TV – view from the couch

by Kellie Abrahamson
tv talk
October means Halloween, and that means some of our favorite shows will be given licenses to get wacky with costumes and spooky storylines. It also means that new specials and scary series’ will be popping up like vampires out of coffins. We can’t list all of the Halloween episodes airing this month, but we have compiled a list of some of the most intriguing and hotly anticipated creature features coming to the small screen.
On October 26th the Glee (Fox) cast will give us all a treat when they take on Rocky Horror Picture Show. Who will play which role is a closely guarded secret, but it’s destined to be a landmark episode if they get it right.
NBC’s hit comedy series, Community, will scare up their own Halloween special this month. Last year the Halloween episode was one of the funniest of the season and creator Dan Harmon says they’ve gone over schedule and over budget to top themselves this time around. The official date for the special has not been announced, but we’re guessing it will either be the 21st or the 28th.
What has been confirmed is NBC’s 30-minute kid’s special Scared Shrekless, which airs on the 28th. The event will star all of the Far Far Away crew as they spend the night telling scary stories to one another in Lord Farquaad’s haunted castle.
On Mad Men he’s the dashing Don Draper, but in real life Jon Hamm seems to be a charming goof with impeccable comedic timing. It’s no wonder, then, that he’s been selected to host Saturday Night Live for the third time. Hamm will take to the famous stage for the Halloween episode on October 30th.
AMC’s hotly anticipated new series The Walking Dead will have its premiere on Halloween night. The show, about a terrifying zombie apocalypse and a handful of humans fighting for survival, is must-see TV so cut the trick or treating short and settle in for a night of undead fun!

what’s hot in october

I’ve got a strange love for Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna. Maybe it’s their 13-year love affair or perhaps it’s the spray tans and plastic surgery. In any case, I will be tuning in to see their new reality show Harry Loves Lisa, premiering October 6th on TV Land. • Surely we don’t need another Real Housewives show, right? Well, Bravo seems to think otherwise. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills are sure to give new meaning to the words “vanity” and “excess.” The series premieres on the 14th. • Hold onto your hats: NBC is airing a reality show with substance this month. Their series School Pride will show students, teachers and parents working together to transform their aging and broken public schools into institutions to be proud of. A word of warning: watching inspirational television such as this may move you to turn off your TV and actually do something. You’ve been warned. School Pride airs on October 15th. • If you’re lucky enough to have Direct TV, you get to start watching the 5th and final season of Friday Night Lights this month. I’m jealous. Tune into the 101 Network on October 27th to watch while the rest of us wait until spring to find out what happens to Coach Taylor et al. • So far I’ve been thoroughly impressed with AMC’s original programming and I’m positive the trend will continue with their newest effort The Walking Dead. Why? Because I love zombies. Based on the comic book series of the same name, the show will only have a six-episode season this time around but rumor has it a second, 13-episode season is as good as definite. The show starts, fittingly, on October 31st.
Loosely based on Stephen King’s novel, The Colorado Kid, Haven has been an interesting new show that captured my attention from day one with its bizarre mysteries and mythology. The season finale airs on October 8th and I pray Syfy has the sense to bring it back next summer. • Both Rubicon and Mad Men will have their season finales on the 17th and that bums me out. I wasn’t kidding about my love for all things AMC, and seeing both of these terrific shows sign off until summer is as depressing as a country song. • The 8th season of Project Runway wraps up this month. I correctly predicted the winner last season so I’ll go out on a limb and try to go two for two: Mondo will win it all. Tune into Lifetime on October 28th to see if I’m right.
The 2010 Hip Hop Awards airs on BET on the 12th. Performers include Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Gucci Mane and many more. I’ve never heard of most of them but don’t let that stop you from tuning in! • Over on Comedy Central, lots of people I have heard of are coming together for the Night of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Benefit for Autism Education. John Stewart, Chris Rock, Joel McHale, Tina Fey, Sarah Silverman, Stephen Colbert, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and many, many more will be on hand for this incredibly worthy cause. Tune in on October 21st to laugh and learn. • Finally, the kiddos get a special Halloween treat Shrek-style with Scared Shrekless, a 30-minute television event that has all of our favorite fairy tale characters spending the night telling spooky stories in a haunted castle. See Scared Shrekless on October 28th on NBC.

dvd releases
The Karate Kid (PG)
Splice (R)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (R)
Phineas & Ferb: A Very Perry Christmas (NR)

How to Train Your Dragon (PG)
Jonah Hex (PG-13)
I Am Love (R)
Lost Boys: The Thirst (R)
Leaves of Grass (R)

Predators (R)
DisneyNature: Oceans (G)
Night of the Demons (R)
Assault Girls (R)
Please Give (R)

Sex & the City 2 (R)
The Girl Who Played with Fire (R)
Winter’s Bone (R)
You Don’t Know Jack (NR)