I've recently come to the unpleasant realization that I might kind of just possibly maybe kinda sorta be a psychopath. I arrived at this determination in two ways: (1) I reread a year's worth of my TV columns, and (2) Wikipedia told me so. According to the definition on the "psychopathy" page: "Psychopathy is a personality disorder that is characterized by shallow emotions [THAT'S ME!], stress tolerance [KIND OF!], lacking empathy [TOTES!], coldheartedness [I THINK I'M SWEET, BUT OTHERS DISAGREE], lacking guilt [GUILT? HA! FOR WHAT?], egocentricity [I'M GREAT, SO WHY FLY IN THE FACE OF PUBLIC OPINION?], superficial character [FART NOISE!], manipulativeness [I MAY HAVE LEUKEMIA!], irresponsibility [IS THIS ABOUT ME BONING THE MAYOR'S DAUGHTER?], impulsivity [I JUST BONED HER AGAIN! HIGH FIVE!], and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle [FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER!] and criminality [IT WILL ONLY COST YOU FIVE BUCKS!]."
But in my defense, I've never viciously murdered a single person! And in case you're wondering, I've also never viciously murdered a group of people. I've never dismembered anyone with a chain saw, chased after people in their dreams with my "finger-knives glove," or cruelly killed teenagers having sex at a sleepaway camp—mostly because I was that teenager, and cock-blocking someone like that is a dick move, bro.
In fact, as psychopaths go, I think you all could do a lot worse than me. For example, there are two new TV shows debuting this week featuring psychopaths, and, unlike me, they have no interest in getting you to follow them on Twitter! Instead, they want to remove and do unseemly things with your gall bladder! For example:
Ripper Street (BBCA, debuts Sat Jan 19, 9 pm): This British import is a Victorian-era police procedural set in the gritty, dangerous London streets where infamous psychopath Jack the Ripper did his dirtiest work. The detectives of H Division never caught Jack, and now they must contend with a slew of minor-league psychos carrying on in his ghastly tradition. Reportedly very brutal, and chock-a-block full of gory gore, Ripper Street is kind of like Downton Abbey... if you substitute snide remarks and turned-up noses with bloody straight razors and loose gall bladders.
The Following (Fox, debuts Mon Jan 21, 9 pm): Charlie Manson–style psycho murderer Joe Carroll (Rome's James Purefoy) is captured and sent to the hoosegow (phew!), except now he's got a bunch of equally ka-raaaazy followers killing people while he's away (booooo plagiarism!). Enter former FBI agent Ryan Hardy (played by [SQUEEEEEEE!] Kevin Bacon) who wants to stop "everybody from cutting loose" on a batch of new victims. (Please note Footloose reference... I worked on it for 30 minutes.) Again, if you love gratuitous, gory violence, you won't be disappointed—but if you do? You're kind of creepy. Call me crazy, but I'm guessing that America has had enough terrible violence-for-the-sake-of-violence for a while.
Seriously, though, why can't TV psychopaths be more like me? Other than telling you I'm awesome, followed by manipulating you into impulsively boning me, I have absolutely no interest in removing and/or eating your gall bladder (which, btw, is a totally dick move, bro).
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16
8:00 FOX AMERICAN IDOL
Season premiere! Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj tearing their extensions out. Also, singing.
10:30 COM KROLL SHOW
Debut! Comedy sketches and more from the unanimously hilarious Nick Kroll!
THURSDAY, JANUARY 17
8:30 NBC PARKS & RECREATION
Councilman Jamm ruins Leslie’s bachelorette party! “You’ve been jammed!”
10:00 FX ARCHER
Season premiere! Archer visits a spa to get rid of his amnesia in this verrrry funny animated spy spoof.
Midnight TOON NEWSREADERS
Debut! A hilarious spin-off of Children’s Hospital… except this is a parody news show!
FRIDAY, JANUARY 18
8:00 FOX FRINGE
Series finale! The Fringe team finally discovers the meaning of the universe, so now can they shut up about it?
SATURDAY, JANUARY 19
11:30 NBC SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Host: The Hunger Games’ Jennifer Lawrence and her wicked awesome archery skills.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 20
9:00 HBO GIRLS
Hannah is gravely offended by Sandy’s critique of her essay, because… well… BECAUSE!
9:00 TLC HERE COMES HONEY BOO BOO
For those who are too ashamed to watch an entire season, here’s a Honey Boo Boo clip show!
MONDAY, JANUARY 21
9:00 FOX THE FOLLOWING
Debut! Kevin Bacon stops a marauding psycho killer with the healing powers of dance.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 22
8:00 ABC THE TASTE
Debut! Another crappy cooking show where contestants’ crappy food is blind taste-tested by crappy celeb judges.
10:00 FX JUSTIFIED
If it’s Tuesday, then Raylan must be in trouble with the FBI!
Follow me on Twitter, minions! @WmSteveHumphrey