Jenny from the Block MEETS THE BOY NEXT DOOR
BIG EVENTS: The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore (Monday, Comedy Network, 10:30 p.m.); Backstrom ( Thursday, Fox/Citytv, 8 p.m.) BIG PICTURE: Nothing can replace the brilliant political satire of The Colbert Report. (If I could only save two people from a zombie invasion, I’d take Stephen Colbert and my wife, in that order. You need laughs at Armageddon). But Larry Wilmore, another Daily Show alumnus, has the talent to carve out his own comedic path. Jon Stewart’s former “senior black correspondent” will step into Colbert’s slot following The Daily Show. Meanwhile, TV needs another brilliant misanthrope like it needs another Kardashian. But a new series finds Rainn Wilson ( The Office) playing Everett Backstrom, an unorthodox, self-destructive, “offensive” but “brilliant” cop. Backstrom’s character acts like he’s possessed by the spirit of Hugh Laurie’s Dr. House. (Hmmm, I kind of like that premise for an actual series). Hart Hanson ( Bones) helms this predictably “unpredictable” comic crime procedural based on the Swedish book series by Leif G.W. Persson. (On Citytv, it moves to 9 p.m. Thursdays after the première). FORECAST: Wilmore describes his show as a hybrid of The Daily Show and Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect. Sounds like nightly viewing to me. Backstrom would be better if Steve Carell played the police chief.
BIG RELEASES FRIDAY: The Boy Next Door; Mortdecai BIG PICTURE: If Jennifer Lopez was a middle-aged man, she’d just buy a wig and a sports car and start dating a cocktail waitress. Instead, the 45-year- old’s mid-life crisis finds her setting a world record for plunging neckline at the Golden Globes (to be fair, the dress won rave reviews) and starring in the movie The Boy Next Door. Lopez plays a sexy, widowed school teacher who “accidentally” sleeps with the disturbed teenage son of her new neighbours. Worse yet, he enrols as a student in her high school class. ( Worse yet, Lopez once starred in good movies, such as Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight). Meanwhile, in other downward-trending news, Johnny Depp — sporting an ironic moustache — mugs for the camera as a roguish art dealer caught up in espionage and an international heist. Imagine Willy Wonka mixed with Captain Jack Sparrow mixed with someone you instinctively want to punch in the face. That’s Mortdecai. Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor co-star in the action- comedy. FORECAST: Don’t worry, neighbours, Lopez is still Jenny from the Block. (But be sure to lock up your teenage sons). HONOURABLE MENTION: Strange Music. Spend the night watching animated goblins, fairies and elves singing famous pop songs. (For some readers, this film will play like a “sequel” to the 1960s.)