The week in TV: Vampires, stoners and dying runners

Find television lightnings for this week on Israel's HOT and YES cable services.

Vampires, stoners and dying runners (photo credit: JERUSALEM POST)
Vampires, stoners and dying runners
(photo credit: JERUSALEM POST)
The title of the film This Is the End is a lyric from a Jim Morrison song. The so-stupid-it’s funny movie is about celebrity stoners facing an alien invasion, and it’s going to be shown on HOT Fun HD on August 8 at 10:30 p.m. Co-directed and written by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, who brought us Superbad and Pineapple Express, this movie stars their usual gang of idiots: Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Danny McBride and Jay Baruchel, all playing themselves, along with a host of other celebs including Rihanna and Emma Watson.
They’re partying like there’s no tomorrow, and then it turns out there is no tomorrow. You can watch as much or as little of this as you’d like, but you may find yourself laughing at it more than you’d care to admit.
Frozen is one of Disney’s most popular animated musicals in years. I’m not sure why HOT Fun chose to put it on at 10:30 p.m.
on August 12, but they will repeat it throughout the month at earlier hours. It won two Oscars this year, one for Best Animated Film and the other for Best Song, “Let It Go,” as well as Golden Globes in this category. It’s a good movie for little kids and tween girls, as well as adults who enjoy Broadway shows. The plot is really an excuse for cute visuals and rousing musical numbers, but it’s loosely based on the Hans Christian Andersen story “The Snow Queen.”
And remember, The Great Gatsby is coming up on HOT Gold HD on August 15 at 10 p.m.
Mexican-born director/producer Guillermo del Toro is known for big-budget blockbusters (Pacific Rim), low-budget horror (Cronos) and fantastical art-house films (Pan’s Labyrinth). But all his movies combine stunning visual effects with gore and suspense.
Now he’s turning his talent to television and has co-created The Strain. The series is the perfect show for people who are sad that True Blood is ending soon (you know who you are) because it’s silly, with a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor and it’s about a virus that turns people into vampires. Corey Stoll, who is played Peter Russo on House of Cards, is Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the head of a crack team of investigators from the Centers for Disease Control. His hairpiece is a bit distracting at first, but otherwise he’s good as the flawed but brave hero. His assistant, Dr. Nora Martinez, is played by gorgeous Mia Maestro, and the wise Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley), a Holocaust survivor who owns a pawn shop, is the one man who really knows what’s going on.
The show will run on YES Action starting August 19 at 10:45 p.m. and also on YES VOD.
True Blood, which got almost too ridiculous to watch for the past few years, has gone back to basics for its final season – back to the romance that started the whole trailer-trash vampire show between Sookie (Anna Paquin), who we now know is a fairy with telepathic powers, and Bill (Steven Moyer), a dreamy, serious vampire. The Oscar-winning Canadian actress and the British actor fell in love in real life as well as on screen and are now married with two children. The chemistry between these actors was what made the series worth watching in the first place, and it’s good to have the focus back on the two of them. It runs on YES Oh on Mondays at 4 a.m. and 10 p.m., and on YES VOD.
If you ever suspected that running was actually hazardous to your health, now you’ll be relieved to know that there’s proof. The documentary Young, Fit & Dying: The Truth About Running, directed by Daniel Michael Smith and Michael Dorgan, reveals that marathon runners die at the rate of about one per month and examines the reality of the lives of longdistance runners. It’s showing on YES Docu at August 12 at 10 p.m.
and YES VOD.
It will be followed by Jennifer Steinman’s Desert Runners on August 12 at 11 p.m., a film that glorifies a group of runners competing in an ultramarathon, billed as “the world’s most difficult race.”
Maybe YES Docu should have scheduled Young, Fit, & Dying to run after Desert Runners.