HOLIDAY COUCH POTATO GUIDE: Starz Does The '80's; Current at Burning Man; We Are All New Orleans


Here in the Bay Area, we’re trapped in our neighborhoods this Labor Day. The Bay Bridge is undergoing some serious earthquake retrofitting. The only direct route from the east bay into San Francisco is closed - yes, closed! - for the duration of the holiday.

Traffic is being funneled instead through Marin onto the Golden Gate Bridge. CHP just announced that they’re on the prowl with their new, super-fancy laser detectors (in lieu of the old radar detectors) and…let’s just say Marin’s 101 freeway won’t exactly be user-friendly this weekend.

So we’re staying home.

But this is Marin, so vegging at home is a pretty wonderful thing. We’re picking up some local organics at Farmer’s Market, kicking’ back with a bottle of Holdredge Pinot Noir, and booting up the 42 in. plasma.

If you’re similarly cribbin’, here’s a guide to what’s airing on cable over the weekend.

Love Shack Baaaaaay-beeeee! It’s 80’s weekend on Starz. Back by popular demand Starz Encore third annual big 80’s marathon returns, beginning at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) on Friday, Aug. 31.

Hosted by one of the original MTV VJs, Alan Hunter,"Big 80s Weekend" will feature 48 ’80s movies, a look at classic ’80s pop culture with trivia, news, movie videos, and more - including interviews with ’80s rockers Ted Nugent, Bret Michaels, and others.

Sci Fi Channel will run the six most popular Stargate SG-1 episodes based on their Internet polling. The "Viewer’s Choice Marathon" airs Friday, August 31, beginning at 4p ET. A ten episode Dead Like Me marathon begins Monday, September 3 starting at 8a.m. ET

Unfortunately, USA Network hasn’t yet posted their September schedule, so if they’re planning a Monk marathon, I wouldn’t know. But it might be worth checking their website this weekend.

TNT hosts a Closer Labor Day Marathon with at least twelve episodes starting at 10 a.m. and Disney Channel’s The Suite Life of Zack and Cody 20-episode block runs concurrently.

On N Channel it’s a feast of Degrassi: The Next Generation. The 35-episode pack airs Sunday and Monday from 6p.m. to 2:30a.m each day.

If you haven’t had a chance to screen television’s best drama, AMC’sMad Men - the riveting homage to the early ’60’s - this marathon gets my gold star recommendation for the holiday. The show is highly serialized and a marathon is a great way to play catch-up.  Get started on all seven episodes (to date) of Mad Men beginning Sunday, at 10 a.m. ET.

FX’sDamagesis also another series that lends itself to marathon viewing. Damages is chock full of plot twists and turns and flashbacks so FX’s Labor Day block, from 3p to 8p ET., will bring you up to date on this Glenn Close/Ted Danson legal thriller.

Discovery Channel celebrates working for a livin’ with…what else…a whole day of Dirty Jobs starting at 9a ET on Monday and ending at midnight.

"Make Yourself at Home" at Hallmark Channel.  The Perry Mason marathon begins Saturday at 1p ET; a Murder SheWrote block starts at 8a ET on Labor Day.

Rock And Roll Saturday! On HDNet - Stray Cats Rumble in Brixton noon ET, 9a PT

The Stray Cats are back!! 25 years after exploding onto the rock and roll scene, the original lineup of Brian Setzer, Lee Rocker and Slim Jim Phantom re-unite for one European tour. They’re followed by Kool and the Gang, DEVO, The Cult, Sammy Hagar, Allison Krauss and Vince Gill.  Two half-hour rock/talk shows permiere in between - True Music and Sound Off.  On Labor Day, A Black Donnellys marathon soaks up most of HDNet’s air time starting 9a ET (6a PT)

Current TV is live! From Burning Man. It’s no secret that Current is my favorite cable channel overall. This network, with their catchy graphics and diverse content, is beyond sticky. It’s super-gluey. It’s disruptive. Sometimes I dare not boot up the plasma screen because I know I’ll be stuck in front of the television for hours. The network should come with a "Beware of Glue" warning label. The channel is perfect for any viewer who simply wants to veg this holiday and feed their mind at the same time.

First, Burning Man Lives! A couple of days ago, an (alleged) arsonist torched the Burning Man prematurely. But organizers promise the structure will be rebuilt in time for the Saturday night Bacchanal when the effigy is scheduled to combust.

Through the end of the festival (Monday, Sept. 3), Current will broadcast TV Free Burning Man, a pirate tv station located on the playa (the ancient lake bed which is home to the event) "capable of bringing content to 50 million homes throughout N. America, the U.K., and Ireland."

TV Free encourages participants to create their own media, so the station is an ideal partner for Current which airs a rich mix of VC2 "pods" (viewer created content) or segments. According to the Current TV website, TV Free has constructed a "post dome" filled with editing stations available for use by filmmakers.

Footage is fed via satellite in real time to Current where it is posted on-line and showcased on air. Current says that as pods are produced and fed from the playa the network will essentially morph into TV Free Burning Man.

Tomorrow night (Friday, Aug. 31), Current will treat their audience to a "a very special live event." Look for the announcement on their website or on air.