ABC, Aug. 2, 9 p.m. ET/PT |
Set a few decades in the future, this summer series follows an eight-member mission on a grand tour around our solar system. The framework is familiar, borrowed from 2001: There's a strong suggestion that the voyage is being orchestrated by some great, mysterious intelligence. The humans, meanwhile, quickly start to unravel. They hear ghostly baby wails and have shared dreams of floating off to silent death.
What's fresh, and even invigoratingly silly, is the amount of romantic swooning among the orbiting boys and girls. In space, apparently, no one can hear you pine for McDreamy—in this case, that would be Ron Livingston as a flight engineer whose dark eyes flash with personal torment. It's as if Stanley Kubrick had been a Grey's Anatomy fan.
Syndicated, weekdays |
It turns out that Wendy Williams, a syndicated radio personality making the move to TV, blossoms on-camera. She's like an odd tropical flower with enormous bright petals and perhaps a capacity for devouring hummingbirds. She's terrifically, even scarily, entertaining. A curvaceous woman topped by large wigs, Williams suggests a combo of Queen Latifah
, Mike Myers' Linda Richman and Sandra Bernhard. Her radio-honed delivery and timing are first-rate: Observing a photo of a fat Bobby Brown, she comments flatly, "Wow. A mess." Even better is the way she levels a deadpan stare at the camera—that's not a radio skill. Compared to her, the guests are mostly irrelevant. Williams would do just as well standing alone, rotating her curves and throwing out lines.
>1 BLOOD IN THE WATER SUN. 8/2, 9 P.M. DISCOVERY Happy Shark Week! First up: the history of a notorious 1916 attack.
2 SWEET MUSIC MON. 8/3, 8 P.M. ABC Sugarland: Live on the Inside follows the hot country duo onstage and backstage in an hour-long special.
3 KATE PLUS OR MINUS JON MON. 8/3, 9 P.M. TLC The first new Jon & Kate Plus 8 episode since the Gosselins announced their split.
4 LAST DANCE THURS. 8/6, 8 P.M. FOX Prepare for Cat Deeley withdrawal! It's time for So You Think You Can Dance's season wrap-up.
5 GOING TO GRETCHEN'S FRI. 8/7, 1:30 P.M. CMT Visit Gretchen Wilson and other stars at home on PEOPLE Country on CMT.
HELLO, MY NAME IS ... ERIC VIOLETTE "THE FREECREDITREPORT.COM GUY"
• The French-Canadian actor and musician, 28, doesn't sing in his ubiquitous ads—but hopes you'll hear him soon.
HOW DID YOU GET THE JOB? They had a casting in Montreal, where I'm located. The casting director knew I played guitar and studied theater, so she called me to audition, and I got the job.
DID YOU EVER THINK THESE ADS WOULD BE SO HUGE? Never. I'm in Quebec and we don't have the commercials here, so when I began to receive tons of e-mails, I was, like, what's happening?
WHAT'S IT LIKE WHEN PEOPLE RECOGNIZE YOU? They're not, like, "You're annoying me on TV!" People always smile. It's very flattering. And I get crazy propositions.
SUCH AS ...? Once I got many pictures of a woman from Vancouver. Without clothes.
WHAT'S NEXT? I'm in a band and I'm auditioning for commercials, movies and TV.
BE HONEST: DOES THE JINGLE GET STUCK IN YOUR HEAD, TOO? It's in my head forever.
>BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: THE COMPLETE SERIES Allergic to all things sci-fi? That's no excuse to miss this stunning revamp of the cult '70s show. Yes, it's set in space, but its stirring themes, especially the U.S.-Iraq parallels in the war between humans and robot Cylons, couldn't be more current—or gripping.