Last week’s Sons of Anarchy (10 p.m. Tuesdays, FX) final season premiere broke network records with more than 9 million viewers tuning in to the first broadcast. And it makes sense — Sons does have its draws.
You’ve got the bikes and brawls that attract the coveted 18-40 male demographic. Then there’s the show’s star, Charlie Hunnam (Jax), whose abs alone have been known to lure viewers just hoping for a glance (he was tapped for Fifty Shades of Grey, after all). Even literary buffs have a reason to tune in — Sons is loosely based on Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet.
But there’s a major component of the series outside of motorcycle gangs, hot dudes and the Bard — it’s a story about fathers and sons, the lessons they learn and the legacies they leave behind.
Jax has consistently connected with the past through his father’s journals, and now he must make tough choices for the future if he wants to save his own sons from the danger that surrounds their dad and his club.
In the premiere, Jax wasted no time retaliating for the murder of his wife, as misplaced as that vengeance may have been. We certainly haven’t seen the last of betrayal and bloodshed, so the question remains: Can Jax break free from the cycle of sin to provide a better future for his sons, or are they as doomed as him?
WEDNESDAY SEPT. 17
Red Band Society (Series Premiere, 9 p.m., Fox) – This new Spielberg dramedy following a group of teens in an L.A. hospital stars Octavia Spencer as the nurse that keeps them all in line.
The League (10 p.m., FXX) – Ellie asks the Eagles’ Darren Sproles to a school dance; Pete interviews at TacoCorp; Andre does drag.
The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail (Season Finale, 12:30 a.m., Comedy Central) – Horror films; sets by Adam Cayton-Holland, Kyle Kinane, Thomas Lennon and Tom Wilson.
THURSDAY SEPT. 18
Project Runway (9 p.m., Lifetime) – The designers must create age-appropriate designs for pint-sized clients, drawing inspiration from American Girl dolls. #productplacement
Married (Season Finale, 10 p.m., FX) – Jess, Russ and Lina visit AJ in rehab, where their own personal issues surface.
Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories (Series Premiere, 12:15 a.m., Adult Swim) – Nightmare-inducing weirdness, now in weekly installments. Expect Tim & Eric regulars Zach Galifianakis and John C. Reilly, plus Bob Odenkirk, Jason Schwartzman, Roseanne’s Laurie Metcalf, The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan and lots of changing facial hair.
FRIDAY SEPT. 19
The Knick (10 p.m., Cinemax) – An unexpected encounter puts Edwards’ basement clinic and entire career at risk; Thackery and Bertie work to end their losing streak in the operating room; Cornelia dreads her impending marriage; Gallinger looks to comfort his grieving wife. Thack might have something for that…
SATURDAY SEPT. 20
On the Run Tour: Beyoncé and Jay Z (9 p.m., HBO) – Bey and Jay just wrapped up their successful OTR tour in Paris, and this special features performances from their final shows. After divorce rumors added fuel to the publicity firestorm surrounding the tour, the couple sparked a different kind of chatter following their Paris concerts — will Blue Ivy be a big sister soon? Looks like Beyoncé birthers and the Beygency might get to go another round.
SUNDAY SEPT. 21
Boardwalk Empire (9 p.m., HBO) – Nucky sets his sights on the gambling industry, hosting a potential partner from Boston (infamous racketeer Charles “King” Solomon, perhaps?). On the lam, Chalky finds himself a new partner and plan. Lucky and Bugsy catch up with Narcisse in Harlem. Margaret faces trouble because of her relationship with Rothstein, a character that was a true victim of the season’s time jump, having no on-screen send-off.
MONDAY SEPT. 22
Inside the Actors Studio (8 p.m., Bravo) – America’s lady-crush Mariska Hargitay talks Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and recounts her 15 years of portraying the incomparable Detective Olivia Benson. Dun-dun!
Gotham (Series Premiere, 8 p.m., Fox) – This new DC Comics drama tells the origin stories of Bruce Wayne/Batman, James Gordon, the Penguin, the Riddler, Catwoman, the Joker, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, Hugo Strange, Harvey Dent and Mr. Freeze.
TUESDAY SEPT. 23
The Mindy Project (9:30 p.m., Fox) – Danny’s mother (Rhea Perlman) visits the city and Mindy has a tough time winning her over.