Friday, March 8 (NBC)
Midseason Premiere: Along with the still-MIA Revolution, fantasy-drama Grimm is one of NBC's few scripted hits, and yet it's has been off the air for over three months—anyone else see why the Peacock occasionally finishes in the ratings behind corporate Spanish cousin Telemundo? (That's not one of my wacky exaggerations—it really happened.) When last we left Portland monster hunter Nick (David Guintoli) and his wolf-y sidekick Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell), various conspiracies had come to a head, not the least of which being the spellbound affair between Nick's whiney fiancée and his weasel-y police captain. Is there a way to bring her back? Tonight's episode suggests yes; The Only TV Column That Matters™ suggests Nick declares good riddance, sits down with a Voodoo Donut and scans Willamette Week's Matchmaker ads instead (a little Portland flavor for ya).
The Client List
Sunday, March 10 (Lifetime)
Season Premiere: Sure, Jennifer Love Hewitt's The Handjob Whisperer looked insanely mock-worthy when it premiered last year, but The Client List—the series, not the almost-entirely-unrelated TV movie that preceded it—evolved into a snappy, snarky little show about ersatz female empowerment, not to mention a surprisingly big hit for a cable dramedy about a Texas massage parlor that specializes in off-menu happy endings. In the expanded season, single mom Riley (Hewitt) will be facing increased pressure from the cops (they finally suspect there may be some "tug" going on at The Rub), as well as the returned bastard husband who abandoned her and financially forced her into this gripping new career. The Client List: a series that pisses off religious watchdogs and legit massage therapists—that's versatility.
Saturday, March 9 (Syfy)
Movie: Originally titled Winged Terror, Flying Monkeys—these would both make excellent band names, BTW—kicks off with a father (Vincent Vetresca) buying his teen daughter a pet monkey, and somehow things get even worse from there: it's not only an evil shape-shifter that sprouts bat wings at night, it can also clone itself! This is what happens when you try to make pets out of monkeys! I blame Friends reruns. Soon, a winged horde of Malicious Georges is terrorizing Kansas (you saw that coming, right?), but Flying Monkeys is really just a warm-up for Syfy's March 23 schlockbuster ... wait for it ... Chupacabra vs. the Alamo! Starring Eric Estrada! Oh, yeah ...
Ring of Fire
Monday, March 11 (Reelz)
Miniseries Debut: This is the third time I've written about programming on Reelz and even I'm still not convinced it's an actual channel, but let's forge ahead: In the two-part miniseries Ring of Fire, the planet's volcanoes are erupting simultaneously, and only Michael Vartan (Alias) and Terry O'Quinn (Lost) can save mankind from an extinction-level event, if not a lawsuit from Syfy's Disaster Flick Division. The action and effects are passable, but demerits must be given for not scoring Wall of Voodoo's cover of a certain Johnny Cash classic for the soundtrack. [Part 2 airs Tuesday, March 12]
Monday, March 11 (ABC)
Season Finale: Even if you're watching ironically, you're part of the problem—The Bachelor (and The Bachelorette) won't go away if you don't let it, 'Merica. Tonight, after incredibly dull Bachelor Steve chooses between disappointingly stable Catherine and annoyingly perky Lindsay, do yourself a favor: change the channel to E! and catch up on Burning Love, or navigate your computerized lookie-box to Burning Love 2 at BurningLove.com. These are the contrived matches that will stand the test of time.
Six "college" dudes who appear to be in their 30s cast a fake movie in order to get girls naked and use them for sex and/or floatation devices. Scoff all you want—Argo won Oscars and Golden Globes with essentially the same premise. (Screen Media)
In Their Skin
A city couple (Selma Blair and Joshua Close) move to the countryside, only to discover that their new neighbors are violent nutjobs; the usual Funny Games tension and moral refrains ensue. Lesson: Stay away from the countryside. (IFC Films)
When a perma-drunk schoolteacher (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is forced to sober up and join AA, she discovers dealing with her husband (Aaron Paul), family and coworkers is a pain in the ass. Alternate film title: Duh! (Sony Pictures Classics)
Dave Grohl's rock-doc about legendary California recording studio Sound City, where Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Rick Springfield, Tom Petty, Metallica, Nirvana and hundreds more laid down analog tracks. Not available on 8mm. (Variance)
This Must Be the Place
A retired 50-something goth rocker (Sean Penn) leaves Ireland and takes up his estranged dead father's quest to hunt down a Nazi war criminal hiding somewhere in America. Naturally, he finds him in the countryside. (The Weinstein Co.)
More New DVD Releases (March 12)
Black Eagle, The Devil's In the Details, The First Time, The Last Gladiators, Law & Order: Criminal Intent: Season 10, Life of Pi, Miss Dial, The Mob Doctor: Season 1, Motorway, Ripper Street, Rise of the Guardians, Spiders, Spongebob Squarepants: Season 8, Storage 24, Teen Mom: Season 4