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Quarry (Friday, Sept. 9, Cinemax), series debut: If Quarry were premiering on HBO instead of lesser-subscribed-to cousin Cinemax, it would be hyped like the second coming of True Detective (Season 1, of course). The 1972-set crime-noir series is based on the novels of Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition) and directed by Greg Yaitanes (the late, great Banshee), so Quarry’s pedigree is already as hard-boiled as they come, and the pilot episode delivers even harder—but it’s a slow burn, so patience. U.S. Marine Mac (Logan Marshall-Green) returns home to Memphis after enduring a harrowing—and well-publicized stateside—tour in Vietnam, only to encounter anti-war hippie-hate and bleak job prospects; even his devoted girlfriend, Joni (Jodi Balfour), is wary of him. When approached by a man calling himself The Broker (Peter Mullan), a mysterious crime boss looking to hire a killer with Mac’s marksman skills, Mac initially turns down the offer, but is inevitably sucked in—because, crime-noir. Quarry (named both for Mac and The Broker’s rocky meeting place and the hunter/game definition) is grittily crafted down to the most-minute details, and then spun with jarring twists, all anchored by Marshall-Green’s intense, mercurial performance. Here’s the second season of True Detective you really wanted.

Son of Zorn (Sunday, Sept. 11, Fox), series debut: Fox has moved up the debut of combo animation/live-action comedy Son of Zorn a couple of weeks to be unleashed after an NFL doubleheader—because if there’s anything the ever-intellectual football audience loves, it’s hyper-weird meta-sitcoms. Son of Zorn, from writer-directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord (The Lego Movie, though I prefer “the creators of MTV’s unheralded classic Clone High”), is about cartoon warrior Zorn (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) leaving the ’toon nation of Zephyria and returning to flesh-and-blood Orange County to reconnect with his ex-wife (Cheryl Hines) and son (Johnny Pemberton). He’s Sterling Archer in He-Man’s body, and SoZ doesn’t bother to look for much comedy beyond that, because how could mashing-up two Fox mainstays—ridiculous cartoons and quirky suburban families—possibly fail? Barring Bob’s Burgers-level development from lame pilot to much-improved series, Son of Zorn isn’t long for this world … or Zephyria.

Masters of Sex (Sunday, Sept. 11, Showtime), season premiere: Bill Masters (Michael Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) finally cross over into the ’70s—burn those bras, and break out the polyester (but not too close to each other; flammability was a major concern back in ancient ’Merica). The sexual revolution that Masters and Johnson inadvertently sparked in the ’60s is also in full swing—insert all puns here—but Bill’s in no position to enjoy it, as he’s battling in court to keep his controversial practice while battling other demons in AA. He’s also still estranged from professional partner/obsession Virginia, who ran off with Dan (Josh Charles) at the end of last season. The former Mrs. Masters, Libby (Caitlin FitzGerald), is D-U-N with Bill and exploring her new world of options like a champ. (Thanks for that sexual revolution, M&J.) Season 4 of Masters of Sex also steers a bit lighter than the tearjerkers of the past few years—obviously, the hair and clothes alone are comedy gold.

Legends of Chamberlain Heights (Wednesday, Sept. 14, Comedy Central), series debut: The only funny aspect of Comedy Central’s new animated series Legends of Chamberlain Heights is the name of the school where it’s set: Michael Clarke Duncan High. That’s it.

American Horror Story (Wednesday, Sept. 14. FX), season premiere: As of this writing, there’s been no “official” announcement from FX regarding the theme for Season 6 of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story anthology series—just a handful of promos that were meant to be misleading. Where to go after Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show and Hotel? My personal pick would be American Horror Story: Comcast Service Center. Review-dumpster website Rotten Tomatoes recently listed the upcoming season as American Horror Story: The Mist, but that was once a Stephen King novel and movie, and Spike already has a related television series in development. Themes hinted in the promos include aliens, cults, the Antichrist, radiation fallout or even a return to Hollywood (à la Season 1, Murder House), but why not make a play to get Connie Britton back with American Horror Story: Nashville?

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Narcos (Friday, Sept. 2, Netflix), season premiere: When last we left the semi-biographical Narcos, Colombian cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) had just escaped the Greybar Hotel, with errybody on both sides of the law out to take him down. Given, you know, history, the promo tagline of “Who killed Pablo Escobar?” is somewhat moot (hint—it wasn’t old age), but Narcos is even more terrifyingly tense in Season 2. (After seeing this, it’s even harder to believe that those Entourage twinks actually “made” an Escobar film once upon a time.) It’s also a bit more personal, with Moura revealing the man behind the monster on occasion—since we’re staring down the barrel of Escobar’s ultimate demise this season, it’s a nice, empathetic touch that sets Narcos apart from certain Drug Guy Downfall movies that don’t live up to their posters. (Yes, I’m talking about Scarface—admit it, it sucks.) It’s Labor Day Weekend; you know what to do.

Mary + Jane; Loosely Exactly Nicole (Monday, Sept. 5, MTV) series debuts: On the mellower end of the drug spectrum, here’s MTV’s Mary + Jane, a marijuana-delivery comedy arriving a week ahead of HBO’s similarly-themed High Maintenance. Scout Durwood and Jessica Rothe star as Jordan and Paige (not Mary and Jane—psych!), Los Angeles pals who start a medical-weed concierge service and are, natch, thrust into Whacky Misadventures. M+J sometimes comes across like Broad City recast with Instagram models, but Durwood and Rothe bring the funny when the material clicks. MTV’s other comedy premiere tonight, Loosely Exactly Nicole, likewise, is more hit than miss, and a waaay better showcase for comic Nicole Byer than Fox’s virtually unwatched trainwreck Party Over Here. (Don’t recall it? Lucky you.)

StartUp (Tuesday, Sept. 6, Crackle), series debut: The new drama from Sony streamer Crackle (it’s that orange app you never use on your various viewing devices), StartUp, is Crackle’s most ambitious grab for original-content cred yet: A Miami criminal splits town, leaving a pile of dirty money with his financier son, Nick (Adam Brody), unbeknownst to the FBI agent (Martin Freeman) on dad’s trail. Instead of turning the loot over, Nick hides it by investing it all into a digital currency startup, GenCoin; cat-and-mouse crime intrigue, Haitian mob ties and furious keyboard clacking ensue. Maybe it should have been a two-hour movie instead of a 10-episode series, but StartUp is just flashy enough draw some critical attention to Crackle, aka Jerry Seinfeld’s Rich Dudes in Pricey Cars channel.

Atlanta (Tuesday, Sept. 6, FX), series debut: Finally, a project that will allow me to forgive Donald Glover for abandoning Community for half-assed hip-hop (not a Childish Gambino fan, sorrynotsorry). Like Aziz Ansari’s Master of None, Glover’s Atlanta isn’t what anyone expected, but something more than a comedy (though there are hilarious moments) or a drama (ditto, heavy moments); those vague, dreamy FX promos were perfect, because whatever this is couldn’t possibly be summed up in a 30-second spot. The bones of the story are that Earn (Glover), his rapper cousin Alfred (Brian Tyree Henry) and Alfred’s bud Darius (LaKeith Lee Stanfield, the sure-to-be-breakout star of the series) are struggling to move up from abject poverty to slightly less-abject poverty, and the events … just happen. Atlanta unfolds like an indie flick in no hurry to get any Big Moments, which might make it an even harder sell on mainstream cable than Baskets was—but hey, that got a second season, so anything could happen.

From Dusk Till Dawn (Tuesday, Sept. 6, El Rey), season premiere: In other obscure channel news, ever heard of the El Rey Network? Had no idea there was TV series based on a classic Mexi-vampire flick? (Facepalm.) Anyway: From Dusk Till Dawn was Robert Rodriguez’s first original series to debut on El Rey (also his network) in 2014, a blown-out, 10-episode expansion of his 1997 movie, with new Gecko Brothers (D.J. Cotrona and Zane Holtz), a new-and-somehow-even-hotter Santánico (Eiza Gonzalez), a new scary-ass adversary (Wilmer Valderrama—yes, really), and a new ending that set up further seasons (like Rodriguez was going to cancel his own show). Where FDTD has gone from there is, well, loco; since this column’s increasingly apparent mission is to constantly promote Netflix, go there and catch on Seasons 1 and 2.

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The Strain (Sunday, Aug. 28, FX), season premiere: The most disconcerting part of the Season 3 opener of The Strain, FX’s scariest series (sorry, American Horror Story)? Setrakian (David Bradley) reminding us that it’s only been 23—23!—days since the Euro-vampires landed in New York City. Dr. Eph (Corey Stoll) is boozing through the pain of his girlfriend’s death and his son’s kidnapping by his now-vamp wife, and his bio-weapon is losing its lethality against “the munchers”—all of this stress could explain why his hair won’t grow back. The locals believe they’re still “New York Strong,” but even the military, which has essentially given up on saving the city, is outmatched. (It does make for some great Call of Duty: Vamp Town action sequences, though.) New Yorkers are on their own to fight The Strain … but what’s a little vampire takeover after beating back a Sharknado?

2016 MTV Video Music Awards (Sunday, Aug. 28, MTV), special: In a twist this year for the MTV Video Music Awards, the Best “Rock” Video nominees—All Time Low, Coldplay (!), Fall Out Boy ft. Demi Lovato (!!), Panic! At the Disco and Twenty One Pilots—are nearly out-rocked by the Best Electronic Video Nominees—and I can’t even tell you who they are, because they all look and sound identical! Is there really a difference between Calvin Harris, Mike Posner and The Chainsmokers besides hoodie textures? And why is there a Best Collaboration Video category when practically every video in every category has a “Ft.” guest? (I’m guessing “Ft.” means “Featuring,” though it could just as well stand for “Filler twits.”) And why is elderly lady Britney Spears performing? And where’s my channel-clicker? I’ve gotta watch five hours of MTV Classic now.

You’re the Worst (Wednesday, Aug. 31, FXX), season premiere: TV’s funniest comedy took a decidedly unfunny turn last season to deal with the clinical depression of Gretchen (Aya Cash), and still managed to wring some laughs out of a downer detour. In Season 3, You’re the Worst gets back on track with not only Gretchen and Jimmy (Chris Geere) in a relationship (and hating it, and loving it, and being confounded by it), but also a pairing of Edgar (Desmin Borges) and Dorothy (Collette Wolfe) and, to a weirder extent, Lindsay (Kether Donohue) and Paul (Allan McLeod). History dictates, however, that at least one, if not all, of these couplings will devolve into a hot mess—and it’s going to be glorious (and, thanks to creator Stephen Falk’s masterful writing, painfully real). Seasons 1 and 2 of The Only Anti-Rom-Com That Matters are on Hulu; get on it now.

Marcella (Streaming, Netflix), new series: Yeah, it debuted back in July—don’t make me play the There’s Too Many Shows card! Marcella, a British series that’s made its way stateside via Netflix, comes from producer/writer/director Hans Rosenfeldt (FX’s late, great The Bridge), with Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies; the late, not-great American Odyssey) in the title role as a troubled London detective back on the case of a suddenly active-again serial killer. If the setup sounds a bit “been-there,” consider some of Marcella’s troubles: Her husband (Nicholas Pinnock) has just left her for a younger woman at his legal firm; said woman is among the killer’s latest victims; Marcella suffers from rage blackouts after which she occasionally awakens covered in blood. Is she a murderer? Or, at the very least, sane-ish? The answers don’t necessarily come, but Friel is fantastic, and Marcella is cooler than any new cop show arriving this fall on ’Merican TV.

Aquarius (Saturdays, NBC), the final episodes: This is how it ends, not with a bang but a Saturday-night burn-off. After being bumped from the NBC schedule for more than a month due to political conventions, the Summer Olympics and Season 2 ratings that have sunk lower than a 4 a.m. infomercial for a Charles Manson box set (“Charlie Don’t Surf: The Complete Manson Masterworks! Order now!”), Aquarius is (un)officially over. The final six episodes of David Duchovny’s historical-ish ’60s cop romp will be blown out two-a-night for the next three Saturdays, and thanks to the show’s delusional five-season plan, there’s likely no wrap-up here, and we’ll never find out if the LAPD ever caught Manson, damn it …

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The Get Down (Friday, Aug. 12, Netflix), series debut: It’s the last Prestige TV debut of the summer, and viewers and critics alike are probably going to go easier on Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down than they did on that other high-profile ’70s NYC musical-history tour, HBO’s Vinyl. It’s nearly as messy as that Martin Scorsese/Mick Jagger rock ’n’ roll blowout, but The Get Down, which chronicles the origins of hip-hop in the Bronx, uses that chaos to better effect—it just takes a few episodes to, well, get down to it. Like Vinyl, The Get Down kicks off with an overstuffed 90-minute episode that tries to introduce everything but accomplishes little; unlike Vinyl, it gets better and, occasionally even stunning, from there. Unfortunately, Part 1 is only six episodes; Part 2 won’t drop until 2017. Didn’t anybody explain to Luhrmann how Netflix works?

Perfect Sisters (Saturday, Aug. 13, Lifetime), movie: This is billed as a new “Lifetime Original Telefilm” even though it was actually a 2014 theatrical release—but that was in Canada, so who cares? Perfect Sisters stars Abigail Breslin and Georgie Henley as the daughters of a violent, alcoholic mother (Mira Sorvino). Fed up with mom’s abuse, asshole boyfriends and drunken insistence that she used be an award-winning actress in Woody Allen films, the sisters plot to knock out Mom with sleeping pills and drown her in the bathtub; spoiler (since it’s based on a true story): They succeed. Enough with the downer dramas, Mira—let’s make Romy and Michele 2 happen, already.

Odd Mom Out (Mondays, Bravo), new season: I know nothing of the book Momzillas, nor author Jill Kargman, who stars as a wackier version of herself in the Momzillas-for-TV adaptation Odd Mom Out, which has all-too-quietly entered its second season. (Where’s the promotion, Bravo?) Kargman is charmingly manic; she and her co-stars (including a consistently scene-stealing Abby Elliott) save OMO from becoming what could have been a flat send-up of Manhattan-mommy culture and over-privileged urbanites. It didn’t even have to be this sharp and funny: Odd Mom Out, mercifully, isn’t another bullshit Bravo reality show (it’s the cable net’s second scripted series, after the surprisingly good Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce). Anything that takes programming time away from The Real Housewives of Who the Hell Cares? is all right by me.

Elvis Lives! (Tuesday, Aug. 16, AXS TV), movie: Who should we trust with bringing the conspiracy theory that Elvis Presley didn’t actually die on Aug. 16, 1977, to the screen? Mark Cuban’s deep-cable music channel and the producers of Sharknado, duh. Set two months before his “death,” Elvis Lives! finds The King (played by B-movie vet Jonathan Nation) fat, druggy and paranoid for his life—but not for the obvious health reasons: He believes a crime syndicate is out to get him because of his FBI testimony against them, contrasting with the historical 1970s reality that the feds just thought Elvis was a caped loon requesting a badge. In this film, he got that FBI badge and faked his own death to become an undercover agent … yeeeaaah. Cool concept, but zero threat to the ultimate Elvis-never-died movie, Bruce Campbell’s 2002 cult classic Bubba Ho-Tep.

2016 Summer Olympics (Through Aug. 21, NBC), sports: Has anyone noticed that, due to NBC’s coverage of the Republican National Convention, the Democratic National Convention, and now the 2016 Summer Olympics, Aquarius hasn’t aired a new episode in more than a month? And the remaining six episodes of Season 2—which has been an improvement on Season 1 so far, despite lousy ratings—haven’t even been scheduled? Is NBC planning on burning them off on Saturday nights before the fall TV season arrives? Or shipping Aquarius off to a cable cousin like Syfy or USA? Or, worse, NBC.com? When are we going to learn how the ’60s ended? Or if David Duchovny finally caught Charles Manson? With or without an assist from Special Agent Elvis Presley? So many questions; so little interest in the Summer Olympics.

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Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23 (Netflix; 26 episodes): Before she was Jessica Jones, and after she was a Breaking Bad casualty, Krysten Ritter was the funniest bitch ABC ever dared to cancel. Besides Elisabeth Hasselbeck, anyway.

Gravity (Hulu, 10 episodes): But, before she was the B, Ritter starred in this mopey-but-magnetic Starz dramedy about a suicide-survivors group. The show is occasionally as dark-humored as Jessica Jones. Original title: Suicide for Dummies.

Penny Dreadful (Hulu, Netflix; 27 episodes): The just-ended Showtime steampunk soap opera is one part Victorian X-Files and 50 parts crazeepy (crazy + creepy), with Eva Green’s killer performance inducing all of the feels.

Better Off Ted (Netflix; 26 episodes): Ted Crisp (Jay Harrington) works for mega-corporation Veridian Dynamics, an obvious precursor to Mr. Robot’s Evil Corp., in yet another of ABC’s genius comedy cancellations.

Happyish (Hulu, Netflix; 10 episodes): Steve Coogan (stepping in for Philip Seymour Hoffman) seethes hilariously as an advertising man in waaay more midlife turmoil than Don Draper ever drank through. A 2015 one-season-wonder.

The Venture Bros. (Hulu; 26 of 75 episodes): Not just the best cartoon on Adult Swim, but the best—and most densely back-storied—animated series ever, with a richer character bench than the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Yeah, I said it.)

Birds of Prey (Amazon Prime; 13 episodes): In 2002, long before the DC Comics TV takeover, The WB gave us Batman’s daughter, Huntress, fighting crime and metahumans in Gotham. For DC completeists mostly … or only.

Human Target (Amazon Prime; 25 episodes): And another DC Comics property: a 2010 Fox take on a snarky bodyguard-for-hire (Mark Valley) action thriller. Also starring Jackie Earle Haley (Preacher) and Janet Montgomery (Salem).

The Good Guys (Netflix; 20 episodes): A criminally (ha!) overlooked 2010 Fox buddy-cop comedy starring Colin Hanks and an over-the-top-of-the-top Bradley Whitford as Dallas detectives. Not to be confused with the lesser The Other Guys.

The Riches (Amazon Prime, Netflix; 20 episodes): Killed off by the 2008 TV writers’ strike, The Riches, about a family of traveling grifters led by Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver, should have been an FX classic, not a footnote.

Invader Zim (Hulu; 27 episodes): Pint-sized alien Zim is dispatched to Earth to prep the planet for takeover, resulting in one of the smartest and funniest cartoons ever to somehow wind up on Nickelodeon. Seriously, how did that happen?

Nikita (Netflix; 73 episodes): Where La Femme Nikita was ponderously talky and (sigh) Canadian, The CW’s Nikita upped the action and intrigue, putting Maggie Q and Lyndsy Fonseca upfront as serious (if 98-pound) ass-kickers.

Boss (Netflix; 18 episodes): Cutthroat Chicago mayor Tom Kane (Kelsey Grammer) keeps his degenerative dementia a secret and makes House of Cards’ Frank Underwood look like a pansy. Another Starz shoulda-been hit.

Lucky Louie (Amazon Prime; 13 episodes): Louis C.K.’s comedy experiment—a cheap ’70s-style sitcom with adult language and nudity—plays even better now than it did in 2006, removed from TV critics who don’t “get it.”

Huff (Crackle; 26 episodes): Hank Azaria starred as troubled psychiatrist Dr. Craig “Huff” Huffstodt in this overlooked 2004-2006 Showtime series, along with Paget Brewster and Oliver Platt. No, no one else has heard of it, either.

Secret Diary of a Call Girl (Hulu; 32 episodes): The professional misadventures of high-end London escort Belle (Billie Piper) are funny, sexy and even educational—and a lot more fun than The Girlfriend Experience.

Daria (Hulu; 66 episodes): Your old VH1 Classic channel has just been replaced with MTV Classic, a new ’90s rerun home for Beavis and Butt-head and its superior spinoff, the masterfully deadpan Daria. Watch it on Hulu instead.

Dead Like Me (Amazon Prime, Hulu; 29 episodes): The oft-forgotten link in the TV resume of creator/producer Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies), this is a Showtime dramedy about grim reapers living—and soul-collecting—among us.

Friday the 13th: The Series (Amazon Prime; 72 episodes): This late-’80s horror-cheese had nothing to do with Jason, just possibly incestuous cousins (John D. LeMay and the gloriously big-haired Robey) and cursed antiques.

Sheena (Crackle; 35 episodes): Ex-Baywatcher Gena Lee Nolin played barely clothed “Queen of the Jungle” Sheena in this early-2000s jigglefest that might be the dumbest series ever syndicated. No, definitely the dumbest.

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Sharknado: The 4th Awakens (Sunday, July 31, Syfy), movie: Who’s joining Ian Ziering and Tara Reid (apparently, the #AprilLives campaign from Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! worked) this time? David Hasselhoff (Baywatch), Gena Lee Nolin (also Baywatch), Alexandra Paul (again with the Baywatch), Gary Busey (snubbed Donald Trump VP candidate), Cheryl Tiegs (elderly model-shamer), Carrot Top (elderly prop comic), Stacey Dash (pretend Fox News “conservative”), Duane Chapman (“Dog” the Bounty Hunter), Vince Neil (Motley Crue), Corey Taylor (Slipknot/Stone Sour), various “personalities” from Bravo reality shows, and more from the “Is Pepsi OK?” department of central casting. After chomping on Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C., the next logical (?) locale to be hit with a Sharknado is, of course, Las Vegas. (Don’t fret; Palm Springs will probably get its turn by Sharknado 16.) Now the story … doesn’t matter in the least, duh.

2016 Teen Choice Awards (Sunday, July 31, Fox), special: The Teen Choice Awards are voted by kiddies age 13-17, so can anyone explain the nomination of Jennifer Lopez’s barely-seen cop serial Shades of Blues for “Choice TV Drama”? Or geezers like Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton in the music categories? Or R-rated Deadpool for, oh, everything? Technically speaking, these are not “teen” choices, nor are any other nominations recognizable to the writers, and readers, of publications such as this one—if it can’t be experienced at an outdoor amphitheater in a $200 camping chair with pinot, brie and a golden retriever within reach, it doesn’t exist. The YouTube and Vine “Star” categories, however, make complete sense—expect Nash Grier to clean up at the 2028 Teen Choice Awards for his dramatic work in Chicago A/V, produced by Dick Wolf Jr.

Squidbillies (Sundays, Adult Swim), new season: Both Squidbillies and Duck Dynasty premiered for their respective 10th seasons this month, just a week before the 2016 Republican National Convention—coincidence? All three represent modern ’Merican (note, not necessarily American) values: god, guns, gumption, plus a general rejection of science, facts and reality. But while one is a tedious, worn-out, idea-depleted show about a crew of self-absorbed fakes who are only in it for the money, and so is Duck Dynasty, Squidbillies remains a vital, instructive window into the soul and “thoughts” of Redneckia, USA, whether it resides in the Deep South, at your neighborhood Walmart, or in those “Hussein Obama” emails your parents keep forwarding. These characters are among us …

Ghost Hunters (Wednesday, Aug. 3, Syfy), season premiere: … and they watch Ghost Hunters, guaranteed. This is the Season 11 premiere—11! More than a decade of finding no ghosts! Would you be able to keep your job if you produced zero results in that timespan? (No need to answer that, chiropractors and TV critics.) Like Finding Bigfoot (still not “found”) and Keeping Up With the Kardashians (nothing ever happens to “keep up with”), Ghost Hunters is an explicably long-running reality series that spawns even-worse imitators every year and … wait … did you hear that? I’m sensing something over there in the corner! Let me turn on my EMF meter … hmmm, it’s not picking up anything … BECAUSE GHOSTS DON’T EXIST! HUNT OVER! JUST! STAHP! Oh, this is the final season? I’m off to see my chiropractor then.

Stranger Things (Streaming, Netflix), new series: I could use the “There’s Too Many Shows” excuse yet again for letting the premiere of Stranger Things slip by me—but it stars Winona Ryder, so the whole incident is just unforgivable. This retro-creepy fright fest throws Steven Spielberg, Stephen King and a dizzyingly giddy amount of ’80s horror-flick references into a blender and hits “Puree,” becoming progressively scarier as episodes roll out. Ryder plays—and occasionally overplays, but NBD—a grief-stricken Indiana mom holding out hope that her missing teen son might be found, but Stranger Things isn’t just her story: There’s also a Goonies-worthy troupe of misfit kids, a telekinetic girl, a government conspiracy, a flesh-eating monster, a parallel dimension and … well, you should be all in, or completely out, by now. Note that this will be the one and only time I’ll ever recommend ’80s revivalism.

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BoJack Horseman (Friday, July 22, Netflix): Prior to the premiere of Season 3, Netflix released promo art that placed cartoon character BoJack Horseman (voiced by Will Arnett) in the same league as troubled dramatic TV anti-heroes Tony Soprano, Don Draper and Frank Underwood. It’s no joke: They all struggled to find happiness within the American Dream (though it could be argued that House of Cards’ Frank Underwood is simply nuts—and still a better presidential choice than anyone running in reality), and so continues BoJack. He should be happy: He’s back in the public eye, doing press and Oscar (!) campaigning for his dream starring role in Secretariat … but it’s all meaningless, hollow crap. More so than depression and ennui—yes, a cartoon has forced me to break out the fancy words—BoJack Horseman is about the aggressive shallowness of Hollywood and celebrity, and Round 3 goes even deeper and darker than before. This might be a good time to mention that this show is also funny as hell. Really, it’s everything as hell. BoJack Horseman should win all of the awards, not just the handful of niche critical trophies it has already … but awards don’t bring joy or a sense of achievement … so … I don’t know what to think. Thanks, BoJack.

Looking: The Movie (Saturday, July 23, HBO), movie: Canceled more than a year ago by HBO, Looking was never a flashy “Gay!” series, but a low-key and honest, if occasionally over-talky, depiction of everyday (but, admittedly, ridiculously good-looking) gay men in San Francisco—which could be why it only lasted 18 episodes. Unlike those in the then-groundbreaking Queer as Folk more than a decade ago, the characters of Looking have nothing to prove or reveal; they’re already out and established, and just trying to get through this thing called life. Looking: The Movie is a 90-minute series wrap-up, and easily one of the more satisfying TV finales in recent memory. (At least it’s better than the unexpected ends of HBO’s Vinyl, Togetherness, The Brink, Enlightened, Bored to Death, etc.)

Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour (Sunday, July 24, History), series debut: Ozzy Osbourne and son Jack are back on reality TV—but this time, it’s educational-ish. The 10-episode Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour is a travelogue history lesson (on the History channel? GTFO) hitting such destinations as Mount Rushmore, Stonehenge, Roswell, the Jamestown Settlement, Sun Studios and even The Alamo, which Ozzy famously pissed on in the ’80s when he was chemically insane (as opposed to whatever strain of insane he is currently). World Detour has its share of funny, obviously scripted “reality” moments, but Ozzy’s indecipherable mutterings and Jack’s … what does he bring to the table again? … feel 10-years played-out.

MadTV (Tuesday, July 26, The CW), series re-debut: The CW’s recent 20th anniversary special for MadTV proved that there’s little from the 1995-2009 Fox sketch-comedy series that holds up today—so this must be the perfect time to revive it as summer filler. The “new” MadTV features an unknown cast of varyingly talented newbies who could have come up with something better if not stuck with an ancient brand name that means nada in 2016, as well as forced guest-appearances by original Mad cast members dredging up best-forgotten characters from the past. (Seriously, no one needs to endure “Mrs. Swan” and “Stuart” ever, ever again.) Even if Maya and Marty hadn’t just destroyed any possibility of sketch comedy working in modern primetime, MadTV would still be a tough (re)sell.

Wayward Pines (Wednesday, July 27, Fox), season finale: Well, that was a complete waste of time. It’s getting harder to remember how good Season 1—you know, the originally planned only season—of Wayward Pines was; I’d say the limp, unnecessary follow-up is the Speed 2: Cruise Control of sophomore TV seasons, but poor Jason Patric (who replaced Keanu Reeves in that movie, and Matt Dillon on Wayward Pines) has been through enough, and I can’t completely dismiss 1997 Sandra Bullock in a bikini. Anyway: I’m rooting sooo hard for the mutants outside the walls of Wayward Pines (the unfortunately named “Abbies”) to kill off all of the remaining humans on Earth and any chance of a third season. The only remaining question is … Is Speed 2 on Blu-ray?

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Vice Principals (Sunday, July 17, HBO), series debut: While I still contend that Eastbound and Down was one of the greatest TV comedies ever, I’ll also admit that it was long out of material by its fourth and final season, and that Danny McBride probably shouldn’t carry a series on his own—and, most importantly, that water jetpacks are cool AF. HBO’s new Vice Principals, which re-teams McBride and writer/producer Jody Hill, solves one problem right away by giving McBride’s “new” character—basically Kenny Powers minus the mullet—a foil in Walton Goggins (Justified). The pair play high school vice principals vying to replace the retiring principal (Bill Murray!)—until the school district hires an outsider (Kimberly Hebert Gregory), prompting them to take a break from pissing on each other in staggeringly escalating volleys of vulgarity and instead team up to bring her down. Vice Principals is E&D 2.0; it’s as familiar as it is funny (Kenny Powers haters, however, should stay far away), with the added bonus of Goggins in full-on comedic weirdo mode. There are no water jetpacks, but it is still worth checking out.

Ballers (Sunday, July 17, HBO), season premiere: This is back, huh? HBO canceled the Tim Robbins/Jack Black political comedy The Brink, but kept Dwayne Johnson’s Ballers … what-ever. I get that people like the sportsball and all, but Johnson still isn’t completely convincing in an “underdog” role, here as a Miami pro-footballer-turned-sports-finance-manager leading the hard-knock life of making millions while baby-sitting millionaires surrounded by hot models and hotter cars. Fortunately, the comic broship between Johnson and Rob Corddry saves Ballers from slipping entirely into the Entourage douche-abyss, but I’m still waiting for a little more … something … to justify Season 2.

BrainDead (Mondays, CBS), new series: Apparently, tagging BrainDead as “from the creators of The Good Wife” and placing insanely appealing star Mary Elizabeth Winstead upfront hasn’t been enough to get CBS viewers to buy into a political sci-fi thriller/comedy about brain-munching space bugs. (I know, right?) Too bad, because what initially looked to be nothing more than summer filler designed to at least pull the same numbers as NCIS: Los Angeles reruns (it hasn’t—not even close) is a smart, funny and subtly scathing commentary on Beltway bullshit … oh, that’s why it’s not working on CBS. BrainDead would have been better off on CBS cable cousin Showtime, and we’d all be better off if it followed Ray Donovan on Sundays instead of Roadies, peppering in some Veep-level F-bombing and more-graphic gore (though the brain-splattery is pretty impressive for a network series). I would recommend just waiting to binge BrainDead when it eventually winds up on CBS’ pay-streamer All Access … but nobody’s going to buy into that, either.

2016 Republican National Convention (July 18-21, most channels), convention coverage: Spinal Tap, Drew Carey … Donald Trump. The Holy Trinity of Cleveland comedy is now complete, thanks to what’s sure to be the most hilarious political debacle since Hunter S. Thompson hit Washington D.C. in 1971. (Wiki it, kids.) The 2016 Republican National Convention, being covered live from Cleveland by most broadcast and cable outlets—curiously, not Cartoon Network—will likely be the zenith of Trump’s Idiocracy rise, the moment when true believers and detractors alike finally come to the stark realization, “This is really happening … Fuuu … .” Not that the Democratic National Convention later in the week is going to offer much more hope for the nation (In my defense, I’ve said “Hillary Clinton will never be president” many times, but those statements were made back in reality!), but this particular RNC is going to be special. Or apocalyptic. But definitely entertaining.

Shooter (Tuesday, July 19, USA), series debut: For every great call USA makes (Mr. Robot, Colony, Queen of the South), there are a couple of “WTF?!” moments (the recent renewal of Chrisley Knows Best; moving WWE Smackdown to Tuesdays; the continued existence of Suits). I’m not sure where Shooter, based on the 2007 Mark Wahlberg flick, falls: It looks like an intriguing drama (ex-Marine sniper comes out of retirement to stop a presidential assassination, only to be framed for said assassination), but with caveats (the aggressively-meh Ryan Phillippe stars as “Bob Lee Swagger”—lamest porn name ever). Also, how did the producers not use the only non-loathsome song Robin Thicke ever recorded, “Oh, Shooter,” as the series’ theme? Missed opportunities, people.

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The Night Of (Sunday, July 10, HBO), series debut: One review has already beaten me to the punch in tagging HBO’s new crime miniseries The Night Of as “the longest, bleakest Law and Order episode ever,” but I’ll press on. Novelist/screenwriter Richard Price (Clockers, The Wire) and writer/filmmaker Steve Zaillian (A Civil Action) spend eight episodes chronicling eight bad, bad days in the life of Nasir Khan (Riz Ahmed), a New York City college student who thinks he’s lucked into the Manhattan party of the year—until he wakes up covered in blood next to a girl who’s been stabbed to death. Much tense and ssslllooowww drama unfolds from there, with none-too-subtle call-outs to an overtaxed justice system, the constant state of surveillance in which we live, racial profiling and, of course, The Wire (Michael Kenneth Williams!). More so than True Detective, The Night Of is an intricately produced downer of an art flick for crime nerds—but it still Law and Orders so hard that you half expect Ice-T and Richard Belzer to cross in the background.

Running Wild With Bear Grylls (Monday, July 11, NBC), season premiere: The biggest surprise about Season 3 of “famed adventurer” Bear Grylls’ (not to be confused with “famed insurance adjuster” Bear Grylls) celebrities-in-wilderness-peril-but-not-really reality show? Actual celebrities: Courteney Cox! Vanessa Hudgens! Nick Jonas! Lindsey Vonn! That’s more bonafide stars than have been featured on 45 seasons of Dancing With the “Stars,” if not the Sharknado franchise. First up on tonight’s season premiere is Julianne Hough, a perfectly lovely dancer/singer who nonetheless deserves to be thrown off African cliffs and waterfalls, and threatened by elephants and snakes, because of the painful “acting” she’s inflicted upon the ’Merican public. (Ever seen Rock of Ages? Safe Haven? Grease: Live? She’s getting off easy here.)

Maya and Marty (Tuesday, July 12, NBC), season finale: When Maya and Marty first premiered, I told you that the stars and the setup instilled “more confidence than the network’s previous variety-show attempt, Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris.” If I strangled your toddler to death and then used the corpse to beat your grandmother into a coma while blasting some Florida Georgia Line jams from my Confederate-flag-and-TruckNutz-adorned Dodge Ram, I’d still feel more obligated to apologize for kinda-recommending Maya and Marty. Whereas Best Time Ever at least tried some new tricks (“new” meaning “stolen from James Corden and Jimmy Fallon”), M&M is just an undead collection of rejected Saturday Night Live sketches for Maya Rudolph and Martin Short to shamble though like The Walking Dead gang smeared in zombie guts, desperately trying to avoid attention. Again, sorry (to you too, NPH).

Difficult People (Tuesday, July 12, Hulu), season premiere: It defies all logic that Billy Eichner would be tolerable in larger “acting” doses than he was in brief Parks and Recreation bursts (his Billy on the Street series doesn’t count—he’s meant to be insufferable there), but Difficult People works, hilariously. Along with co-star Julie Klausner, Eichner makes the daily kinda-grind of being self-absorbed New Yorkers who hate everyone but each other sing like an off-Broadway musical about frustration, contempt and loathing that their characters would love to see, but getting to that part of town would be too much of a bother—because who cares, anyway? Eichner and Klausner are great here, but it’s James Urbaniak (The Venture Bros.) who steals the show. Don’t miss another season of Difficult People.

Mr. Robot (Wednesday, July 13, USA), season premiere: So that was a hell of a first season few expected from USA and Mr. Robot, a show I initially dismissed as just “Fight Club meets The Matrix in a Dilbert strip.” As Mr. Robot progressed over last summer, it became clear that this was game-changer for not only a previously sleepy network, but basic-cable-as-prestige-TV as a whole (and it’s also the first Christian Slater series to not be canceled on arrival, so that’s something). Elliot (Rami Malek) and hacker group fSociety finally brought down E(vil) Corp at conclusion of Season 1, but did it solve anything? Is the 99 Percent any better off? (No.) Is Elliot still nuts? (Yes.) Could Season 2 actually be darker than the first? (Going by the initial episodes, oh hell yes.). Mr. Robot is also getting its own live after-show, Hacking Robotnot hosted by Chris Hardwick, BTW.

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Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll (Thursday, June 30, FX), season premiere: The debut of Denis Leary’s Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll last summer presaged two rock-centric dramas, HBO’s just-cancelled Vinyl and Showtime’s currently meh Roadies—and his occasionally haphazard, always-swaggering comedy still nails inter-band relationships better than either. As Season 2 opens, Johnny Rock (Leary) and his Assassins bandmates react to the death of a fellow musician—2016 is the year for it—as only rock narcissists would: We each gotta establish solo-career immortality! (Wiki “Kiss,” “1978” and “mountains of record-company cocaine,” kids.) As terrible/hilarious as that idea sounds, SDRR doubles-down with actor Campbell Scott (as himself) buying the Irish Potato Famine rock opera by bassist Rehab (John Ales) from Season 1 and remaking it as a Hamilton-esque Broadway musical. Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll is still gloriously ridiculous—rip off the knob, and turn it up.

Greatest Hits (Thursday, June 30, ABC), series debut: In 2015, a study circulated stating that the average person stops seeking out and listening to new music at the age of 33, settling into a one-ear-in-the-grave groove of just sticking with the tunes of their formative years. This is why all “classic rock” radio stations play the same 20 songs every day, as opposed to the same 10 songs spun into the ground hour after hour on younger-skewing “pop hits!” stations, broken up by regular 12-minute ad breaks on both. So, if you’re dead inside enough for commercial radio, Greatest Hits is probably for you: O.G.s (Original Geezers) and newer artists come together to perform the chart-toppers of yesteryear. Sound harmless? Tonight’s premiere episode features the union of REO Speedwagon and Pitbull. Think about what you’ve let happen, ’Merica.

Killjoys (Friday, July 1, Syfy), season premiere: Neither Killjoys, nor its Friday-night companion, Dark Matter, were ratings blowouts in their debut seasons last summer, both hovering at around 1 million viewers a week—but at least they got Syfy back into space (and, as observed in publications geek-thinkier than this one, projected a more realistically race- and gender-diverse future than most sci-fi series). Killjoys, about a trio of interplanetary bounty hunters (Hannah John-Kamen, Aaron Ashmore and Luke Macfarlane) working a quadrant seething with societal-class tensions (before Syfy’s pricier The Expanse did it), was more fun, balancing action, humor and clear stakes, and letting John-Kamen’s Dutch just be a badass heroine with none of the genre’s usual Strong Female Lead hype. A Season 1 Hulu binge here is a must, more so than with …

Dark Matter (Friday, July 1, Syfy), season premiere: Syfy seemingly thought Dark Matter would be last year’s insta-hit, promoting it heavily and leaving Killjoys to bat cleanup. But a really, really, really ridiculously good-looking cast didn’t make up for a muddled storyline (six people wake up on an adrift spaceship without memories, but with specific mercenary skills and bad attitudes) and a dreary, claustrophobic setting. (Their ship made the Battlestar Galactica look like a Carnival cruise.) Even though Season 2 opens with the gang entering an intergalactic prison in their undies—well-played, Syfy—the Sexy Six will see more of the outside world this time around before unleashing some vengeful ass-kickery onto the Corporate Warlords (which I’m trademarking as a band name as you read). In addition to more focused plotting, Dark Matters has scored a major get in casting Franka Potente as a galactic authority determined to bring the group down. Season 1 is on Netflix, but you might as well just jump in now.

Lady Dynamite (Streaming, Netflix), new series: Yeah, I missed this when it debuted—have I mentioned that There’s Too Many Shows? But there’s no better way to spend the Fourth of July weekend than watching all 12 episodes of Maria Bamford’s Lady Dynamite, a meta-comedy that does for bipolar disorder what Bojack Horseman did for depression, and Jessica Jones did for PTSD: Make entertaining, thoughtful art out of the usually “too heavy” to even talk about. Lady Dynamite’s time-jumping storytelling and fourth-wall-breaking asides would be overkill even in a less-surreal setting, but the long-underrated Bamford (and a boatload of guest stars) makes the weirdness of this semi-autobiographical story work seamlessly—and kudos to Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath for one of the most self-deprecating rock-star cameos of all time. Sounds good, feels right.

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