You Should Watch It
Parks & Recreation
Thursday, May 2 (NBC)
Season Finale: Yes, already—NBC has to get Parks & Recreation out of the way so the network can waste the rest of this month's Thursdays saying goodbye to and eulogizing The Office, not to mention premiering/burning off Anne Heche's doomed Save Me sitcom. At least Parks & Rec will most likely return next season; every other NBC comedy is dead or damned close to it. (Strangely enough, Community just might pull though—would you settle for five seasons and Kickstarter movie, Commies?) In tonight's too-soon Parks & Recreation season finale, all other plot developments pale in comparison to this: FBI super-agent "Bert Macklin" is back!
Friday, May 3 (IFC)
Series Debut: If you're already a fan of Marc Maron's stand-up and crazy-popular WTF podcast, Maron is for you. If you think he's just a grating old man spouting endless hang-ups and complaints, keep flipping. For the uninitiated, Maron is no less of a weird place than anywhere else to jump into his little world. Unlike IFC's previous attempt to turn a podcast into a TV show, the mixed-bag funhouse of Comedy Bang Bang, Maron works because there are already proven models to work from—namely, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Louie. Maron splits time between exaggerated "real life" situations wherein "Marc" attempts to interact with society (which he nails with hilarious, obnoxious ease) and studio podcast interviews (some guests hold up their end of the funny better than others). Also, unlike in Curb, The Only TV Column That Matters™ believes some of these scenarios may have actually happened—like in the premiere episode, when Maron tracks a harassing Internet troll to a Dungeons & Dragons game in Irvine, only to be pwned again, in person. Totally could have gone down.
You Should DVR It
The Show With Vinny
Thursday, May 2 (MTV)
Series Debut: Say what you will about the cast of Jersey Shore: At least none of them have died in a mud pit. In MTV's ongoing quest to keep their former cash cows in your ADD-riddled consciousness, here's the long-unexpected debut of Vinny's (the nice guido with the buzzcut and lazy eye, remember?) talk show, which he hosts in his parents' Staten Island home. Each week, guests ranging in status from Real Star (like Mark Wahlberg) to Vinny's own Clinging for Dear Life to 14:59 (Red Foo, Ke$ha) drop by the house and hang with the painfully Italian Guadagnino family. The results are, surprisingly, not unwatchable—which is all you can ask of MTV anymore.
You Should Read A Book
Big Time Rush
Thursday, May 2 (Nickelodeon)
Season Premiere: There are dark times ahead for boy "band" Big Time Rush in Season 4, according to Nickelodeon: "This season finds best friends Kendall, James, Carlos and Logan recording music for their third studio album and preparing for the launch of their next world tour," says the PR, before turning grim. "The guys quickly discover that the music landscape has become more competitive and the pressure to stay relevant proves tougher than ever." Which means the actual musicians, songwriters, engineers, choreographers, stylists and maybe even the Auto-Tune software that create BTR will be dealing with depression, alcohol, drugs and/or thoughts of suicide. The "music" business is a bitch.
Tuesday, May 7 (ABC)
Season Finale: Of all the creepy factors in one of the most idiotic reality-competition shows ever—the human manatee that is Louie Anderson, the dead-eyed gaze of Greg Louganis, etc.—the cyborg presence of Splash co-host Joey Lawrence was the most unsettling of the lot. Time to put him back in his charger cell until the next season of Melissa & Joey. So ... who were the diver finalists?
30 Rock: Season 7
The final season of the show no one can believe lasted this long (including Tina Fey and NBC): Jack plots to takeover and/or destroy KableTown, Liz adjusts to domestic bliss, and everyone preps for cancellation. Yeah, it's meta. (Universal)
A woman (Tuva Novotny) wakes up in a French river with no memory, a loaded gun, a big stash of cash, a scar across her chest and a mysterious man stalking her. In Denmark, the original title was Just Another Sunday: The Tara Reid Story. (Gaiam)
A former Military investigator (Tom Cruise) attempts to exonerate a man accused of a mass shooting, only to be framed my nefarious forces and, even worse, paired with a costar who can't act to save her life (Rosamund Pike). (Paramount)
A couple (Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) take in two nieces who went missing years ago after their parents were murdered—but did the girls bring the malevolent ghost of their mother with them? Happen to notice the title? (Universal)
After breaking up with her latest boyfriend, Nina (Leighton Meester) returns home to her parents on Thanksgiving and, naturally, starts an affair with mom and dad's married best friend (Hugh Laurie). Dr. House has still got it! (ATO Pictures)
More New DVD Releases (May 7)
Colony, Deep In the Heart, Foodfight, Fringe: Season 5, Mighty Fine, Mutants, Nazis & Zombies: The Desecration Collection, Private Practice: Season 6, Revenge for Jolly, Rookie Blue: Season 3, Royal Pains: Season 4, Safe Haven, Silver Case, Starlet, Strawberry Summer, Upstream Color