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I Love Television™

The Great Manipulator

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UGHHNHH! Why is everybody always trying to manipulate me? Just 10 minutes ago, my editor tells me I need to write gooder. Psssht! I've been writing this column for more than 15 years, and my writing has only improvend. (Or at least it had not been more worsenening.)

Listen, people! I will not be manipulated! Not by my boss, not by you, and certainly not by ex-Mrs. Wm.™ Steven Humphrey #2 who keeps trying to convince me I'm the father of her three children with scientist-approved DNA tests and sworn testimony from Maury Povich. OH! And speaking of TV, I won't be manipulated by that, either! Here are three good examples of TV that won't be manipulating me this week:

• Presidential Debate #3 (All Networks, Mon Oct 22, 6 pm). President Obama and "Golden Mittens" Romney return for their last shot at manipulating the voters into not voting for the other guy. Obama will be attempting to manipulate you into thinking (a) he's an entirely different person from that disastrous first debate, (b) he'd never tie his dog to the roof of a car during a road trip, and (c) that he'd actually prefer being the president, rather than just relaxing on the beach and drinking Mai Tais until they run out his nose. HA! Right. Meanwhile, Romney will be trying to manipulate you into thinking (a) he's not a robot, (b) he doesn't have more money than one-quarter of all inhabitants of Earth, and (c) he wouldn't sell you to a Chinese sweatshop to make iPhones for the rest of your life if they asked nicely.

Hunted (Cinemax, Fri Oct 19, 10 pm). "Cinemax??" I hear you scream. "Are you trying to manipulate me into watching boobies?" Not this time! While Cinemax does specialize in softcore porn offerings such as Coed Confidential: Whoops, How Did My Panties Fall Off?, the new show Hunted actually has something resembling a pedigree. Originally produced by BBC1 and created by The X Files' Frank Spotnitz, Hunted stars the attractively pouty Melissa George as a double-crossed secret agent who's being manipulated by her shadowy employers, and decides in turn to manipulate THEM—with her gigantic, pillowy, pouty lips. (Whoops! How did my panties fall off?)

The Girl (HBO, Sat Oct 20, 9 pm). While Alfred Hitchcock may be considered one of the greatest directors of all time, he was also one honkin' manipulative dick! This creepy HBO flick tells the true tale of actress Tippi Hedren (played here by Sienna Miller) who was hired out of nowhere by Hitchcock to become the lead actress in The Birds, and quickly became his sexual obsession. When she refuses to ride his wild baloney pony, Hitchcock psychologically tortures her as well as ruins her career. Apparently back then there weren't the same sexual harassment laws and HR departments that torment me on a daily basis.

Not that I would EVER try to manipulate YOU, of course! By the way, did I mention that I've been diagnosed with semen cancer? Yeah, it's really terrible, and if someone doesn't manually help it out of my body every three hours, I might... HEY! WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!?

This Week on Television

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18

8:00 NBC 30 ROCK

Liz tries to convince Tracy that women are so too funny!

9:00 HBO ETHEL

A very interesting documentary about Ethel Kennedy, the wife and soul of Robert Kennedy.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19

9:00 CW NIKITA

Season premiere! Nikita and Ryan take over Division, and immediately get scolded by their HR department.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20

9:00 HBO THE GIRL—Movie

(2012) Alfred Hitchcock develops an obsessive crush on actress/model Tippi Hedren—and things get kind of WEIRD.

11:30 NBC SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

Waitasecond... Bruno Mars is the host AND the musical guests? I could've used either of those jobs!

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21

9:00 AMC THE WALKING DEAD

A traumatic event shakes up the gang, who also have a creepy new threat trying to murderize them.

10:30 E! THE SOUP

Host Joel McHale introduces the "Goodest Moments of Redneck Reality Shows"! Yeee-haw! Butter my butt and call it a biscuit!

MONDAY, OCTOBER 22

6:00 All Nets PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

The third and final presidential debate—and this one's on "foreign policy" (or where Mitt hides his money).

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23

9:00 FOX NEW GIRL

Jess fills in for sexy Cece at a modeling gig for a car show. Cue abject humiliation.

9:30 ABC DON'T TRUST THE BITCH IN APT. 23

Season premiere! James tries to organize a Dawson's Creek reunion, but can only get Saved by the Bell's Mark-Paul Gosselaar. (Boooooo!)

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24

8:00 CW ARROW

Oliver butts heads with an assassin named "Deadshot"—who apparently thinks he's prrrretty great.

10:00 FX AMERICAN HORROR STORY

An exorcist visits Briarcliff Asylum, who I bet will have his work cut out for him!

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