Some people go to church or watch a big game every Sunday, but in my house, we have a bunch of friends over every week for quality TV-watching. From Game of Thrones to Mad Men, the best shows are on Sunday nights — and why should everyone have to pay for premium cable, anyway?
With last week’s final premiere of Breaking Bad, the living room was packed with friends eager to get their Heisenberg on. But first came True Blood. Our friends who aren’t Trubies could not possibly be briefed on the show’s web of outlandish storylines, which left them asking, “Is this supposed to be funny?” (The answer to this is always, “Yes!”) And, mostly, “Why?”
It goes without saying that True Blood (Season Finale, 9 p.m. Sunday, HBO) is no Breaking Bad — it’s not as serious, well-written or critically acclaimed. You’re never going to re-watch an episode by yourself, scrutinizing every scene. It’s a freaking vampire sex show most of the time.
I can’t believe I still watch True Blood, but I’m not ever going to stop. Sure, it’s lost its original spark, but True Blood is an event. Maybe I’ve been glamoured, but from the moment the first twangs of “Bad Things” start playing, it’s on. TB is meant to be enjoyed with a group of friends, laughing out loud over its sheer absurdity. And so next season (it has been renewed for a seventh) we’ll be back, waiting to see the resolution to whatever cliffhanger we’ll inevitably be left with this week.
Earlier this season, our fickle protagonist claimed she wanted to return to being “the girl in the white dress” — that simple Southern belle who was only just a little weird when we first met her. But those days are gone. Now she’s seriously considering committing, eternally, to someone she (and the audience) only barely knows. Will she or won’t she? Elsewhere, we’ll see a new threat to humans and vampires, a significant time jump (fairy stuff?) and, surely, the Jason-on-Eric sex dream sequence we’ve all been waiting for.
WEDNESDAY AUG. 14
The Bridge (10 p.m., FX) – Sonya gets friendly with a key witness. Marco looks into Hank and Sonya’s past. Charlotte turns to an old friend for help.
THURSDAY AUG. 15
Project Runway (9 p.m., Lifetime) – The return of the teams. Dun dun dun! Groups of three use materials from four different retailers to create luxe looks. Workroom drama spills onto the runway and Tim loses it!
Wilfred (10 p.m., FX) – Bruce (Dwight Yoakam), the only other person who sees Wilfred like Ryan does, is back. And he gives Ryan some advice that frightens Wilfie. Snip, snip, snip …
The Pitch (Season Premiere, 11 p.m., AMC) – Ad agencies go head-to-head for a chance to run a company’s campaign. It’s fast-paced, contemporary creativity you just don’t see on Mad Men (though AMC will milk the comparison for all it’s worth).
Polyamory: Married and Dating (Season Premiere, 11 p.m., Showtime) – This steamy docu-series follows relationships that include more than two people. Returning this season is “the pod” — Michael and Kamala, Jen and Tahl. The two respective married couples live under one roof in San Diego. New this season are husband and wife Chris and Leigh Anne and their girlfriend Megan, in their first permanent poly relationship.
Watch What Happens Live (11 p.m., Bravo) – The show that features a nightly drinking game in the clubhouse where Kenya Moore debuted “Gone with the Wind Fabulous” tonight welcomes the one and only Oprah Winfrey.
FRIDAY AUG. 16
Comedy Bang! Bang! (10 p.m., IFC) – Gillian Jacobs (Britta, Community) and Jason Mantzoukas (Rafi, The League) swing by this episode devoted to cliffhangers. Special appearances by Chris Hardwick, Adam Scott and Michaela Watkins.
SUNDAY AUG. 18
Breaking Bad (9 p.m., AMC) -– On last week’s Talking Bad, creator Vince Gilligan teased that the “moving parts” Lydia mentioned at the car wash would come into play in this episode. Elsewhere, something from Skyler’s past begins to catch up with her; Jesse continues to crumble under his guilt.
Dexter (9 p.m., Showtime) -– Hannah, Zach, Vogel. Blah, blah, blah.
TUESDAY AUG. 20
Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cincinnati Bengals (10 p.m., HBO) – Go inside the locker room and on the practice fields with Marvin Lewis and the team.