Top TV Picks For the Week: Monday Night Football, Emmys, and More

The return of Monday Night Football, Sarah Michelle Gellar and the gang from Paddy’s Pub make the dwindling days of summer (which includes the dreaded, annual putting-away of short shorts) that much easier to come to terms with.

The return of Monday Night Football, Sarah Michelle Gellar and the gang from Paddy’s Pub make the dwindling days of summer (which includes the dreaded, annual putting-away of short shorts) that much easier to come to terms with.

Monday, September 12

7:00 p.m. Monday Night Football(ESPN)

Of all the questions you’d never need to ask us because we’ll always answer it with a resounding “Hell yes!,” (“Extra cheese on that?,” “Free sample?,” “Do you want to come upstairs?”) “Are you ready for some football?” ranks pretty damn high. Still, for this, the 41st season, they’ll dare to ask us that again. Kicking off (Get it?…. Because it’s football!) the 2011 season of “Monday Night Football” will find Tom Brady and his New England Patriots going up against their AFC East rivals the Miami Dolphins. Are we planning this Monday, and all the subsequent ones that follow, around “Monday Night Football”? Like you even needed to ask.

Tuesday, September 13

9:00 p.m.Ringer(The CW)

Are two Sarah Michelle Gellars better than one? Well friend-o, that is an even dumber question than “Are you ready for some football?,” because that there is a no-brainer. In this new mystery drama series, SMG plays twin sisters named Bridget and Siobhan. While you’re probably already sold, the concept of the show centers around Bridget (SMG 1), who is on the lam after witnessing a murder and pulls the old twin switcheroo (classic!) and takes on the identity of sister Siobhan (SMG 2.) But, she soon finds out, as so often is the case with evil twins, Siobhan isn’t exactly who she seems. Double vision never looked so good.

Wednesday, September 14

8:00 p.m. Survivor (CBS)

The 90-minute premiere of the 23rd season (!!) of the reality competition mainstay only further reinforces that the old adage “You couldn’t pay me enough” doesn’t apply to us, especially when it comes to Survivor. Sorry, but if you need a million dollars to be coaxed into hanging out in the South Pacific (the locale of this new season), with likable, chill host Jeff Probst and this year’s two tribes Savaii and Upolu –the latter of which includes a newbie named Mikayla, a player for the Lingerie Football League, you are one greedy bastard. Besides, you simply can’t put a price tag on complete mental and physical breakdowns that are televised for all the world to see.

10:30 p.m. Up All Night (NBC)

On paper the premise for Up All Night sounds terrifying and the exact opposite of entertaining. A young, attractive married couple are up together for all hours of the night for all the wrong reasons: Their newborn spawn won’t stop crying. But, don’t let that scare you off in the same way actual babies scare you off (what with their soft heads and all.) In fact, this new sitcom is one of the best of the 2011 season, thanks to its awesome cast. Christina Applegate and Will Arnett (I mean, come on) play Reagan and Chris, the couple who are trying to keep their personal and professional lives intact while dealing with entering parenthood, while Reagan’s boss Ava (played by SNL vet Maya Rudolph) does everything to make it anything but any easy transition. Hey, you might not be having any kids soon, but it still doesn’t mean you can’t laugh at the misfortune of others who do!

Thursday, September 15

10:00 p.m. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX)

It’s fitting that the seventh season premiere of the deliriously twisted It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is parodying Pretty Woman. Because much like the romance between Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in that dreadful flick, people predicted that when it came to Sunny being on TV for long, it simply wouldn’t last. Still, the Paddy’s Pub crew proved everyone wrong thanks to their stellar cast and sick humor, and will continue to do so when they cross the line yet again as Frank (Danny DeVito) tries to marry a prostitute (who–surprise!– looks nothing like an in-her-prime Julia Roberts), much to the rest of the gang’s dismay. Except for, maybe, Mac (Rob McElhenney) who is too busy getting fat (or as he calls it, “cultivating mass”) to really care. What can we say? We love you more than a hooker with a heart of gold, “Sunny”!

Sunday, September 18

8:00 p.m. 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards (Fox)

While it doesn’t have the same fun, easy-going vibe (read: drunk celebrities) that the infinitely more watchable Golden Globes provides, as far as awards shows go, the Emmys are still pretty tolerable. Perhaps even more so this year considering it’s hosted by the always-funny Jane Lynch and nominees include Maxim favorites such as Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Friday Night Lights, Mad Men, Dexter, Modern Family, Louie and Parks and Recreation. Still, unlike the Emmys, we reward television every day, not just one lousy night, by giving it our undivided attention and love 24/7, 365. You hear that, 2011 nominees Christina Hendricks, Connie Britton, Sofia Vergara, Mariska Hargitay, and Tina Fey?!

10:00 p.m. Planet Rock: The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation (VH1)

If your favorite show or actress losing an Emmy bums you out beyond repair, you may want to try and abandon your “White People Problems” for an hour and watch this compelling special about the effects of crack cocaine in the hip hop community. Hosted and produced by Ice-T, the latest VH1 “Rock Doc” explores the impact of the drug and, in addition to showing rare footage and photos, will include tell-all interviews with the likes of Snoop Dogg, RZA, Raekwon, Chuck D, Questlove, RZA, Raekwon, and Pepa of Salt-N-Pepa.