9:30 p.m. Tuesdays
People don't want to leave college. And why would they, really? There's a party somewhere almost every night. Naps are a regular daily activity. And you'll probably never be living with such a high concentration of people of the opposite (or same) sex ever again in your life. In short, college is great.
"Workaholics" follows three young men — Adam, Anders and Blake — who work mid-level jobs in a faceless telemarketing company by day and who try desperately to hang on to their college years by night. Our three protagonists share what's basically a post-college frat house and spend a lot of time getting drunk on the roof — and other venues — in a continual attempt to not grow up.
There's a lot of hard partying for sure, but the show doesn't so much glorify the characters' misguided attempts to avoid responsibility as it does poke fun at them. In the season two premiere, our three heroes are out-smarted by a group of high schoolers who steal a dragon statue out of their front yard (one Adam, Anders and Blake lifted from a public playground after coming to the realization that their tax dollars pay for such things).
It's an awkward time in a young man's life when he has to face the fact that days of getting up at 6:30 a.m., thinking about the future and occasionally dropping money into a 401K are fast-approaching, or maybe even here already. The actors, and the scripts they follow, capture that spirit deftly without relying on too many "Hangover"-like scenarios. It's a show about coming face-to-face with adulthood and failing miserably. And it's hilarious. GM.
FRINGE: NEW SEASON
8 p.m. Fridays
While "Fringe" started out shaky — a bit too serious at times, a bit too weird in the overarching mythology department and not weird enough in the Monster of the Week department — the show and its cast of characters have gelled quite a bit since 2008, when the series seemed doomed to cancellation. If you've never seen it, it's hard to explain even the barest corner of the plot, other than to say it revolves around a double-secret ragtag team called "Fringe Division," which is tasked with investigating bizarre events on the Eastern seaboard. Led by the brilliant-but-clearly-nuts Dr. Walter Bishop (played with perfect glee by John Noble), his son Peter (Joshua Jackson) and FBI agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), the Fringe team is tasked with nothing less than saving the world from destruction. HERE THERE BE SPOILERS! The last few seasons have seen the team get to the bottom of some of those mysteries: Walter Bishop's theft of a boy identical to his own dead son from a parallel universe where a double of every human being exists. The kidnapping of the alternate Peter Bishop, and the mechanism Walter used to punch a hole between realities, which has fractured both dimensions, leading to horrific consequences for the Other Side, including cataclysmic rips in reality and the rise of a bitter, Dick Cheney-like version of Walter Bishop which the characters call "Walternate." Walternate, the true father of the boy Walter Bishop stole as the Secretary of Defense over there, is hot for revenge — up to and including plotting to destroy our universe as a kind of final solution. At the end of last season, Peter Bishop strapped into a diabolical machine meant to heal the cracks in both realities. It seems to have worked somewhat, but then he vanished, apparently because he has been completely erased from reality and the memories of those who loved him. His last act was to create a converged pocket between the two universes, where both sets of Fringe team members can interact and cooperate to try and fix the cracks in reality before it's too late. While that leads to some "The Parent Trap"-style shenanigans with one actor playing two slightly different characters in the same scene, it also takes the show in a new and more surprising direction. The first episode of the season found the two sides in a suspicious and uneasy truce, and Walter Bishop terrorized by periodic and ghostly glimpses of an apparently still-alive Peter — who, of course, he doesn't know at all. In short: a great beginning to what is shaping up to be a very cool season. Zip over to Netflix and catch the back episodes, then tune in Friday nights to catch the new ones. DK