TV

Happy hunting

Just admit it: you're obsessed with 'House Hunters'

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cheryl@sfbg.com

TV Stainless steel appliances. Hardwood floors. Walk-in closets. The House Hunters drinking game, which lovingly mocks the HGTV program's predictability, will have even a seasoned lush drunk before the first commercial break. "But there's nowhere for my man cave!" DRINK.Read more »

Faux-war TV is hell: 'Stars Earn Stripes'

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Savaged by anti-war activists, tut-tutted by nine Nobel Peace Laureates, and mocked by television critics, NBC's new competition show Stars Earn Stripes, which had its two-hour premiere last night, can add another pissed-off demographic to its rolls: fans of reality TV. Read more »

Queens, aliens, isles of wonder, and more: what to watch this week

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My pick for movie of the week is The Queen of Versailles, a likely (I'm callin' it in July) inclusion on my top 10 list for 2012. Seriously, this doc is revealing, timely, surprising, beautifully lensed (by photographer-turned-director Lauren Greenfield), and affords an insidery peek into the mysterious borderlands between extreme weath and excessive tackiness.

Hollywood would like you to see either an alien-invasion comedy with Ben Stiller or the fourth Step Up entry ... you could do worse, but you could do better. Frankly, I'd pencil in The Queen of Versailles for your Saturday night, and settle in tonight for the 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony, which comes complete with the amusement park-ish title "Isles of Wonder." All the buzz indicates that the extravaganza, directed by Danny Boyle (not known for his subtlety), will be one for the ages, or at least supply some juicy fodder for the meme generation.

Reviews of everything opening this week (spoiler: there's a lot) below the jump.

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TV gone wild

A Vortex Room tribute examines William Shatner's dark side

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TRASH History does not record whether the evening of January 23, 1974 struck anyone immediately as a momentous occasion. Probably not: perhaps distracted by Watergate, porn chic, rising gas prices, the Exorcist phenomenon, and passage (one day earlier) of Roe vs. Wade, any television viewers straying over from CBS's Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour to ABC at 8:30 p.m. could hardly have fully understood the significance of what they were about to experience.Read more »

Twin Peaks witch house, y'all

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We're stoked about the upcoming 20th anniversary tribute to Twin Peaks at the Roxie this Saturday -- and we found this witch house tribute to really bring the uncanny spookiness home. Shivers.   

The way we were weird

Celebrating two plastic-wrapped decades of Twin Peaks

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM In 1990, cable was still a luxury many chose not to afford. The Big Three — it was now grudgingly being admitted that Fox might make it Four — weren't doing anything all that different from what they had a decade or two or three before. Certainly the popular likes of Major Dad, Beverly Hills 90210, and America's Funniest Home Videos weren't exactly rocking the boat as thus far known to viewers and sponsors.Read more »

Weed Wars

The cannabis battle: coming soon to your living room

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HERBWISE "I always knew that doing this show would be a risk," says Harborside Health Center founder Steve DeAngelo in a phone interview with the Guardian. A medical marijuana dispensary could probably always be considered controversial fodder for a nighttime reality TV program, but DeAngelo's enterprise rose above standard controversy when it became the target of the IRS, the federal agency ruling that it could no longer write off common business expenses. It now owes $2 million — an amount that left the rest of the industry quaking with concerns over its future.Read more »

The X Factor: Oh, the drama! Oh, the weeping!

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Okay, I thought American Idol was getting bad. And I missed Simon Cowell. But the Next Big Thing, called The X Factor -- featuring not just Simon but Paula Abdul, along with L.A. Reid (who discovered Rihanna!) and Nichole Sherzinger (from Pussycat Dolls, and she once won Dancing With the Stars) -- is out of control.Read more »

Channeling darkness

"TV Noir" celebrates the tarnish on television's golden years

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Brian Wilson ain't got nothing on the men of "Whisker Wars"

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If the hirsute heroes of Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers, and Ax Men haven’t fully satisfied your appetite for bearded he-men, the executive producer of those gems has ditched the “tough vocation” façade and introduced a show that’s purely about the fur: IFC's Whisker Wars, which debuts Fri/5. The show trails men around the U.S. as they prep and groom for the World Beard and Moustache Championships in Trondhjem, Norway with the long-standing champs of Germany looming in the distance.

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