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TV Club Classic goes back to school with Jerri Blank and Strangers With Candy

Here’s what’s up in the world of television for Monday, June 4. All times are Eastern.


Strangers With Candy (3 p.m.): After-school specials are easy targets for satire: Weepy scores, teenage melodrama, and exaggerated reactions to the drug scare of the week can garner laughs for even the most lackluster of comedic talents. But the power quartet of Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, and Mitch Rouse is no amateur-hour comedy troupe, and their dark, twisted take on the horrors of high school, Strangers With Candy, isn’t the average after-school send-up. Join Meredith Blake as she follows Jerri Blank, America’s favorite 46-year-old high-school senior, back to good ol’ Flatpoint High. Go Concrete Donkeys!



Lost Girl (SyFy, 9 p.m.): Gentlemen, please welcome to the stage: Bo! Or not Bo, because if Lost Girl’s protagonist is infiltrating a strip club in order to find a murderous fugitive, she ought to take on a stage name. Kevin McFarland would suggest “Fae,” if he wasn’t sick of the increasingly strained way this series inserts “Fae” into every other episode title.


The West Wing (11 a.m.): How convenient! The lead up to the United States’ 2012 presidential election coincides with TV Club Classic’s coverage of The West Wing’s fourth season, where Jed Bartlet and company attempt to retain the Oval Office. Steve Heisler’s already planning on putting in a write-in vote for Bartlet this November.


Batman: The Animated Series (1 p.m.): Could Harley Quinn succeed where Two-Face and The Riddler couldn’t and rejoin polite society after a stay in Arkham Asylum? If an episode description containing the phrase “a misunderstanding at a clothing store”—and Oliver Sava’s basic Batman instincts—are any indication, the answer is, of course, an unqualified “No.”


Hell’s Kitchen/MasterChef (Fox, 8 and 9 p.m.): While the likes of HBO, AMC, FX, and IFC help populate the summer lineup with thrilling scripted programming, Fox more or less belongs to Gordon Ramsay from now through Labor Day. (Though he’s kind enough to cede Wednesdays to Cat Deeley.) Night one of Fox’s Gordon Ramsay Yells At You For Two Hours bloc begins with Ramsay yelling at the latest batch of Hell’s Kitchen  flunkies, before he moves on to yelling at the amateur cooks (while pausing occasionally for a Joe Bastianich eye roll) on MasterChef. (Phil Dyess-Nugent’s weekly coverage of MasterChef begins following tomorrow’s episode, and reviews will post on Tuesday nights through the end of the season.)


The Secret Life Of The American Teenager (ABC Family, 8 p.m.): Speaking of shelters from the storm of reruns and reality: ABC Family is the dark-horse contender in that arena, what with Greek, Switched At Birth, the sorely missed Huge, and Amy Sherman-Palladino’s forthcoming Bunheads. The Secret Life Of The American Teenager isn’t the shiniest jewel in the network’s “It’s better than you expect!” crown, but its flair for high-school histrionics ought to yield a fun fourth-season finale.

The Real Housewives Of New York City (Bravo, 9 p.m.): Money can’t buy you class, but it can buy you a new batch of Real Housewives after the majority of your cast splits for greener urban pastures outside the purview of Andy Cohen. Meet the three new New Yorkers who’ll be the object of online and testimonial scorn for the next few years.


21st Century Sex Slaves (National Geographic, 10 p.m.): In a brilliant attempt at not trivializing the work of investigators attempting to disrupt the work of Southeast Asian sex traffickers, this series bears a title that would be too tawdry for a vintage Roger Corman production about the illegal, intergalactic sex trade. Good on ya, NatGeo!

The Green Hornet (Encore, 8 p.m.): Michel Gondry, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg teamed up to make a 3-D blockbuster based on a nostalgic property that passed hands numerous times before The Green Hornet and Kato finally made their kaleidoscopic leap to the big screen. And yet it was a big surprise when the film didn’t make Dark Knight money, thus destroying all hopes for a Charlie Kaufman-Jason Segel-Nicholas Stoller reboot of The Shadow.


The Private Lives Of Elizabeth And Essex (TCM, 8 p.m.): In concurrence with Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, England’s first Queen Elizabeth gets her moment in the TCM spotlight, beginning with this star-studded Warner Brothers production. Bette Davis would go on to play Elizabeth I in 1955’s The Virgin Queen, also airing tonight.

MLB Baseball: Dodgers at Phillies (ESPN, 7 p.m.): The surging Dodgers just ran headlong into a Colorado Rockies squad that notched 11 or more runs in three straight games. They should have better luck against the Phillies, who currently occupy the basement of a stunningly competitive National League East.



Best Friends Forever (Friday): We’ll see you here same time, same space next year, when one (or more) of the umpteen new comedies the networks ordered to series this past May unceremoniously burns off its final two episodes on a Friday night. For Jessica Jardine’s sake, hopefully those shows will get a fairer shake than the ill-fated adventures of Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham.


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