Thursday, Feb. 7 (NBC)
Season Premiere: Is it October 2012 already? Way back when this TV season began, NBC had the WTF? plan to dump cult comedy Community on Friday nights with cult anathema Whitney as a lead-in. But then, new series Animal Practice was put to sleep, Up All Night was pulled off the air to be retooled as a puppet show, 30 Rock went to TV heaven, and bam! Community reclaims its old Thursday home. The delay will make for a few timeline displacements (a Halloween episode, a Thanksgiving episode, a Christmas episode, Chevy Chase episodes, etc.), but at least Community is finally back from summer break (just go with it). Six Seasons and a Movie!
The Jenny McCarthy Show
Friday, Feb. 8 (VH1)
Series Debut: Speaking of timeline displacements, when did Opponent of Science Jenny McCarthy become relevant again? "I Love the '90s," indeed. If VH1 is so bent on fabricating its own Chelsea Handler-ish talk/pop-culture rehash show, there are plenty of funnier—and, you're thinking it too, younger—unknowns who could host this rip-off. McCarthy doesn't come off so much a fresh glam-party-trash alternative to Handler as she does a sad dayshift hooker working the Taco Bell parking lot. When this bombs, we can at least look forward to Late Night With Carmen Electra.
Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome
Sunday, Feb. 10 (Syfy)
Movie: Prequel Blood & Chrome, a two-hour pilot for series that wasn't picked up because Syfy had already committed to 18 Ghost Hunters spin-offs (surest hit: Ghost Pawn), has been available in 10 parts on YouTube for months; this version includes unreleased footage and, oh yeah, full-length commercials. Seeing young fighter pilot Adama (Luke Pasqualino) at the dawn of the Human/Cylon war is admittedly frakking cool, and the sleek Battlestar Galactica look and feel is in full effect (including some bonus Star Trek lens flare), but knowing that this chapter of the story ends here makes Blood & Chrome somewhat anticlimactic. Also, sexy No. 6 Cylons hadn't been invented yet ... damn.
Sunday, Feb. 10 (Spike)
Season Premiere: The Only TV Column That Matters™ (that's this one, for you newbies) has spent a lotta time in a lotta terrible drinkin' holes, but few like those fixer Jon Taffer runs across every week on Bar Rescue. If you've somehow missed the 48-hour marathons on Spike every weekend, Bar Rescue goes like this: Taffer and his team stake out a dingy club; a ringer goes in and chokes down some Dranotinis and half-cooked wings for the hidden cameras while the drunk bar owner is off in the corner demanding lap dances from sobbing waitresses. Properly disgusted, Taffer storms in, yells at everyone, bitch-slaps the owner, remodels the club, revamps the food and drink menus, then renames the joint something like Kracky's Tiki Shack or Club Spelunk. And it's awesome every time.
The Walking Dead
Sunday, Feb. 10 (AMC)
Winter Premiere: At press time, no showrunners had been fired from The Walking Dead this week; a couple of grips were executed for taking too many bagels, but nothing major. When last we left All My Zombies in December, the rescue of Glenn and Maggie from Woodbury was mostly successful—except the part where Daryl was captured and tossed into the walker-fightin' ring with estranged bro Merle. Now, Rick has to go back in and get him, and finally go mano-a-mano with The Governor (why not just call him on the phone—ha!).
Aladdin & The Death Lamp
Aladdin (Darren Shahlavi) inadvertently unleashes an evil genie from his lamp, now only he can stop it from destroying the world. So, really, the lamp is faultless here and quite unfairly labeled as a "death lamp." Stupid Liberal Media. (Sony)
The Man With the Iron Fists
Following up his star turn in Santa Monica Cop, RZA directs, acts and soundtracks the tale of a man (with iron fists) who teams with Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu to kung-fu the hell out of bad guys. Based on a true Wu-Tang fairytale. (Universal)
James Bond (Daniel Craig) is back, then gone, then back again and up against his most fearsome villain yet: a cyberterrorist (Javier Bardem) with a ridiculous haircut and a vendetta against M (Judy Dench) and the MI6. Action, action, action! (MGM)
Is Ashley (Caitlin Gerard) being stalked by urban legend Smiley, a killer who supposedly creeps Internet chat rooms for victims, or just going crazy? Pertinent follow-up question: How did a 1998 genera-slasher flick get made in 2012? (Arc)
Weeds: Season 8
The final season, wherein Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) recovers from getting shot in the head (sorry, not a spoiler) and jumps back into the pot business (ditto). Then, seven years later, weed is all legal and corporate. Mind. Blown. (Paramount)
More New DVD Releases (Feb. 12)
Black's Game, Fairfield Road, Gossip Girl: Season 6, The Kid With a Bike, Kill For Me, Luna Park, Mimesis, Nurse Jackie: Season 4, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Rise of the Zombies, Robot & Frank, The Sessions, Silent Hill: Revelation, Teddy Bear, The Thieves