Independence Day, “Insane Coaster Wars,” “Perception”


Independence Day
Wednesday 8pm, AMC
Celebrate our nation’s birthday by watching Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and President Bill Pullman save the world by taking out a bunch of squid-looking aliens. Believe it or not, the blockbuster popcorn flick is 16 years old. If it was a person it could be getting a driver’s license. This means that if you saw it in the theater, you are old. The movie is pretty ridiculous, but there is still something impressive about watching the world’s various monuments blown up after all these years. Plus, it’s a reminder that while computer viruses might make your workday infuriating, they may one day save the planet. So you be nice. If you’re looking for more Hollywood patriotism, AMC will screen the Civil War flick Glory at 1:45pm and Mel Gibson’s Revolutionary War epic The Patriot at 4:30pm.

“Insane Coaster Wars”
Sunday 9pm, Travel Channel
This summer millions of Americans will head to theme parks. There they will pay too much for crappy food, fry in the sun, and wait 30 minutes in line for a three-minute ride. And I will proudly be one of them, with plans to hit at least three different parks before Labor Day. If you’re looking for some road trip-worthy thrills, this series on the Travel Channel might be up your loop-de-loop. “Insane Coaster Wars” is a six-part series in which various rides from across the country are compared and contrasted on specific criteria. Sunday night check out both “G-Force Giants” and “Hang’em High” (open-air coasters), and future installments will feature wooden coasters, mega-high coasters, and super-fast rides. If you like your theme parks wet, companion series “Xtreme Waterparks” debuts at 8pm. But, I won’t write about that because of the terrible intentional misspelling.

Monday 10pm, TNT
At this point the well must be running dry for new twists to the mystery-solving format, but this new show’s concept might push it into ridiculousness. Eric McCormack—best known as Will from “Will & Grace”—plays a brilliant neuroscientist who is brought on by the FBI to help solve complex mysteries. The problem: he may be a genius, but he’s also a paranoid schizophrenic who sometimes experiences vivid hallucinations. Helping to keep him on track are a former student and current FBI agent (played by Rachael Leigh Cook, the “stupid bet” from She’s All That) and his dean/friend played by Kunte Kinte/Geordi La Forge himself, LeVar Burton.