DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

Social Media Manager

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

NOEL HOLSTON

GERALD JORDAN

JONATHAN STORM

DONNA J. PLESH

DAVID SICILIA

 
 
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SATURDAY
MAY 23
2015

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

ABC, 8:00 p.m. ET

Over Memorial Day weekend, ABC appears to be playing it safe: Repeating the first installments of 500 Questions tonight and tomorrow, to get even more viewers up to speed, while acknowledging that on this particular weekend, a lot of people are doing a lot of things other than watching television. So these same-week repeats also serve as a sort of place-holder, with original installments returning Monday night, when the holiday’s all but over.

 
  
 
 

HBO, 8:00 p.m. ET

We come to CGI Caesar, not to praise him. In this 2014 reboot prequel sequel (I know, it gets complicated), Andy Serkis reprises his motion-capture starring role as Caesar, the original super-smart ape who led the rebellion against humans and claimed the planet for his own species. This time around, his costars include Gary Oldman, Keri Russell and Jason Clarke.

 
  
 
 

BBC America, 9:00 p.m. ET

There’s some crucial information required by the clone club, and Felix thinks he knows how to get it – by visiting the icy, lethal, and now isolated and one-eyed Rachel.

 
  
 
 

BBC America, 10:00 p.m. ET

Tonight’s guests include Kylie Minogue, Simon Pegg, and Michael McIntyre. It’s Pegg, co-star of the upcoming Mission: Impossible installment, who tells a story about Tom Cruise pulling a prank on Pegg – in the middle of a car stunt.   

 
  
 
 

TCM, 10:30 p.m. ET

This 1989 film, directed by Edward Zwick, was an early example of cinematic synergy, with an excellent script based on a pair of nonfiction accounts, some excellent direction, and a stunning cast, most of them future all-stars: Matthew Broderick as the white leader of the North’s first all-black volunteer company in the Civil War, and with some of those soldiers played by Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman and Andre Braugher.

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

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

WE'LL MISS YOU, MR. LETTERMAN – With David Letterman’s retirement now upon us, I’ve been tasked with finding a Video Worth Watching from Dave’s thirty-three years on late night television. How do I choose a highlight from a career filled with highlights? The Velcro suit. His mom. His Christmas show. Jack Hanna. And on and on and on. But I think the one that will always be close to my heart, and to the hearts of millions of others, is the first show Dave did after September 11th. He spoke with emotion, grace, admiration, and love. Most of all, he helped all of us move toward our new normal and let us know it was all right to go there. When Dave was back on the air making a few jokes, we knew it was ok to laugh again. The man with the reputation as an old grump was the one who held our collective hands and let us know we were going to be whole...eventually. Yes, Dave brought silliness, intelligence, and irreverent fun to late night but he was also there when we needed him. Thanks for all the laughs, Dave, and thanks for looking after us. – Linda Donovan

 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

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


Big Time in Hollywood, FL
Comedy Central
Wednesdays
10:30 PM ET

The Graham Norton Show
BBC America
Saturdays
11 PM ET

Inside Amy Schumer
Comedy Central
Tuesdays
10:30 PM ET

Inside Comedy
Showtime
Tuesdays
11 PM ET

Louie
FX
Thursdays
10:30 PM ET

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
HBO
Sundays
11 PM ET

Maron
IFC
Thursdays
10 PM ET

Nurse Jackie
Showtime
Sundays
9 PM ET

Parts Unknown
CNN
Sundays
9 PM ET

VEEP
HBO
Sundays
10:30 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...

TV JUKEBOX

A new edition of Bianculli's favorite TV themes, coming soon!
 
 
 

From TV Worth Watching
TOP PICKS FOR YOUR HOME LIBRARY

The TVWW Seal of Approval is an honor we save for TV’s very best – our picks for a truly teleliterate home video library.
 
 

THE WONDER YEARS: THE COMPLETE SERIES SET – The Wonder Years ran for six seasons, from 1988 to 1993, and featured an adult narrator looking back on childhood with both nostalgic affection and a wizened perspective. It wasn’t a new idea for a sitcom – one of TV’s very first, Mama, pulled the same trick in 1949. But in The Wonder Years, which had narrator Daniel Stern portraying the adult Kevin Arnold looking back on his own junior high and high school years in the Sixties and Seventies, series creators Carol Black and Neal Marlens gave us one of TV’s all-time best comedies. Fred Savage stars as young Kevin, with Danica McKellar and Josh Saviano as unforgettable childhood friends Winnie and Paul, respectively. This complete set, which looked back at a previous generation, took another full generation to arrive on DVD, but it’s well worth the wait. – David Bianculli

 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
 
 

Dispatches from TVWW

In Praise of American Idol
By Alex Strachan
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
An Appeal to Hulu for 'Mindy'
By Monique Nazareth
 
 
 
 
 

 TV WWorth Buying
 TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$

John from Cincinnati: Season One

Bruce Greenwood (St. Elsewhere, 1986-88) has joined the final season of Mad Men as Joan’s decisive love interest. He briefly starred in David Milch’s 2007 HBO series John from Cincinnati, a tale of a dysfunctional surfing family in California. The story turns mysterious with the arrival of John, a seemingly dim-witted stranger, and then goes full metaphysical, with John presiding over paranormal, sometimes divine events. Milch’s Cincinnati was sandwiched between his other HBO ventures, Deadwood and Luck and could not find an audience for it’s very inventive brand of a modern second coming. It only lasted one season. On sale at Amazon for under $7.Eric Gould