Since 2008, fans of Breaking Bad (9 p.m. Sundays, AMC) have watched the show’s central character, Walter White (Bryan Cranston), make like the series’ title and slowly shed his morals, becoming a more ruthless beast — a far cry from his beginnings as a meek, sickly chemistry teacher. Now, in the final eight episodes, we are promised kind of a resolution with Walt, the family he’s endangered through his rise as meth mogul “Heisenberg,” and Jesse, the punk kid who became his right-hand man, only to be used and abused.
Between the endless audience and critic accolades and loads of awards, it’s clear Breaking Bad is one of the great modern television series. There was never an “off” season — showrunners never pulled any cheap stunts for ratings (besides maybe stretching this final season across two years), casting choices were excellent and characters were killed off only when necessary.
While the end is certainly imminent, there are even more ways to be Bad this season. After new series Low Winter Sun comes a late night-style show, Talking Bad (11 p.m. Sundays, AMC), mirroring the more aptly titled Talking Dead, which became a successful component of The Walking Dead mega-fan experience. Complete with the same Dead host, Chris Hardwick, the show will include behind-the-scenes looks, plenty of interviews with the cast and lots of Breaking Bad conspiracy theorizing, naturally. And, nerd alert: Monday’s episode of MythBusters (10 p.m., Discovery) is a highly anticipated Breaking Bad special, featuring science seen on the show, plus appearances by Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman) and creator Vince Gilligan. Gilligan is even in the works to create a Bad spinoff following Bob Odenkirk’s shady lawyer Saul Goodman. ’Til then, we’ll just start with how Hank deals with his recent bathroom discovery.
Project Runway (9 p.m., Lifetime) – The contestants design around bowties in this challenge; actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson joins the panel. Dhani Jones should have been a guest judge!
Wilfred (10 p.m., FX) – Wilfie challenges Ryan to confront his family.
FRIDAY AUG. 9
Comedy Bang! Bang! (10 p.m., IFC) – Zoe Saldana tries to keep up with the weird humor; cop swap; shenanigans by Paul F. Tompkins and John Carroll Lynch.
SATURDAY AUG. 10
The White Queen (Series Premiere, 8 p.m., STARZ) – This historical drama takes viewers to 1464 England, where Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort and Anne Neville go to great lengths to rise to power. This U.S. series will feature more sexual content than the previously aired BBC version (tip of the hat, Game of Thrones).
Clear History (9 p.m., HBO) – Curb Your Enthusiasm fans eagerly awaiting a new season will be happy to see Larry David and the Curb crew back to work in this HBO film. An atypically hairy David stars as Nathan Flomm, an exec at a smart car startup who quits the company after a trivial disagreement with his boss. Flomm gives up his stake in the company, which goes on to make billions. Ashamed and broke, Flomm changes his identity and moves to a remote island, re-establishing his life, until his past catches up with him. Jon Hamm, Bill Hader and Danny McBride also star.
SUNDAY AUG. 11
True Blood (9 p.m., HBO) – Juiced up on Warlow blood, Eric is kicking ass, taking names and day-walking his way to our vamp friends in danger. As for Sook, I do not have enough faith in the show to believe they will follow through with turning her, but I would really love to see Anna Paquin’s exquisite gap teef with a pair of fangs.
Dexter (9 p.m., Showtime) -– For those of you not experiencing the Time Warner Cable Showtime blackout, Hannah is back and I’m not OK with this. Besides Debra and Rita, Dex’s ladies have always left me disappointed. It never makes sense for Dexter to be with them, the characters are generally pretty flat and they never lead him in an interesting direction (What has he ever taken away from any relationship?!) Why in the final episodes of the series would they choose to resurrect the most recent ex? Elsewhere, Dexter has a change of heart and takes Zach under his wing — also dumb.
Low Winter Sun (Series premiere, 10 p.m., AMC) – Based on a popular British miniseries, LWS follows Detroit cops (Mark Strong and Lennie James) who murder a fellow police officer.
The Newsroom (10 p.m., HBO) – Family problems distract Will during a newscast; an old friend of Charlie’s reconnects with news about Genoa; nude photos of Sloan surface.
CONTACT JAC KERN: firstname.lastname@example.org or @jackern