go well at all. Oh, don’t get hung up on spoilers. (Paramount)


After a girl breaks his heart, a dude asks his friend to stage a “mantervention” of sex and debauchery to cure him of being a hopeless romantic—only to learn that love isn’t so bad, after all. But neither is sex and debauchery, so win-win. (Vision)

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 1

Not-dead Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) assembles a ridiculously good-looking team of operatives to investigate weird cases-of-the-week and occasionally intersect with Marvel movies. Maybe just skip the first nine episodes. (Marvel/ABC)

Supernatural: Season 9

Sam and Dean must reopen the gates of heaven and stop a demon insurrection in hell while dealing with their own personal, heh, demons. Meanwhile, Castiel adjusts to being human and Crowley steals the whole damned, heh, show. (Warner Bros.)

More New DVD/VOD Releases (Sept. 9)

Blue Bloods: Season 4, Brick Mansions, Burning Blue, Dead Within, Deadheads, Doctor Who: Deep Breath, God’s Pocket, The Goldbergs: Season 1, Killer Mermaid, Last Passenger, A Long Way Down, Monika, Palo Alto, Top Model, The Vampire Diaries: Season 5.

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Doctor Who (Saturday, Aug. 23, BBC America), season premiere: The Only TV Column That Matters™ is glad to be rid of Matt Smith and his stupid hair—bring on the 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi. Season … OK, series 8 of Doctor Who introduces a less warm-and-wacky Doctor: Capaldi’s incarnation is an all-business Time Lord who doesn’t care all that much for humans or niceties—my kinda guy. While the timey-wimey shakeup is intriguing, I’m more interested in the new BBC America series that follows …

Intruders (Saturday, Aug. 23, BBC America), series debut: This supernatural-murder-conspiracy-horror production from Glen Morgan (The X-Files) doesn’t have a breakout star like Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany, but it does sport an even creepier premise than cloning: “A secret society devoted to chasing immortality by seeking refuge in the bodies of others.” Yeesh. John Simm stars as an ex-Los Angeles cop with a nagging twinge of a British accent whose wife (Mira Sorvino) disappears after exhibiting strange behavior and awkward jazz dancing (uh oh—Black Box flashback). There’s also a little girl (Millie Brown) who flips between sympathetic and terrifying personalities, an assassin on a mission (James Frain), an outta-nowhere appearance from screen vet Robert Forster, and the feeling that Intruders isn’t going to start making sense until a few episodes in. You know, like Orphan Black.

True Blood (Sunday, Aug. 24, HBO), series finale: The sensational-to-sucktastic arc of True Blood goes like this: Season 1: Exciting newness! Sookie, Bill and a reasonable amount of characters to keep up with! Sexy times! Season 2: Godric! More sexy times! Season 3: Time for the werewolves to get some! Russell! Season 4: Uh … fairies? King Bill? Season 5: The Vampire Authority … Billith … fuuu … Season 6: The ejection of extraneous characters and bullshit begins! Probably too late! But here’s some sexy times! Season 7: Let’s win back the fans by killing off everybody they still love! Will True Blood truly end the way I’ve been wishing at least one brave series to conclude for years now—by snuffing out the entire cast? The Shield, The Sopranos, Rescue Me, Wilfred—they all blinked. To the True Death, Bon Temps!

Rising Star (Sunday, Aug. 24, ABC), season finale: The sub-CW ratings indicate that this will be a series finale as well. Rising Star is yet another karaoke competition that claims it will launch a superstar music career, even though these shows have proven themselves to be the Witness Protection Program of the entertainment business. But! Rising Star has a twist: The “judges” (Josh Groban, Brad Paisley, Kesha and Ludacris) don’t have the final say—you do, ’Merica! Well, you would if you were watching, anyway. I’m no math surgeon, but if American Idol and The Voice, which are still viewed by tens of millions, can only produce obscurities for the state-fair circuit, then the “winner” of Rising Star will be buried near the Earth’s core, shot into space or employed as Kesha’s fluffer.

Legends (Wednesdays, TNT), new series: Most of the press around TNT’s new Legends refers to star Sean Bean’s propensity for screen deaths (Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Family Guy, etc.), and little about how the producer of 24 and Homeland and Sean goddamned Bean ended up on a basic-cable FBI potboiler with a C-list cast and dialogue that actually includes lines like “trust no one” and “pulling this cowboy crap.” Still, the dumb-fun factor of watching Bean out-act everyone as a grizzled agent who’s been undercover for so long that he doesn’t know who he is anymore—another line sure to be uttered—can’t be denied.



After a terrible blind date, two single parents (Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler) and their kids end up sharing a vacation suite at an African safari resort and going through the same rom-com motions you’ve come to know and tolerate. (Warner Bros.)

Cat Run 2

Amateur detectives Anthony (Scott Mechlowicz) and Julian (Alphonso McAuley) return, this time unraveling a military murder case while, natch, trying to not get killed by a female ninja assassin (Winter Ave Zoli). If it ain’t broke … (Universal)

The League: Season 5

Andre’s wedding blows up; Ruxin quits the fantasy football league; Taco opens a Pubercuts salon; Kevin and Pete are generally useless; Jenny frets over no longer being able to give dogs boners; and Rafi and Dirty Randy get their own episode! (Released Sept. 2; Fox)

Sons of Anarchy: Season 6

Jax struggles to get SAMCRO back on the legit path (again), only to see more members and family killed (again). The season with the most violence, depravity and musical montages was also the highest-rated yet—coincidence, America? (Fox)

The Walking Dead: Season 4

Idyllic life inside the prison ends when the governor comes calling, forcing Team Rick back on the road, en route to alleged safe zone Terminus, which doesn’t sound very safe at all. They should make a comic book out of this. (Anchor Bay)

More New DVD/VOD Releases (Aug. 26)

Bongo: Killer Clown, Criminal Minds: Season 9, The Double, Elementary: Season 2, Haven: Season 4, Jim Norton: American Degenerate, PMS Cop, Portlandia: Season 4, President Wolfman, Revenge: Season 3, Trust Me, Young and Beautiful.

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Arrow (The CW): The comic-book superhero series that got it right in its first year has been on fire in Season 2, jacking up the action to thrillingly visceral levels, as well as giving both our hero’s allies (love that Felicity) and enemies (hate that Malcolm) generous chunks of screen time. Oh, and the Flash!

Justified (FX): Despite the guns, guns, guns promos, Justified is all about the consequences and the dialogue, and Season 4—which had to follow a landmark “just try and top that” season—had plenty for Marshal Raylan, Boyd and anyone unlucky enough to be attached to them. FX’s best drama, period.

Banshee (Cinemax): This gritty-weird series about an ex-con assuming the identity of a small-town sheriff to reunite with his former lover/partner—and their loot—should have been a pulp-crime mess, but the deepening story (and the hyper-violent action) can’t be denied.

Shameless (Showtime): The Gallaghers continued their grimy reign as America’s Family, and Season 3 injected all-too-real drama and fallout for their many, many questionable actions. No other series can match Shameless for sheer volume of yeah-it’s-cable-but-they-can-get-away-with-that?! situations.

Bates Motel (A&E): Sure, it seemed a like terrible idea at first, but the subtle, creeping terror of Psycho: The Wonder Years worked, thanks to Vera Farmiga’s sympathetic but wildly unpredictable Norma Bates. We know where it’s all going, but the ride so far is addictive.

Archer (FX): Season 4 kicked off with a hysterically blatant nod to star voice H. Jon Benjamin’s other series, Bob’s Burgers, and ended with a tribute to obscure Adult Swim series Sealab 2021. The characters are idiots, but Archer’s scripting is stoopid-smart.

Veep (HBO): Speaking of hapless dumbasses guided by comedic genius, Veep’s second season stayed the course of Vice President Selina Meyer’s slog through deflating beltway politics and worse PR. It’s funny, profane and probably closer to the truth than C-SPAN.

Breaking Bad (AMC): Obviously. Breaking Bad’s final season may have tied up more neatly than logically, but a drama this perfectly executed over five years earned more than a few last Wile E. Coyote outs. Go back and re-watch the whole series without the weekly critical media over-over-analysis; you’ll enjoy it even more.

The League (FXX): Even a gonzo throwaway episode dedicated entirely to peripheral characters Rafi and Dirty Randy couldn’t distract from the scarily consistent and ruthless comedy of The League’s fifth season. It’s finally a viable heir to the Sunny in Philadelphia crown—or Shiva.

Ray Donovan (Showtime): Gigantically-noggin-ed Liev Schreiber is an unlikely leading man, but his portrayal of Ray Donovan, a Hollywood “fixer” with a family from hell (Bah-ston, actually), kills. Even better is Jon Voight’s giddy, nothing-to-lose performance.

The Blacklist (NBC) After two years of empty talk, NBC finally made good on the idea to produce “cable-quality” programming, first with Hannibal, then the superior crime serial The Blacklist. The series doesn’t shy from intensity and violence, and James Spader is, well, James Spader.

Parks and Recreation (NBC): On the flipside, now that NBC has discovered the ratings gold of ineptly staged musicals, smart underperformers like Parks and Recreation are likely doomed. Too bad; Seasons 5 and 6 have been the comedy’s strongest yet, even with the impending losses of Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe.

Masters of Sex (Showtime): A semi-factual ’50s period piece with the warm look (and contentiously slow pace) of Mad Men, Masters of Sex delivered on the years-building Lizzy Caplan hype and, even though it’s as much soap opera as historical document, radiated raw humanity. The (purely clinical) nudity and sex didn’t hurt, either.

13 Runners-Up: The Americans, American Horror Story: Coven, Bob’s Burgers, Eastbound and Down, Grimm, House of Cards, Maron, New Girl, Orange Is the New Black, Raising Hope, Rectify, Sons of Anarchy, Trophy Wife.



The story of Hilly Kristal (played by Alan Rickman) and the legendary ’70s punk club that launched thousands of bands. Also starring Taylor Hawkins as the worst Iggy Pop ever, and Opie from Sons of Anarchy as, natch, a biker. (Xlrator)

Don Jon

Porn aficionado Don Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and rom-com lover Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) try to make a relationship work despite unrealistic expectations on both sides and the fact that she’s Scarlett Goddamn Johansson. (Relativity)

Hell Baby

When an expectant couple (Rob Corddry and Leslie Bibb) moves into a cursed house, it’s up to a pair of Vatican exorcists (Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon) to vanquish the evil. It’s Reno 911! meets The Exorcist meets House Hunters. (Millennium)

InAPPropriate Comedy

A tablet full of offensive apps becomes the excuse for a random series of comedy sketches starring Adrien Brody, Rob Schneider, Michelle Rodriguez, Lindsay Lohan and others. Directed by the ShamWow guy, so you know it’s funny. (Freestyle)


An ex-prostitute (January Jones) makes a new life for herself and her husband in 1800s New Mexico, only to have it ripped away; bloody, horrific vengeance and Jones’ bloody horrific acting ensue. Yet it’s still better than The Lone Ranger. (Arc)

More New DVD Releases (Dec. 31)

Angel of the Skies, Black Angel, Cassadaga, Last Love, Love Marilyn, Ninja II: Shadow of a Tear, Percentage, Sanitarium, Shaolin Warrior, Sister, When Calls the Heart, Zombie Hamlet.

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On Monday, Sept. 2, FX is launching spinoff network FXX. If that’s not confusing enough—most viewers aren’t going to notice that extra “X,” no matter how many promos are beaten over their heads—the new net is taking three of FX’s biggest players in the switch. (OK, it’s two big players and a late-night talk show seen by more critics than real people.)

It’s not all bad news: During the shuffle, the Fox Soccer channel will cease to exist, with most of that network’s white-knuckle coverage of leisurely jogs and 0-0 ties being parsed out to Fox Sports 1 (the former Speed channel) and Fox Sports 2 (ex-Fuel TV). The Fox News Channel will still retain the “News” in its title, as a Federal Communications Commission ruling on using the ironic quotes is currently in deadlock.

What does this all mean to you, Average Joe/Jane TV Viewer? If you want to see the season premieres of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League and the new four-nights-a-week relaunch of Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell, you’re going to have to find FXX on your cable/satellite system; you TV-less kids with your fancy ’lectro devices will still be able to view ’em through the usual online outlets (legal and otherwise). The Only TV Column That Matters™ advises you to check out for your system’s FXX channel.

Despite the hassle of looking up a new channel (first-world problems, people), FXX is kicking off in the smartest fashion possible: with a 34-hour Parks and Recreation marathon on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2. Besides the syndicated premiere of Parks and Rec, FXX will also be carrying reruns of How I Met Your Mother, Rescue Me, Arrested Development and Freaks and Geeks. I’d be fine with an around-the-clock Parks and Recreation-only schedule, but that’s probably just me.

In the Season 9 (!) premiere of the criminally Emmy-less It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on Sept. 4, Sweet Dee (Kaitlin Olson), after years of merciless attacks on her self-esteem from the rest of the Gang, finally embraces her self-loathing—which, naturally, leads to overnight standup-comedy success. (Ask any comedian; this is the first, and really only, step.) Next week, Frank (Danny DeVito) makes a perfectly reasonable case for gun ownership—or at least as reasonable as that of your uncle who’s fortifying his bunker against Obama’s mind-control drones and swears by the Fox “News” Channel. (The FCC ruling just came down.)

When we last saw The League, female-repellent Andre (Paul Scheer) was engaged—to someone named Trixie (Glee’s Jayma Mays), no less. In the Season 5 premiere, the fantasy-football buds travel to Los Angeles for the couple’s “destination wedding” (aaand let the mocking commence). Just as It’s Always Sunny isn’t really about some idiots running a bar—but seriously, how is that dump Paddy’s still even in business?—The League is less about sports stats than it is about five dudes and one dude-like lady who will stop at nothing to bust each other’s balls/ovaries—and it’s never not funny (except when real-life athletes drop in and try to “act”).

It hasn’t been stated outright in any of the advance PR, but it’s obvious that FXX is a more comedic answer to FX; none of the FX dramas are changing channels, and the acquired TV series and movies lean funny—kind of like how TNT is more drama-driven than sister network TBS, or C-SPAN is an outright laugh-riot compared to C-SPAN 2.

Or how Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell looked like genius alongside the recently canceled Brand X With Russell Brand. Surprise: It’s still genius, and now he’ll be on Monday through Thursday.

It’s good to have at least one late-night talk show not hosted by a white guy in a suit, ’Merica.


Cockneys vs. Zombies

The undead are taking over East London, and it’s up to a family to save their grandfather, some bank-robbery hostages (whole ’nother story) and themselves in the zombie comedy that’s totally not like Shaun of the Dead. (Shout! Factory)

Empire State

When a luckless armored-truck employee (Liam Hemsworth) gets inadvertently caught up in a huge bank heist, he has to outwit an New York Police detective (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) and local crime bosses. Or just go home. Seems easier. (Lionsgate)

Now You See Me

Four magicians (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher and Dave Franco) pull off an elaborate series of robberies using illusions (“tricks” are what a whore does for money, Michael), confounding the FBI and moviegoers alike. (Summit)


Now you can own the biggest flying-shark-related Twitter event of the summer! A bar owner (Ian Ziering), his annoying ex-wife (Tara Reid) and assorted ringers fight to survive a tsunami of sharks dumped on a deserving Los Angeles. (The Asylum)

Slightly Single in L.A.

Dale Squires (Lacey Chabert) sleeps her way around shallow Los Angeles, eventually winding up in a love triangle with her best friend (Jenna Dewan) and an old flame (Kip Pardue). It’s nothing a well-timed Sharknado can’t solve. (Well Go USA)

More New DVD Releases (Sept. 3)

Bomb Girls: Season 1, Criminal Minds: Season 8, From Up on Poppy Hill, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 8, The League: Season 4, The Office: Season 9, Parks and Recreation: Season 5, Revolution: Season 1, Scandal: Season 2, Spartacus: Season 3, The Vampire Diaries: Season 4.

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