Mary Kills People (Sunday, April 23, Lifetime), series debut: Canadian actress Caroline Dhavernas has starred in left-of-center American series like Wonderfalls and Hannibal, but Mary Kills People is probably the first to fully realize her oddly chilly-sexy potential. (It’s also a Canadian production, so no U.S. credit earned.) As the title bluntly spells out, Dr. Mary Harris (Dhavernas) kills people—terminally ill patients who want to go out on their own terms, specifically. Her secret Angel of Death gig threatens to spill over into every other aspect of her life, echoing dark-side classics like Weeds and Dexter, and Dhavernas’ complex Mary is an easy equal to Nancy Botwin and Dexter Morgan. The first season of Mary Kills People is only six episodes, but it’s an addictive taste of what should be more to come. Make it happen, Canada!
Silicon Valley (Sunday, April 23, HBO), season premiere: Another season, another seemingly insurmountable clusterfuck for Pied Piper: Thanks to the fallout from using a click-farm to artificially boost the popularity of the clunky compression platform made by Richard (Thomas Middleditch), no one wants to fund Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani) and his viable-and-already-blowing-up video-chat app—coder probs, am I right? Silicon Valley, aka Nerd Entourage, makes far more sense if you’ve ever worked in the digital world, where the only physical product is the occasional promo hoodie or sport bottle, and egos run rampant (I have; this show nails it uncomfortably well), but the funny is universal. In an unlikely parallel to HBO’s Girls, Season 4 of Silicon Valley sees the crew growing apart—but clothed, thankfully. And I stand by this: A little T.J. Miller goes a long way.
Dimension 404 (Tuesday, April 25, Hulu), season finale: Hulu’s six-episode anthology series Dimension 404 is like a more comedic take on Black Mirror—then again, pretty much anything is comedic compared to Black Mirror. The series’ premiere episode, “Matchmaker,” was a twisty riff on dating-app tech in which Joel McHale gave a more lively performance in under 30 minutes than he has in 20 episodes of the dead-eyed slog of The Great Indoors. (Please, CBS, kill that show, and set Joel free.) Another installment, “Cinethrax,” starring Patton Oswalt, began as a cautionary commentary on the divisiveness of insular nerd-elitism, only to have said insular nerd-elitism ultimately save the day (well, until—spoiler—aliens enslaved the planet). Dimension 404 isn’t a mind-blower, but it’s at least amusingly unpredictable—and now you can binge all six episodes.
Great News (Tuesday, April 25, NBC), series debut: NBC’s last great newsroom comedy was NewsRadio in the ’90s (30 Rock doesn’t count, and the hilarious antics of Brian Williams reside on MSNBC), but damned if they don’t keep trying. Great News is set behind the scenes of a cable-news show, The Breakdown, produced by Katie (Briga Heelan), a—you guessed it—frazzled, unlucky-in-love young career woman who becomes even more frazzled-er when her mom, Carol (Andrea Martin), comes aboard as an intern. For a Tina Fey production, Great News lacks the snap of 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, though vets Martin and John Michael Higgins (as The Breakdown’s old-school anchor) are reliably solid. Also, Nicole Richie is … here, for some reason.
The Handmaid’s Tale (Wednesday, April 26, Hulu), series debut: Here’s yet another bleak dystopian future in which the super-rich rule in a fascist theocracy—but wait, there’s more! Women are servile, disposable and mostly barren; those “lucky” enough to be fertile are treated like higher-grade animals, “wombs with two legs.” Fun, right? The Handmaid’s Tale, based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, was first given the screen treatment in 1990, but lends itself far better to a 10-episode series than that rushed, uneven film. In the society of Gilead, former-American-with-rights-turned-handmaiden Offred (Elisabeth Moss, fantastic as ever) is the designated baby-maker for Commander Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) and his wife, Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski); dehumanization and ickiness ensue. There are few slivers of light in the darkness here, but the payoff is worth it.
Game of Thrones (Sunday, April 24, HBO), season premiere: What comprehensive information do I have on the Season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones? None? What critical motivation do you need to watch it anyway? None. In 2015, HBO mailed out DVDs of the first four episodes of Season 5 for review. Those episodes were immediately uploaded to torrent sites by asshats who are likely members of the Television Critics Association, an elitist club of tubbies into which I—a TV reviewer with GoT discs in-hand who did not rip ’em and ship ’em to the pirate-verse—have been previously denied entry. Shortly afterward, HBO switched to difficult-to-copy, online-streaming-only advance screeners for critics to avoid another leak. This time around, HBO isn’t even allowing access to that, releasing only a plot synopsis for Season 6’s premiere, “The Red Woman”: “Jon Snow is dead. Daenerys meets a strong man. Cersei sees her daughter again.” Yeah …
Silicon Valley (Sunday, April 24, HBO), season premiere: After narrowly beating the Hooli lawsuit last season, the Pied Piper gang has fired Richard (Thomas Middleditch) as CEO, but at least offered him a lesser role as CTO (Creepy Twitchy Operator? I’m not up on corporate-speak). Erlich (T.J. Miller) and the O.G. Pied Piper team are questioning their loyalty to the company and, even worse (or better, depending on which side of the creative/business line you reside), their new heavy-hitter CEO (Stephen Tobolowsky) is bent on transforming their ramshackle startup into a slick enterprise, whether they like it out not (mostly not). Winter is coming hard in Season 3 of Silicon Valley—but, fortunately, Miller’s Erlich is as unreal, and kamikaze-hilarious, as ever (and, thanks to Deadpool, more than just an underground delight). Unlike Pied Piper, Silicon Valley deserves more mainstream love, as does …
Veep (Sunday, April 24, HBO), season premiere: We’re entering Season 5 of Veep, and there are still those who think the last thing Julia Louis-Dreyfus did was Seinfeld, or at least The New Adventures of Old Christine with that Coulson guy from S.H.I.E.L.D. While Veep isn’t the new Seinfeld—that would be It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, a far superior comedy to Seinfeld (I said it; you read it)—it is a hysterically accurate portrayal of vein-blowing frustration with the idiocy of daily life in, and out of, Washington D.C., with more F-bombs and slashing insults than HBO as seen since the days of Deadwood. More so than House of Cards, this is the fantasy election cycle—in which former Vice President Selena Meyer (Dreyfus) is desperately clinging to the presidency that was handed to her—that’s even more entertaining than our current real political sitcom.
TURN: Washington’s Spies (Monday, April 25, AMC), season premiere: Things may finally be getting at least somewhat interesting here. First season … I didn’t care about a Revolutionary War espionage drama. Second season … to avoid being confused with a NASCAR reality show, the title was upgraded from TURN to TURN: Washington’s Spies, and Ksenia Solo (Lost Girl, Orphan Black) was added to the cast—that got me to at least take a look. Now, Season 3 is set to blow up with not only the long-teased defection of Benedict Arnold, but also the arrival of George Washington’s right-hand man, Alexander Hamilton (yes, he of that Broadway musical). History nerds are positively turgid.
Mike and Molly (Monday, April 25, CBS), spring premiere/final episodes: Six years ago, I wrote an investigative piece about a plausible Mike and Molly conspiracy theory: It’s really a leftover UPN sitcom from 1998, recycled and repackaged for 2000s CBS. The facts: UPN and CBS were/are owned by the same corporation; the laugh track is cranked to tellingly ’90s levels; Mike and Molly, despite featuring several talented comic actors, is painfully unfunny—just like every comedy ever produced by UPN (with the exception of the criminally underrated Shasta McNasty). Maybe the theory is true, maybe not, but Mike and Molly still sucks. But! Not as hard as most sitcoms CBS has introduced since 2010—most notably The Odd Couple, Angel From Hell and, sweet Jesus, Rush Hour. So, with the last seven M&M episodes upon us, this column offers a heartfelt-ish Sorry Not Sorry.
After “Are you still writing for that paper?” and “Why did I assume you were dead?” the question I’m most often asked is: “So, what’s good on TV?”
Sure, I write a readily available weekly column about what’s good on TV (and not-so-good), and produce a podcast (TV Tan—look it up on iTunes and Stitcher) covering the same, but you can’t be expected to keep up with it all. Quality programming? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
You do, actually: Let’s pretend that daily “live” TV viewing didn’t die along with print journalism several years ago, and let’s scroll through the week with a day-by-day breakdown of what to Watch (good stuff deserving of your attention) and, for the hell of it, Hate Watch (stuff so terrible that it’s fun to mock) right now. Or DVR it all for a weekend binge—I don’t know your lifestyle.
Thursday: Even though the network tried to kill its biggest hit by moving it to Thursday nights, The Blacklist (NBC) is still a must-Watch. TV critics are divided on The Comedians, but I say it’s a worthy lead-in to Louie, and that’s all that matters (FX). On the Hate Watch front, there’s Lip Synch Battle (Spike), a “singing” competition that’s done away with singing altogether. Jimmy Fallon’s next “viral innovation”: Celebrity Naptime.
Friday: Real Time With Bill Maher and Vice (HBO) for politicos and news junkies, The Soup (E!) for pop-culture catch-upists, and The Grace Helbig Show for … well, I’m not sure who this is for yet, but Helbig’s YouTube-to-TV transition is, more often than not, as funny as it is brain-implodingly awkward (E!). Also, Childrens Hospital (Adult Swim), because even you have 11 minutes to spare. Hate Watch: The Messengers (The CW), wherein impossibly pretty CW actors fret about the rapture and a desolate Friday-night timeslot.
Saturday: Orphan Black (BBC America) is one of the rare sci-fi dramas that lives up to its hype. Don’t be put off by all of the clone characters (most played fantastically by Tatiana Maslany)—if you can follow Game of Thrones, you can follow this. Same goes for the time-jumping Outlander (Starz), the lushly-produced Scot-drama that earns its nickname Fifty Shades of Plaid. For Hate Watching, My Cat From Hell (Animal Planet), because no one seems to realize that you can find a new, less-hellish kitty, oh, anywhere.
Sunday: A busy night, with Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Veep and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO); Mad Men (AMC); Salem (WGN America); Bob’s Burgers, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Last Man on Earth (Fox); Mr. Selfridge (PBS); and now the new Happyish (Showtime) all vying for discerning eyeballs. Set aside some Hate Watch moments for A.D. The Bible Continues and American Odyssey (NBC); they’ve really earned it.
Monday: Bates Motel has cranked its simmering insanity up to full-tilt bonkers this season, while The Returned continues its supernatural slow-burn—together, they constitute the creepiest two-hour block of the week, not counting Sunday-morning news shows (A&E). Hate Watch Turn: Washington’s Spies (AMC), which is as obtuse as a tri-corner hat and somehow even duller than actual American history.
Tuesday: Catch up on your streaming—there are unseen episodes of Daredevil (Netflix) and Community (Yahoo Screen) still waiting for you. Hate Watch: Powers (PlayStation Network), the comic-book adaptation that can’t even.
Wednesday: Heard of Big Time in Hollywood, FL? It fills the sick-wrong-funny gap left by Broad City where Workaholics failed (Comedy Central). The obvious Hate Watch is CSI: Cyber (CBS), the stoopidest depiction of tech-terrorism since every “cyberpunk” movie produced in 1995. Do not, repeat, do not respond to any e-mails from your parents re: “Black Hat Hackers.”
The Comedians (Thursday, April 9, FX), series debut: “Comedy is like heart surgery—it gets botched all the time,” says Josh Gad (as Josh Gad) in the pilot episode of The Comedians. “But, if you keep it loose and don’t overthink it … you can fix people’s hearts.” Gad is the other half of The Billy and Josh Show, a fictional FX variety series that was forced upon Billy Crystal (as Billy Crystal) after his one-man-show version was soundly rejected by test audiences, and The Comedians is the fictional behind-the-scenes doc—follow? Even funnier than the idea that FX would buy a dated trainwreck like Billy and Josh are Crystal and Gad’s clashing heightened-character comedic styles: Crystal plays “Billy,” old-school and only mildly self-absorbed, whereas Gad goes all-in to make “Josh” a delusional man-child idiot (a role he’s played before, but takes to a whole new, creepy level here). The Comedians may not fix hearts, but it could fix Crystal’s comedy cred after years of lazy hackery. (Take note, Steve Martin.)
Louie (Thursday, April 9, FX), season premiere: After last season’s hard departure into the artsy (read: not always necessarily funny), Louie returns to more familiar comic waters with Season 5 opener “Potluck,” which re-establishes that no one can weave a wildly random series of situations into a satisfying storyline quite like Louis C.K.—with a tasty fried-chicken tutorial, no less. And yes, the “Brother Louie” theme song and opening montage are back.
Game of Thrones (Sunday, April 12, HBO), season premiere: Finally, GoT truthers (“I refuse to watch anything until Game of Thrones returns!”) have something to live for once again. You know, there are other worthwhile series on TV—I write about ‘em here every week, but I digress: With the none-too-dignified escape of Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) complete, Varys (Conleth Hill) provides him with a new mission beyond drinking himself to death in hiding. (“Can I drink myself to death on the road?” he asks.) Meanwhile, Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) rule in Meereen is being undermined—and don’t even ask about the dragons. Among the questions not answered in Game of Thrones’ Season 5 premiere: Which will crash first under massive demand, HBO Go or HBO Now?
Silicon Valley (Sunday, April 12, HBO), season premiere: Speaking of “datageddon” (my new favorite tech-nonsense term, courtesy of “Hooli” CEO Gavin Belson), every venture-capitalist company in Silicon Valley is now courting Richard (Thomas Middleditch), Erlich (T.J. Miller) and their startup Pied Piper, while thinly veiled Google stand-in Hooli is plotting to crush them before they can even begin. As he did with corporate culture in Office Space, Silicon Valley creator Mike Judge has painted a hilariously real picture of code monkeys as ill-equipped superstars, full of overly lavish (and overly awkward) parties and gone-in-a-nanosecond tech victories. The stakes are even higher in Season 2—or at least the jargon is deeper.
Veep (Sunday, April 12, HBO), season premiere: If you thought the country was screwed with House of Cards’ Frank Underwood as the commander in chief, wait until you get a load of Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and her SuperCut ascending-by-default to the office of president: She and her staff discover something they’re even more inept at than managing the vice presidency. This leads to glorious excesses of profanity, trash-talking (Veep staples) and a scriptless Selina faking her way through her first speech as president. (“I detest jazz, but this is impressive,” quips her strategist, played by the indispensible Gary Cole.) Now it’s up to this motley crew to get Selina elected for real; she’ll be campaigning and “building a roadmap to peace” simultaneously … all of which will probably end in more frightening political truth than House of Cards, if not C-SPAN.
True Detective (HBO): Creator/writer Nic Pizzolatto probably screwed himself by launching this mesmerizing crime anthology with stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson at the top of their respective games. Good luck following up these eight near-perfect episodes.
Banshee (Cinemax): This left-field, visceral mashup of Justified, Twin Peaks and Fight Club went pulp-gonzo harder in Season 2, expanding the world of Banshee, Penn., just enough to introduce even more Amish mobster/Ukrainian thug mayhem. It’s that weird, and that cool.
Shameless (Showtime): Things somehow got worse as they got better for the Gallagher clan in Season 4, with William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum delivering alternately heartbreaking and hilarious performances. This is America’s family.
Justified (FX): Star Timothy Olyphant put his boot down and rescued Justified from becoming entirely the show of Boyd (Walton Goggins) in its fifth and penultimate season, and brought some new colorful characters along for the ride.
Broad City (Comedy Central): Few comedies arrive as fully-realized as Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer’s Broad City (though it did have a head-start as a Web series); their broke Brooklynites are the female flipside of Workaholics, only smarter, funnier and occasionally grosser.
Helix (Syfy): This Arctic Andromeda Strain/Walking Dead hybrid from Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica) crept up with no big splash, but it did earn a second season for 2015—catch up on Netflix now.
The Americans (FX): Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys continued to out-spy Homeland while still stuck in Cold War 1981, facing down more danger (and wigs) than Carrie and Brody could ever imagine.
Archer (FX): Meanwhile, Archer (code-named Archer Vice) blew up its spy premise and dove face-first into cocaine and country music. Literally.
House of Cards (Netflix): Vice president Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) delivered a shocking twist in the first episode of Season 2, and the train didn’t stop a-rollin’ from there. As with actual D.C. politics, it’s best not to think too hard about the machinations en route to the presidency
Fargo (FX): Lorne (Billy Bob Thornton), Lester (Martin Freeman) and Deputy Molly (Allison Tolman) shut down the “You can’t touch that movie” doubters from frame one with this dark, funny adaptation that faltered fewer times than True Detective. Oh, you bet’cha.
From Dusk Till Dawn (El Rey): Another film-to-TV transition that defied the haters, From Dusk Till Dawn expanded the 1996 cult classic into an even crazier, racier 10-episode ride where the definition of “the good guys” is subjective.
Game of Thrones (HBO): Like anyone’s going to make a list without Game of Thrones. Get real.
Silicon Valley (HBO): Mike Judge finally, if not intentionally, created the sequel to Office Space with Silicon Valley, a hysterically profane (and tech-jargoned, at least at first) saga about programmers in waaay over their heads. If only Halt and Catch Fire had been half this much fun.
Veep (HBO): Speaking of profane: VP Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and her team continued to fail upward in Season 3, from WTF? to the brink of POTUS. Pray for your country.
Bates Motel (A&E): Murder, drugs, love triangles, commercial zoning disputes—Bates Motel has it all! Norman (Freddie Highmore) became as intriguing as mother Norma (Vera Farmiga) in Season 2, no small feat, as did some of the supporting players. Why wait for Showtime’s Twin Peaks revival? It’s already here.
Mad Men (AMC): Splitting the final season in half was a lousy idea (the Mad Men buzz is pretty much nil at this point), but those first seven episodes provided a course-correcting jolt that should make for a hell of a 2015 finale, whenever that happens (hopefully, not in the ’70s).
Orphan Black (BBC America): See Game of Thrones.
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO): Sure, it’s a Daily Show knock-off with F-bombs—but those rants! Corporations, media, condiments—suck it! Everything the overblown Newsroom attempted over three seasons, Oliver nailed in 30 minutes.
Legit (FXX): Poor Jim Jefferies. His Louie-like Legit finally got good by the end of its first season, then FX exiled it to the untested FXX for Season 2: no promotion, no viewers, just yelling into a vast, empty room. See what you missed on Netflix (along with Jeffries’ stand-up specials).
Playing House (USA): Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham as almost-uncomfortably close BFFs failed on network TV, but found a niche on cable with Playing House, which could be the first series ever to make pregnancy play funny and inclusive.
Parks and Recreation (NBC): While as excellent as ever, Season 6 probably should have been the last (maybe even halfway through), but at least we’ll get a proper sendoff for NBC’s last great Must-See comedy in 2015.
Rick and Morty (Adult Swim): Few “get” Community, but Dan Harmon’s other TV project, the animated, and simultaneously brainy and crude Rick and Morty—imagine Back to the Future with more universes, booze and malicious aliens—clicked immediately on Adult Swim.
Louie (FX): Louis C.K. made us wait two years for a new season, then delivered 14 arty-if-not-always-funny installments of Louie, which were rightfully hailed as “brave,” “experimental” and “mostly free of black T-shirts.”
Maron (IFC): Marc Maron didn’t stray too far from the formula of his debut season in his second go-round—regarding how difficult it is to be Marc Maron, specifically, and a middle-aged white dude with a podcast in general. Still brilliant.
Orange Is the New Black (Netflix): Season 2 leaned more dramatic than comedic, and pulled killer performances from everyone in (and out) of Litchfield Penitentiary. Creator Jenji Kohan is well on her way to achieving the heretofore-thought impossible: Topping her previous series, Weeds.
The Leftovers (HBO): Life sucks when you’re not Raptured, and The Leftovers was the ultimate summer-bummer wallow, not to mention the vehicle that finally made Justin Theroux matter.
Rectify (Sundance): And while we’re on the topic of dramas filmed in Depress-o-Vision … damn.
Longmire (A&E): In its third season, Longmire fully broke away from its Justified Out West trappings and became a gripping, dusty crime drama in its own right. A&E rewarded this creative triumph—and high ratings—with a cancellation notice in order to make way for more Duck Dynasty. Fortunately, Netflix came to the rescue, and Season 4 will be streaming by late 2015. I’m beginning to understand you cable-cutters …
Coming next week: Part 2—even more shows!
Game of Thrones (Sunday, April 6, HBO), season premiere: “Two Swords” is as lighthearted and humorous as Game of Thrones gets, thanks mostly to series vets Peter Dinklage (Tyrion is the master of the stoic WTF? face) and Lena Headey (have another drink, Cersei), though The Only TV Column That Matters™’ new favorite character has to be The Hound: Rory McCann kills it, in every sense, in a late-episode scene that’s essentially a death-brawl over chicken. Meanwhile, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) learns it’s easier to control a growing army than growing dragons (spoiler: they’re assholes)—and you still get your standard GOT allotment of weird sex and nudity (to ease the transition from Girls).
Silicon Valley (Sunday, April 6, HBO), series debut: Mike Judge nailed the corporate-cubicle-farm ennui of the 1990s with Office Space, and it’s easy to see the line from there to his new Silicon Valley—and you know where you are, because someone says “this is Silicon Valley” every five minutes in the pilot. For those not up on all things Google, Microsoft and TED Talks, much of Silicon Valley will sound like tech-gibberish at first, but once the groove is established, it’s as relatable as Office Space: A programmer nerd (Thomas Middleditch) toiling for a Google-like behemoth and crashing at the “Hacker Hostile” of a dotcom millionaire (T.J. Miller) inadvertently creates a game-changing algorithm and suddenly finds himself in the middle of a corporate bidding war. Will he sell out and cash in, or build his own company with his fellow underdog housemates? Stick with it—the comedy soon outweighs the jargon in Silicon Valley—and how can you not love the sight of Kid Rock playing to a thoroughly disinterested code-monkey house party? You can’t.
Veep (Sunday, April 6, HBO), season premiere: As Season 3 opens, vice president Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is on a hellish—meaning “public”—tour promoting the autobiography she “didn’t even write,” Some New Beginnings: An American Journey, which the president’s chief of staff (Kevin Dunn) points out “is so full of shit, they put a colon right in the middle.” The rest of Selina’s staff is desperately awaiting news of the still-unseen-on-the-series president’s re-election plans, as well as her possible competition for the nomination should he not run. (He’s not, as if there were any doubt—Selina and the show need new venues in which to fail upward.) Veep is as hysterically mean as ever, and still the most profane HBO series since Deadwood—and probably closer to the truth of Beltway politics than anyone would care to admit.
Granite Flats (Sunday, April 6, BYUtv), season premiere; BYUtv is available in Palm Springs on DirecTV and cable: BYUtv isn’t screwing around with promotion for the Season 2 premiere of Granite Flats—hell, they even got my attention. At the heart of the 1960s-set series is an annoying Kids As Detectives conceit, but beyond that, Granite Flats is a semi-dark tale of Cold War paranoia that even dares to take on the infamous (at least in conspiracy circles) MKUltra program, in which the U.S. government secretly tested mind-control drugs its own military and civilians. This, of course, led to the creation of contemporary country music …
Academy of Country Music Awards (Sunday, April 6, CBS), special: So we’re to believe that there’s an actual “academy” recognizing such genius lyrics as “This brand new Chevy with a lift kit / Would look a hell of a lot better with you up in it” (Florida Georgia Line, “Cruise”) and “Might sit down on my diamond plate tailgate / Put in my country ride hip-hop mixtape / Little Conway, a little T-Pain, might just make it rain” (Luke Bryan, “That’s My Kind of Night”)? And what is it with hicks and their trucks? Is this why locking gas caps were invented?
DVD ROUNDUP FOR APRIL 8!
After doing prison time for a crime he didn’t commit, Mike (Avelawance Phillips) and his brother (Malik Barnhardt) agree to make one last “delivery” for underworld criminals, because … ? Like every DVD, also starring Danny Trejo. (Entertainment One)
A serial killer with OCD sets out for vengeance against the two lesbians who are taking credit for all of his kills in the future-noir thriller that wants to be Sin City, but isn’t even as smart as Sim City. Strangely enough, no Danny Trejo. (Maxi/Midnight)
Back in the Day
Michael Rosenbaum and Morena Baccarin star in the story of a loser actor (Rosenbaum) going to his high school reunion to get his one-time Dream Girl (Baccarin). Also starring Emma Caufield, presumably as his Nightmare Girl. (Screen Media)
Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses
’Nam vet and boxing trainer Frank Vega (Danny Trejo—there he is) teams with his old pal Bernie (Danny Glover) to beat up the no-good East L.A. punks who killed his favorite student and probably set foot on his lawn, too. Damn punks. (Fox)
By day, nurse Abby (Paz de la Huerta) attends to patients at All Saints Memorial Hospital; by night, she tracks, seduces and kills unfaithful men in bars. But would they have been unfaithful without being seduced? And where’s Danny Trejo? (Lionsgate)
More New DVD Releases (April 8)
August: Osage County, Best Night Ever, Cavemen, Dead on Appraisal, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Holy Ghost People, Justin Bieber’s Believe, Lizzie Borden Took an Ax, My Name Is Paul, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, Sheriff of Contention, Snake & Mongoose, Zero Charisma.