An unscripted series about a family-owned private security company in Ringgold, Ga., might be an unlikely follower to AMC’s grippingly dark Breaking Bad. But those who stuck around and actually watched the series premiere of Small Town Security (11 p.m. Sundays, AMC) got a glimpse at true TV gold.
When high school chemistry
teacher/part-time car washer Walter White was faced with this grim
conundrum, he sought out a former student-turned-delinquent and created a
new formula of crystal meth to pay for his medical bills and provide a
safety net for his growing family. A six-time Emmy-winner, Breaking Bad goes beyond your standard
good-person-gone-bad/drug-related drama. The writing is outstanding and
each character’s performance is spot-on.
During the past seven years, audiences
have seen Mary-Louise Parker’s Nancy Botwin transform from loveable,
suburban pot-dealing widow/mom to arsonist to Mexican cartel queen to
prison lesbian and back again in Weeds.
While there’s plenty of
hilarious human-dog hijinks (verbalizing dog thoughts/characteristics
never gets old), it’s the deep, psychological undertones that give Wilfreda dark edge not found in many other current shows (and makes it a great lead-in to Louie). While American remakes of shows tend to dumb down or lighten up, our Wilfred
(with the same actor, Jason Gann, playing the title character) takes
even more disturbing turns than its Australian counterpart.
From writer/producer Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, The Social Network, Moneyball) comes a new series about the people behind nightly cable news. The Newsroom (10 p.m. Sundays, HBO) follows journalist Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) and his journey from fair-and-balanced News Night
anchor to cable rebel after a revealing and potentially career-ending
public outburst in which he shares his opinions about news and politics.
HBO’s Documentary Films Summer Series
presents a different intriguing, timely film each Monday through July
30. The series covers a vast array of topics, from social issues to pop
culture, each with a unique perspective. First up is One Nation Under Dog: Stories of Fear, Loss and Betrayal (9 p.m. Monday), a three-part documentary that sheds light on America’s complicated relationship with canines.
A few seconds of True Blood’s
opening credits (set to Jace Everett’s “Bad Things”) are all it takes
to set the mood and excite audiences of the intoxicating vampire drama,
which returns for a fifth season Sunday (9 p.m., HBO). With flashes of
alternating sexual and religious, gritty, Southern-fried, swampy images,
this intro perfectly encapsulates what fans love about the show without
even mentioning vampires.
HBO’s latest television film follows the
professional and romantic journey of literary great Ernest Hemingway and
legendary journalist Martha Gellhorn. Starring Clive Owen and Nicole
Kidman as the title characters, Hemingway & Gellhornis on at 9
p.m. on Mondays.
Ever since the days of Stick Stickly
(Nickelodeon’s popsicle stick seasonal host of the ’90s), I’ve loved me
some summer television. When you get burnt out on bikinis and barbeques,
crank up the AC, crack open a beer and check out these summer shows.
ignorant, beer-bellied McDonald’s masticator: It’s a punchline of
American society. But the fact that nearly 70 percent of American adults
are overweight or obese is not a joke — and the makers of The Weight of the Nation (8
p.m. Monday and Tuesday, HBO) show that it’s more detrimental to our
country than many believe.
When selecting television bits to feature in this column, I’m
constantly trying to balance out all the funny programs I love with
dramas and other options. To me, comedy is like pizza — whether it’s
simple or sophisticated, cheesy or over-the-top, there’s something for
everyone and it’s usually pretty good.
If I had to pick fictional television characters to represent 2000s-era humans for a future generation, 30 Rock’s
Liz Lemon would be my No. 1. Tina Fey’s character, while over the top,
really represents the average snack food-loving workaholic.
Thanks to a certain Alaskan, woman’s
journey to the White House will forever have an embarrassing footnote
left over from the 2008 election. After countless women, from Eleanor
Roosevelt to Hillary Clinton, fought for gender equality in politics,
the woman who came closest to the presidency famously flubbed the story
of Paul Revere.
A group of young women balance life, love
and work as they try to make their mark on New York City. Sound
familiar? But where Carrie and Co. represented an embellished fantasy of glamorous, high-powered, sexualized New Yorkers, HBO’s Girls offers a more realistic view of entering adulthood as a 21st century female.