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
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.