on the tube

July 28, 2011 |
by Dean Robbins


Shark Week returns to eat us alive


Discovery's Shark Week has been thriving for 20-plus years with its annual look at great white shark attacks. To remain successful, Shark Week needs to sustain our hysteria about getting bitten by a great white, despite the overwhelmingly low odds.

This year's kickoff program, "Great White Invasion" (Sunday, 8 p.m.), tries to convince us that "all over the world, great whites are coming closer to shore." As the narrator warns, "We think of great whites as living far out in the ocean and distant from people. BUT NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!"

OK, I admit to being frightened by that idea, but will it frighten me again next year? Probably not, and that's why Shark Week will have to up the ante yet again. I wouldn't be surprised to see a program entitled "Don't Look Now, But a Great White Shark Is Lifting the Latch on Your Bedroom Window…"


‘Rescue Me'

Wednesday, 9 p.m. (FX)


Denis Leary's NYC firefighter dramedy is as good as ever in its final season. This week, Leary's character, hothead Tommy Gavin, is on edge due to a TV station interviewing him about 9/11 for a mawkish 10th anniversary feature. Tommy gets increasingly annoyed by the reporter's dumb questions and finally loses it when she asks, "What would have been a happy ending on that day?"

"There are no happy endings," Tommy hisses.

Given all the misery in this episode, it's hard to imagine a happy ending for "Rescue Me." But who knows — things could turn around by the Sept. 7 finale. I sure hope they do. CV