Ken Tucker on this week's awesome TV
1. David Boreanaz in Bones
Fox, Wednesdays, 8-9 p.m.
The focus of the show remains, of course, on Emily Deschanel's beautifully odd, perpetually quizzical features she's one of the few TV-series actors who can convey pensive thought without looking as though she's trying to remember her Whole Foods shopping list. But in the series' second season, premiering Aug. 30, Boreanaz achieves a whole new level of serene insouciance: He seems so relaxed, so confident in his ability to charm you, that he's morphed into a glorious cross between Dean Martin and George Clooney. Few actors are as much fun to watch delivering even the most commonplace crime-show dialogue.
2. MTV's Video Music Awards
MTV, Aug. 31, from 8 p.m. until Beyoncé says it's over, pal
Sure, the past two Miami VMAs have been exceedingly sucky, but back at Radio City Music Hall, this year's show co-produced by people who sounded in The New York Times as if they understand this night is meant to be gloriously crass and hopefully a tad surprising now and then could be the one night MTV actually plays some music videos we enjoy. Prospects look bright, with Jack Back as host (I'm betting he's channeling Tenacious D and not Nacho Libre, which would be a good thing) and guest performances by Justin Timberlake (who's got to make his excellent single ''SexyBack'' into a showstopper) and Beyoncé (who cannot top her new ''Ring the Alarm'' video, can she? Can she? Can she, please?).
3. Stargate SG-1 Viewers Choice Marathon
Sci Fi, Sept. 1, starting at 6 p.m.
An eight-hour marathon of the clever sci-fi show, just in time for the news that the Sci Fi Channel has... canceled it. Dummies.
MTV, Wednesdays, 10:30-11 p.m.
What's this? An MTV reality show that prizes hard work and discipline, and allows for the fact that there's more to life than new clothes, liquor, and thinking about (and having) sex? I have no interest in football; I'm completely fascinated by this well-made documentary look at the Hoover, Ala., high school football team.
5. Arrested Development season 3 DVD
A mere 13 episodes, but oh, what beauties. Tobias gets hair plugs; Richard Belzer appears as his Det. John Munch character, show narrator Ron Howard finally appears on screen... and the extras include the cast hilariously trying to get Jeffrey Tambor to come to the studio and record a commentary. A fitting end to an undeserved cancellation.