FRIDAY, September 7
Why wait until the new fall season to start bemoaning how all the new shows suck? You can get a sneak preview of many ballyhooed upcoming series at TV Preview Parties at the Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of Television and Radio). Tonight kicks things off with a screening of K-Ville, Back to You Nashville and Kitchen Nightmares. The series of vile crap continues through Tuesday. Then you can go home and re-watch every episode of The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman, a show far too hilarious to ever be on network television. Paley Center for Media, 465 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills; free admission, suggested contribution $10, $8 students & seniors, $5 children. (310) 786-1025.
The 2007 County Fair press release promises “Real Men Are Knitting at the L.A. County Fair.” Have they really run out of ideas? Then there’s this teaser: “Knit/Crochet Speed Contest Gets the Hands Moving.” Okay, now we’re talking blood! It’s hot, it’s far — but you will find more deep-fried food on a stick than anywhere else, plus real animals, rides, eco-crap, garden displays — you know, a county fair. Bands this year include Heart, the B-52’s, Earth Wind & Fire (tickets extra). Pomona Fairplex, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona; Wed., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thurs., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-mid.; Sat., 10 a.m.-mid.; Sun., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; free admission on Fri., Sept. 7, 1-5 p.m.; $6 after 5 p.m. (909) 623-3111.
SATURDAY, September 8
This one writes itself: “From the creators of Hollywood Hell House?.?.?.? a new experience for the virgin in us all: The Hollywood Father/Daughter Purity Ball! It’s purity season! So come and experience the evangelical phenomenon sweeping the country. Come for a night of dining, dancing and decisions. And don’t worry if you have already lost your virginity — use this opportunity to reclaim it!” Bill Maher is the keynote speaker, and the brain behind the goofy thing is writer Maggie Rowe of Sit ’n’ Spin sorta-fame. Yeah, it’s tongue in cheek — but whose tongue is in whose cheek? Bulgarian Cultural Center, 1530 Vermont Ave., Hlywd.; Sat., Sept. 8 & 15, 8 p.m.; $30, includes dinner, dancing (to the Cousin Lovers) “and the chance to reclaim your virginity.” (323) 960-5771.
SUNDAY, September 9
What’s a frog’s favorite game? It’s croak-et! If you thought that joke was even a tiny bit funny, or you enjoy talking about frogs and snakes and such, or you are just looking for other people who enjoy frogs and snakes and such, you won’t want to miss the North American Reptile Breeders Conference & Trade Show, with 100 dealers and their 10,000 geckos, frogs, iguanas, snakes, lizards and tortoises. Here’s another one to share with your new friends: What would you get if you crossed a newborn snake with a basketball? A bouncing baby boa! Anaheim Convention Center, 800 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim; Sat., Sept. 8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 9, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; $15, $8 children. (708) 932-8044.
MONDAY, September 10
It’s shorts season — short films that is! Thank you! Good night, everybody! The 11th International Short Film Festival is under way. It’s the largest short-film festival in the world, and it’s right in our own backyard for us to not go to. With some 700 shorts screened during the weeklong festival, you’ll have a hard time choosing which films not to see! AMC Burbank Town Center 6, 770 N. First St., Burbank; Sept. 5-17; $10, $15 panels, $275 all-access pass, $25 awards ceremony. (310) 289-4262. For schedule: www.lashortsfest.com.
TUESDAY, September 11
Hey, ladies! And lady-friendly nonladies. Now we have Lady Party 911: The Conversation, with comics Jessi Klein and Jessica Chaffin hosting on the topic “Punishing the Princesses: The Media’s Obsession With Condemning Paris, Lindsay and Britney.” Adding to the mix will be porn queen/sex educator Nina Hartley; Jen Sincero, author of The Straight Girl’s Guide to Sleeping With Chicks; and neo-feminist philosopher Tracy McMillan. Note the use of “neo” — those three little letters mean business. The mood should be on the party side when lady hip-hop trio Yo Majesty takes the stage with their sexy, thumping message. Brought to us by Object, “a fresh female forum bent on transcending the side-choosing women’s politics of yore.” Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park; Tues., Sept. 11, ?8 p.m.; $12, $8 before 8 p.m. www.sayobject.com.
WEDNESDAY, September 12
Close your eyes and pretend it’s a Saturday morning in the mid-’90s and you’re lying in bed with a fierce hangover listening to Joe Frank on KCRW lull you into a blurry state created by man-made poisons and characters doing odd and ordinary things — oh wait, those were my Saturday mornings in the mid-’90s. The good news is that Joe Frank is back with a new show called The Blue Room, which he will perform live with a band. Largo, 432 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A.; every Wed., 9 p.m., thru Sept. 26; $20. (323) 852-1073.
THURSDAY, September 13
Metropolis, Fritz Lang’s classic black-and-white masterpiece about a world populated by thinkers and workers will be screened while Vox Lumiere performs music and dance. Thank the Santa Monica Drive-In at the Pier for this one. Bring blankets; folding chairs can be rented for $5. West Parking Deck, Santa Monica Pier; Thurs., Sept. 13, 7 p.m.; free, but tickets required and can be picked up at the Visitors Center at 1920 Main St., Santa Monica. (310) 458-8900.