The motorcycle gang thriller that’s subtly influenced by the story of Hamlet — Sons of Anarchy (10
p.m. Tuesdays, FX) — returned Sept. 10 for its sixth and penultimate
season. President of biker club SAMCRO Jax Teller must remain true to
himself as he balances smart moves for the club against what is safe for
his family’s future.
As HBO’s gripping period piece Boardwalk Empire
(Season Premiere, 9 p.m. Sunday) returns for a fourth season, months
have passed since last year’s explosive finale. It’s February 1924.
Nucky Thompson has been lying low, eventually making peace with mob boss
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.
Following Dexter is Showtime newcomer Ray Donovan (10
p.m. Sundays), starring Liev Schreiber as a man with a messy job — one
we’ve seen before. But that familiarity doesn’t make it any less
Based on a true story, Orange Is the New Black
(now available on Netflix) follows Piper Chapman (played by a very
convincing Taylor Schilling) as she trades in her Brooklyn yuppie life
with a loving fiancé for 15 months in lock-up and a prison wife.
It’s September 2011. Occupy Wall Street
is in its early stages, the country mourns the 10-year anniversary of
9/11, the 2012 election race is in full swing — a tumultuous and
exciting time to re-enter The Newsroom (10 p.m. Sundays, HBO).
The Newsroom is at once a
high-minded critique of what television news divisions have become
(ratings-obsessed entities more concerned with the bottom line than with
“speaking truth to stupid,” as one character puts it) and a wit-infused
comedic drama with myriad romantic subplots (most of which come off as
clunky rip-offs of the one that anchored James L. Brooks’ far more
successful Broadcast News).
Television gets a bad rap for being the
poor man’s medium. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of weak and
culturally regressive programming out there, from The Bachelor to Huckabee.
But because of its accessibility and popularity, fads on television
often represent greater cultural trends.