DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

CANDACE KELLEY

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

DAVID SICILIA

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
 
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SUNDAY
JUNE 25
2017

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

MSNBC, 8:00 p.m. ET

MSNBC presented this documentary last Saturday, about the making of the 1976 movie about Watergate, starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. It was full of bits of behind-the-scenes information, featuring new interviews not only with the  movie’s two stars, but with the journalists they portrayed, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, as well as former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee. That documentary is repeated tonight, which makes it, if you think about it, All the President’s Men Revisited revisited.

 
  
 
 

National Geographic, 9:00 p.m. ET

DOCUMENTARY PREMIERE: Some environmental activists argue that moving away from coal production is key to meeting our long-range goals for reducing what are called greenhouse emissions. Some government figures, including the one at the top in the U.S., basically say that coal-plant production will be reduced only when you take the plants from their coal dead hands. Tonight’s documentary explains the rise, and the possible but by no means inevitable fall, of the coal industry. For a full review, see David Sicilia’s TV Moneyland.
 
  
 
 

Showtime, 9:00 p.m. ET

Last week was Episode 7 of this Twin Peaks reboot – approaching the halfway point for this eagerly awaited, 18-episode David Lynch-Mark Frost rematch. Among its contents was a lengthy scene in which a worker at the roadhouse sweeps up debris from the floor as the instrumental “Green Onions” plays, presumably on the jukebox. But there also were moments of more arguable import, as when Diane (Laura Dern) came face to face with the dark alter-ego version of her former boss, Kyle MacLachlan’s Dale Cooper. But until the other Cooper, fighting some sort of amnesiac rebirth as the addled Dougie, regains his composure and memory, this new Twin Peaks has no hero, and, perhaps, little point. Tonight, Episode Eight.

 
  
 
 

PBS, 10:00 p.m. ET

MINISERIES PREMIERE: In the original series of Prime Suspect mysteries, Helen Mirren played Jane Tennison, a British detective whose investigative instincts and interrogation skills were equally exceptional – yet whose treatment by her peers and superiors, and even those she investigated, was riddled with misogyny and other measures of disrespect. How Tennison dealt with and rose above all that, despite some of her own very human flaws, was what made Prime Suspect, and in particular Mirren’s career-enhancing portrayal, so indelible. Beginning tonight, PBS imports a new series in which we see Tennison at the very beginning of her police career, in a new prequel miniseries set in 1973, and starring Stefanie Martini as young Tennison. We learn, very quickly, why Tennison distrusts most men, and also why she has an affinity for a certain liquor. Martini is good, but it’s the script, more than the performance, that most makes this prequel worth watching. To read and hear my full review on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, visit the Fresh Air website. Check local listings.
 
  
 
 

HBO, 10:00 p.m. ET

SEASON FINALE: Among other things, tonight’s season finale includes the final appearance by T.J. Miller as Erlich. And Erlich has been so much of a loose cannon from the start, what he might do when he doesn’t even have to suffer the consequences… well, it’s both frightening and amusing to contemplate.

 
  
 
 

HBO, 10:30 p.m. ET

SEASON FINALE: Last week, Selina (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) experienced something that, for her, was all but unprecedented: a good news day. And for tonight’s season finale, she rides that wave, both with the unveiling of plans for her presidential library and with a new cycle of TV talk-show appearances. But when Selina rides a wave, expect a wipeout.

 
  
 
 

HBO, 11:01 p.m. ET

Here’s yet another week that will be a challenge to recap. The “White House tapes” are dead, but the health care bill may be alive again – and that’s only for starters. Explain it, John Oliver – if you can. And this time, even though you got sued after last week show, keep the comedy coming. And the squirrels…

 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

There’s a Certain Glow About Them – Based on the ’80s show GLOW, the new Netflix series of the same name uses fictional characters to tell the back story of struggling actresses (and others) who were cast and became professional wrestlers. Starring Alison Brie (Community, Mad Men) and Betty Gilpin (Nurse Jackie), the tale of the spandex world of staged fighting gets a positive review from TVWW’s Ed Bark. Marc Maron is also along as the troupe’s coke-addled mastermind. Co-produced by Orange is the New Black’s Jenji Kohan, GLOW seems like the rightful sister companion to that series. All 10 episodes are available Friday, June 23rd. —Eric Gould

 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

  
   Visit TV We're Watching for these and other shows on
our DVRs right now...


The Carmichael Show
NBC
Wednesdays
10 PM ET

Flaked
Netflix
Streaming

GLOW
Netflix
Streaming

The Great British Baking Show
PBS
Sundays
9 PM ET

Loch Ness
AcornTV
Streaming

Orange is the New Black
Netflix
Streaming

Orphan Black
BBC America
Saturdays
10 PM ET

Real Time with Bill Maher
HBO
Fridays
10 PM ET

Silicon Valley
HBO
Sundays
10 PM ET

Twin Peaks:
The Return

Showtime
Sundays
9 PM ET
 
 

BUT WAIT... THERE'S MORE!


FRESH AIR FAVES

Audio of Bianculli's favorite 'Fresh Air' reports, and the stories behind them...


FAVES FROM
"THE MORGUE"

Bianculli's favorite newspaper articles, and the stories behind them...


EXTRAS & FEEDBACK

Share your favorite TV in-jokes and first TV loves...
 
 
 

Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for $20. (Paperback will be available September 5th, here.)

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
TV WWorth Buying
 TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$
The Chair

This is a reality show that fans of scripted TV will appreciate: the 2014 Starz series matching two aspiring directors against each other, filming the same screenplay, with the same budget, and both productions using locations in the same city. Brought to you by Project Greenlight creator Chris Moore, this is a fascinating look into how the written word branches off the page into two different visions. The Chair also has The Prize: a $250,000 check for the audience-voted winner. Each contestant cut is included. On sale at Amazon for under $20. —Eric Gould