REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK – BRAVO – 9PM
The boisterous NYC ladies return tonight with a 90 minute premiere and if the promos are any indication, Ramona is at the center of the show this season. Don’t look for Jill Zarin, Kelly Bensimon, Cindy Barshop, Alex McCord or her pleather-pantsed hubby Simon – none of them were invited to return. The new recruits are: Heather Thomson, Carole Radziwill and Aviva Drescher. Sonja Morgan is still part of the group, as is LuAnn Lesseps. There’s sure to be plenty of Ramona Pinot Grigio, raised voices, gaudy jewelry and for the love of all things holy, let’s hope Ramona has another “pregnancy” scare. I haven’t seen a screener so I’ll admit to being very curious about the three publicity hounds/never-got-enough-attention-from-Daddy-when-they-were-young newbies they’ve added to the show. I’ve set the DVR for this as I’m heading over to the TV Academy this evening for a live table read of the Paddy Chayefsky script of “MARTY” with Ray Romano, Joel McHale, Anna Gunn, Dermot Mulroney, Brenda Vaccaro, Loretta Devine and lots more talent.
PUSH GIRLS – SUNDANCE CHANNEL – 10PM
This show is a rarity among reality shows: it’s inspiring, funny, sweet and the women are interesting and dimensional. All of them had life-changing accidents and wound up confined to wheelchairs. Some have more mobility than others. Each and every one of them are spirited, smart, determined and it’s truly heartening to watch how they support and inspire each other. I saw them at the last round of TCA sessions and attended a press lunch with them a couple weeks ago. They are all working hard to support themselves, and issues like medical insurance become even more of an obstacle for them than they are for most of us. This is the show that demonstrates how absorbing and moving reality TV can be without being a trainwreck; tune in at 10pm tonight and see why.
HELL’S KITCHEN and MASTERCHEF -- Gordon Ramsey owns the night on FOX with his twinspin of shows.
EARLY HEADS UP: TNT and USA premieres
TUESDAY 6/5: RIZZOLI AND ISLES returns at 9pm, followed by FRANKLIN AND BASH season premiere at 10pm
WEDNESDAY 6/13: DALLAS premieres at 9pm
SUNDAY 6/17: FALLING SKIES big two-hour season premiere at 9pm
WEDNESDAY 6/6: ROYAL PAINS returns at 9pm with a drama-filled premiere (more about that tomorrow and I have an interview with the showrunners for you), followed by the season premiere of NECESSARY ROUGHNESS at 10pm
THURSDAY 6/14: BURN NOTICE season premiere at 9pm, followed by the season premiere of SUITS at 10pm
JULY 10: WHITE COLLAR and COVERT AFFAIRS return. Spies and more spies!
SUNDAY NIGHT TV TRAFFIC JAM – Here’s what I got to last night:
VEEP - The sheer nastiness of this show keeps me coming back every week – and that should tell you something about my current state of mind. Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays it for laughs and I don’t know why, but I’m surprised she plays a bitch so well. I mean, Elaine Benes wasn’t always the nicest gal but Selena Meyer is colder and has a harder edge to her. Tony Hale continues to shine as Selena’s personal aide Gary, he’s literally the man who can’t say no to her, even when she asks him to break up with the man she’s been dating for her. I also loved the suicide pact between Selena’s PR man and aides (Matt Walsh, Anna Chlumsky and Reid Scott) that fell apart as soon as Selena pressured them the tiniest bit. And again, a reminder, from the same writers of VEEP, rent the film IN THE LOOP if you haven’t already seen it.
GIRLS - I never thought I could like the Adam character at all, but Lena Dunham has gone and fleshed him out more. He’s flawed but now we understand where some of that eccentricity comes from and a little more about how his brain and empathy impulses work. Most interesting is how Adam has become Hannah’s boyfriend, after the Bushwick party episode. The Marnie / Jessa story was ok but seeing Chris O’Dowd as the horny businessman who picked them up in the bar made it better. Who else loved when he shouted at them, “Do you know what it’s like to work hard?” and they answered “No”? Perfect. GIRLS is becoming a time capsule show, that is, a show you could put in a time capsule that shows a very specific place and time to future earth dwellers. Hannah’s unfettered honesty is still the outstanding takeaway for me but the entire show has become one I look forward to each Sunday.
MAD MEN - I was still reeling from Joan’s partnership “deal” and Peggy’s departure from SCDP last week, then this week’s episode delivered another punch as Lane Pryce’s check forgery is discovered, Don asks for his resignation from SCDP and Lane resorts to desperate measures. The brilliant touch: when the Jaguar didn’t start – I laughed out loud. The Sally story was wonderful and if Kiernan Shipka hasn’t already won your loyalty and admiration, she delivered yet another touching performance in this episode as Sally went on a secret date with Glenn and got her period in the middle of said date at the museum. Sally’s embarrassment drove her back to the home she hates and to Betty because she needed a mother’s comfort, which Betty is only minimally equipped to give. I was surprised Sally didn’t turn to Megan, who she likes more and seems to relate to a lot better. Poor Megan is out of the loop entirely as Don’s day spirals downward, and Sally disappears on her. Megan didn’t even get to see the dead guy at the office.
NURSE JACKIE - Bobby Cannavale continues to nail his role as the dictatorial hospital administrator who has a teenage son (played by Cannavale’s real life son) who is an addict. He finds out Jackie has befriended his son and then he discovers that Jackie’s drug problem escaped detection because Nurse Akulitis threw out Jackie’s urine sample months earlier. This entire season has been about action and consequence and it’s been a long time coming. Jackie is just as compelling to watch as she battles to stay sober and her custody battle with soon-to-be-ex-husband Kevin is wrenching as well.
THE FIRST HOUR OF THE MTV MOVIE AWARDS – This depressed me more than I can say. Does anyone remember when this show was something to look forward to? It had funny film parodies, a ton of good actors and actresses showed up because it was a funny show, and there were actual writers who scripted the presenter patter. All of that has disappeared and we’ve been left with a lifeless blob of a show rife with teens who scream at every mention of TWILIGHT or THE HUNGER GAMES. Even the red carpet show was boring: Kat Graham from THE VAMPIRE DIARIES was there as a fashion correspondent but she was so flustered or confused (not sure which), she couldn’t get many sentences out. Any MTV red carpet is a prime opportunity for fashion fun; I’m so disappointed they did practically nothing with it. The other hosts (they’re not VJs) were awful, they couldn’t even make small talk with celebrities WHICH IS THE REASON THEY’RE THERE. I watched the first hour and I’m sure I’ll watch the second hour at some point to see the Emma Stone bit and the Black Keys performance, but I had to switch over to the quality Sunday night TV because the Movie Awards were so blah. Troy Miller – where are you when we need you??!
Guilty confession: I have not seen all of this seasons GAME OF THRONES episodes so I can’t really talk about it.
THE L.A. COMPLEX - I have to mention this show because it became a springtime TV treasure. It’s soapy, dramatic and totally surprised me with how it hooked me into the stories. The show is allegedly returning with more episodes in July but I don’t have a solid return date yet. Download the free CW app on your iPad and watch the episodes; if you like the nighttime soap genre like REVENGE or SCANDAL, I think you’ll dig THE L.A. COMPLEX.
ON THE DVR: DROP DEAD DIVA - this is always a wonderful summer show because it boasts a strong core cast (just watch leading lady Brooke Elliott and try to resist her charm) plus they always get an eclectic assortment of guest stars. I like the show enough to overlook the fact that they booked Kim Kardashian for an episode.
TODAY’S SURF WRITTEN WHILE LISTENING TO: “Sweeter” by Gavin DeGraw: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlAk5Mr07UU
8:00 p.m. The Bachelorette (two hours)
10:00 p.m. Castle (R)
8:00 p.m. How I Met Your Mother (R)
8:30 p.m. 2 Broke Girls (R)
9:00 p.m. Two and a Half Men (R)
9:30 p.m. Mike & Molly (R)
10:00 p.m. Hawaii Five-O (R)
8:00 p.m. America’s Got Talent
9:00 p.m. American Ninja Warrior
10:00 p.m. Grimm (R)
8:00 p.m. Hell’s Kitchen (season premiere)
9:00 p.m. Masterchef (season premiere)
8:00 p.m. Breaking Pointe (R)
9:00 p.m. The Catalina (R)
That’s a wrap for now.