“So You Think You Can Dance”
Wednesday-Thursday 8pm, Fox
The frustrating fifth season comes to a close. I maintain that S5 had the most talented Top 20 ever—there was nary a bad dancer in the bunch (except poor, pathetic hip-hopper Tony). But somehow along the way we ended up with the least interesting Final 4 in the show’s history. As judge/producer Nigel Lythgoe himself said a few weeks back, all of these dancers are technically brilliant, but none of them are stars. The closest we’ve got is Kayla Radomski, the infallible contemporary dancer with lines longer than Bodo’s on a Saturday morning. I was initially rooting for wee Broadway baby Evan Kasprzak, but he’s been holding back for weeks, and probably should have gone home long before the finals. Whatever happens, here’s hoping for a more satisfying fall season, which starts up in a few weeks.
Thursday 9pm, BBC America
The Brits do television right. You know how teen dramas inevitably fall to shit once the bulk of the characters graduate, and they have to come up with ridiculous reasons to keep them all together? With “Skins” Season 3, the entire previous cast has been jettisoned, with the exception of Tony’s little-seen (or heard) sister Effy, who heads up a whole new group of dysfunctional British teens who fuck, drink, smoke or punch whatever they come across. That includes dreamy skaterboi Freddie, unrepentant nihilist Cook, and troubled identical twins Katie and Emily. The show features completely outrageous plots, but some of the best writing and most honest acting I’ve ever seen.
“Comedy Central Roast of Joan Rivers”
Sunday 10pm, Comedy Central
Now this should be fabulous. Joan Rivers is a comedy legend, helped break down barriers for women comics back in the 1950s and ’60s, became the first permanent guest host on “The Tonight Show” back when Johnny was in charge, and then emerged as a cultural icon for her self-deprecating humor, catty fashion commentary, and addiction to plastic surgery. And now she will be ripped to shreds by a panel of comedians, including Jeffrey Ross, Mario Cantone, Robin Quivers, Gilbert Gottfried (he’s actually great at these things), Tom Arnold and the only working comic older than Rivers herself, Carl Reiner. Kathy Griffin oversees the whole thing, which is appropriate, since she’s been blatantly aping Joan’s shtick for the past 10 years.