We Like to Watch: Jan. 3rd-9th, 2011

Superheroes incoming on NBC, hamburgers find a home on FOX, and and a new cast member washes up on “Shore.”

There’s a lot of TV options to choose from. Too much for any one person to completely monitor, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to do our best to sift through all the listings and figure out what you should be watching every week…with all the highlights, lowlights and guilty pleasures you can stand.

Tuesday, Jan. 4th

11:00 p.m. Permanent Mark (Spike)

Follow tattoo artist Mark Walters (seen in the pic above doing something weird) as he spans the globe to see how different cultures view tattoos, as well as the different methods they employ to apply them to their people. The series kicks off with a trip to Borneo where Walters hangs with headhunters. Good luck on getting to that second episode, Mark! At least your sleeves look great.

Thursday, Jan. 6th

8:00 p.m. Wipeout (ABC)

With its “sucks to be you” depiction of semi-serious injuries, Wipeout has become one of our all-time favorite TV experiences. How can you not laugh when a chunky lady takes a flying leap off of a giant red ball, or a pompous dude gets his legs swept Karate Kid-style by a giant arm off of a platform 20 feet in the air? The producers have upped the ante with the new season by making everything winter- and holiday-themed, though we’re not sure why they waited so long. We could have really used this mood-lightener during the booze-filled Christmas and New Year’s, ABC.

Also on Thursday

10:00 p.m. Jersey Shore (MTV)

Whether you hate it, run screaming from it, or are strangely drawn to its train-wreck vibe, the Jersey Shore “kids” (adults in their 30s) return for a godforsaken third season this Thursday. Back from Miami and once again on the actual Jersey Shore (where none of them actually hail from), expect lots of fighting, crying, stumbling, vomiting, breaking up, and getting back together. If the thought of another season sickens you, try to think of it as watching animals at the zoo. It takes the edge off…until you start wondering where the cages are, man.

Sunday, Jan. 9th

8:30 p.m. Bob’s Burgers (FOX)

A new animated series on Fox that’s not the brainchild of Matt Groening or Seth MacFarlane? We’re shocked, relieved, and certainly intrigued. Created by Loren Bouchard  (Dr. Katz, Home Movies), Burgers features a family-run meat-slinging house and all the weirdness that entails. We’re hoping this is solid despite the lame title and marks the return of FOX’s legitimate animation domination. Or it could be The PJs all over again. We’ll see.

Also on Sunday

9:00 p.m. The Cape (NBC)

Considering the lack of success with shows like Heroes, Undercovers and The Event, we’re a bit surprised to see NBC offering up another original take on big-budget action/fantasy/superheroes with The Cape. The two-hour premiere will introduce cop Vince Faraday (played by ER castoff David Lyons), who gets a mystical cape from a carnival that grants him abilities to become a superhero. The major networks are seriously lacking in genre programming right now, so hopefully this series won’t disappoint, even if it does look a little silly.


Monday, Jan. 3rd

10:00 p.m. Castle (ABC)

The continuing adventures of writer Richard Castle (researching his next book) and police detective Kate Beckett (tolerating said research) have been enjoyable if not hokey this season, but we’re hoping an extra injection of hotness in the form of Laura Prepon will liven things up. Prepon plays the film version of the character based on Beckett. Though unlikely, we’re hoping for a catfight. Get Method, Laura!


Saturday, Jan. 8th

11:30 p.m. Saturday Night Live (NBC)

For a guy who got his start in comedy and built an Uncle Scrooge-esque fortune from movies like Ace Ventura and Dumb & Dumber, Jim Carrey hasn’t been very funny lately. (“Lately” meaning “since Bruce Almighty, and we’re being generous.”) We don’t blame the guy for branching out or even phoning it in from time to time, but we’re curious to see if he can still make us laugh when he returns to his sketch comedy roots on this week’s SNL (remember, he was the one white guy on In Living Color), and his last hosting stint in ’96 was great. Even if he’s forgotten a step or two, performances by The Black Keys will make this at least a must-watch episode.