Over-the-top violence, gore and action — some of the most prominent aspects of popular movies and TV shows — can often make a mediocre storyline unintentionally hilarious. When IFC took on Bullet in the Face (10 p.m. Thursday and Friday), the network embraced the campy side of action favorites to present an explosive, comedic television event.
Bullet opens with criminal Gunter Vogler (Max Williams) waking up in a hospital to find he’s been given a new identity (straight out of Face/Off) and must work undercover for the police who captured him. Vogler must employ his dark past to help cops nab the city’s most wanted mobsters (Eric Roberts and Eddie Izzard). The series culminates with a full-on war between rival criminals while Vogler decides on which side of the law he lies.
Created and written by Alan Spencer (the man behind ’80s cop spoof series Sledge Hammer!), the show promises plenty of gratuitous blood-splatter, badass babes and CSI: Miami-worthy one-liners. The series constantly and intentionally pushes the envelope of what “you can show on TV.” Any good satire, no matter how ridiculous, addresses valid observations about entertainment genres and audiences, and Bullet questions America’s sometimes-backwards rules about what is embraced and what is deemed inappropriate in the media.
Bullet in the Face will unfold in six installments over two nights (perhaps to offend conservatives in one fell swoop, instead of potentially gaining backlash over six weeks), sandwiched by action-packed films like Sin City and From Dusk till Dawn. Extreme to the max!
WEDNESDAY AUG. 15
Oh Sit! (Series Premiere, 8 p.m., CW) – Literally a televised extreme game of musical chairs, and, yes, that’s the actual title.
Top Chef Masters (10 p.m., Bravo) – The chefs use salad bar toppings to create a unique meal for the B-52s and later grill out in the Grand Canyon.
Project Runway (9 p.m., Lifetime) – Nina splits the designers into two groups that will each create a line of clothing for the working woman (not prostitutes). Marie Claire Editor/PR All Stars mentor Joanna Coles guest-judges.
Wilfred (10 p.m., FX) – Ryan takes his mom (Mary Steenburgen) and Wilfred on a road trip.
The Real L Word (10 p.m., Showtime) – Dinah Shore weekend continues with Cori, Kaci and Romi confronting uncomfortable situations. The biggest surprise of the episode: a Whitney-Sara-Lauren three-way?
Louie (10:30 p.m., FX) – Last week it was crabs; now Louie deals with a new medical issue.
FRIDAY AUG. 17
Boss (Season Premiere, 9 p.m., Starz) – Kelsey Grammer returns in his Golden Globe-awarded role as the Chicago Mayor Tom Kane who is engaged in a private battle with a degenerative neurological disorder. In the second season opener, Kane struggles to manage his DLB but assembles a new team of advisors and follows through with groundbreaking at O’Hare Airport.
SUNDAY AUG. 19
True Blood (9 p.m., HBO) – Faeries help Sookie deal with the fact that her ancestors promised her to a vampire; Bill believes he may be the “chosen one” and attempts to convert Jess; the U.S. military confronts The Authority; how long ‘til Andy finds out he fathered a half-fae?
The Newsroom (10 p.m., HBO) – News Night-ers continue to deal with the blackout. Later, the crew presents a mock debate for two GOP representatives in the hopes of changing the confines of traditional televised debates.
Breaking Bad (10 p.m., AMC) – Mike wants out of the partnership; Skyler breaks down to Marie; Jesse is angered by the way Walt is doing business.
Weeds (10 p.m., Showtime) – Jill copes with the downside of pregnancy; Nance peddles pills and hooks up with the sexy rabbi.
Small Town Security (11 p.m., AMC) – Joan tries to lose weight (and gets a snazzy adult tricycle); Dennis catches flak for his refusal to shower and reveals why he lives in the office.
MONDAY AUG. 20
Stars Earn Stripes (8 p.m., NBC) – Celebs such as Dean Cain, Cincy’s Nick Lachey and Todd Palin (OK, they’re using the term “celebrity” loosely) take on military training to compete in missions like helicopter drops and long-range weapons fire. Each is paired with a U.S. special operative and participates on behalf of veteran, military or first-responder charities. While the show has been praised for its support of the troops, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and other peace activists have called for cancellation due to the program’s glorification of war and violence.
CONTACT JAC KERN: firstname.lastname@example.org