Game of Thrones (Sunday, June 15, HBO), season finale: Not only has this been the most rape-y and head-popping season of Game of Thrones yet; it’s also the most-watched: Season 4 has averaged 18.4 million viewers, beating out The Sopranos as HBO’s highest-rated series. (Just imagine the numbers if HBO Go actually worked.) So now HBO has even less incentive to send preview screeners out to TV critics—all I’ve received is this synopsis of the season finale, “The Children”: “An unexpected arrival north of the Wall changes circumstances; Dany (Emilia Clarke) is forced to face harsh realities; Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) learns more of his destiny; Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) sees the truth of his situation.” Wild speculations: Wreck-It Ralph; split ends; an Animal Planet reality series; he’s screwed.
Louie (Monday, June 16, FX), season finale: It’s over already, and while not every episode of the year-delayed fourth season of Louie has been “funny,” “cohesive” or, in some cases, “watchable,” at least Louis C.K. took a chance or 14 and created some of the weirdest television of the year—here’s hoping FX doesn’t reward him with a new timeslot in Comedy Purgatory (aka FXX). Overlooked in all of the critical analysis, C.K. also deserves credit for letting this season’s guest stars (especially Sarah Baker, Todd Barry, Yvonne Strahovski, Ellen Burstyn, Ezter Balint, Charles Grodin and, closing it out tonight, Pamela Adlon) outshine him. Hell, he even dragged a decent performance out of Jerry Seinfeld, something no one’s seen in years.
I Love the 2000s (Tuesday, June 17, VH1), series debut: About as necessary as VH1 itself in 2014, the I Love series was at least mildly entertaining when it was looking way-way back (although I fail to see anything snark-worthy about the ’90s—I’ll take Zima and grunge over Bud Light Lime and pansy-ass coalminer pop any day). But the idea of talking-head comedians riffing on 2000-2009 sounds as enticing as a second look at Paris Hilton’s sex tape, which holds up only slightly better than Napoleon Dynamite … damn it, now I’m doing it …
Rizzoli and Isles, Perception (Tuesday, June 17, TNT), season premieres: It’s not the best series about female buddyhood—that would be USA’s Playing House, which you should be watching, and then re-watching, much harder—but TNT’s resilient Rizzoli and Isles is the only current cop drama that gets the dynamic right without being preachy about it. As Season 5 opens, Boston homicide detective Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) is pregnant; medical examiner Isles’ (Sasha Alexander) relationship with Rizzoli’s brother is heating up; and you’re still probably not going to believe that R&I is one of the highest-rated cable series of all-time—just ask your mom, or HBO. Even harder to swallow: Perception is still a thing.
Fargo (Tuesday, June 17, FX), season finale: That full-year time-jump freaked everyone out a few weeks ago, but there should be no doubt that Deputy Molly (secret-show-lead-all-along Allison Tolman) is finally going to get her man. Or there should be plenty of doubt: Fargo has been nothing if not unpredictable; perhaps a tidy conclusion like that of fellow anthology series True Detective (which, it’s odd/funny to note, only had a fraction of Fargo’s body count) isn’t in the cards. Malvo/Dr. Michaelson (Billy Bob Thornton, who’s been fantastically evil) may well take out Salesman of the Year/wife-killer Lester (Martin Freeman) before Molly hauls him in, but The Only TV Column That Matters
DVD ROUNDUP FOR JUNE 17!
A group of unpublished writers welcome in a newbie (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting), who then becomes a best-selling overnight success. Will they let jealousy destroy them? They’re writers—of course they’ll let jealousy destroy them. (Screen Media)
Four of Hearts
A couple looking to spice things up has a four-way with uninhibited friends, and everything’s just fine. Kidding! The relationships turn weird and uncomfortable, further proving that porn is preferable to romantic drama. (Image)
The Lego Movie
An average Lego dude (the voice of Chris Pratt) is mistakenly drafted into an epic quest to bring down an evil bastard (Will Arnett). Likewise, an average writer dude is drafted into a quest against unwarranted all-caps. (It’s Lego, not LEGO!) (Warner Bros.)
A mysterious woman (Amy Smart) hires a detective (Brett Butt—yes, really) to find her missing brother. Thing is, he’s actually just an adman who works across the hall from the real detective. He takes the case; nothing as funny as “Brett Butt” ensues. (eOne)
Walk of Shame
After a one-night stand, a TV news reporter (Elizabeth Banks) is stranded in downtown L.A. without a phone or ID—will she make it back to the station in time for her big anchor break? It’s After Hours in a ridiculously tight dress. (FilmDistrict)
More New DVD Releases (June 17)
Assumed Killer, Blood Soaked, Dark Souls, A Fighting Man, The Grand Budapest Hotel, House of Cards: Season 2, Joe, Joy Ride 3: Roadkill, Judex, Meth Head, Regular Show: Season 3, Teen Wolf: Season 3 Pt. 2.