DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

JIM DAVIS

Managing Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

CANDACE KELLEY

DAVID SICILIA

MONIQUE NAZARETH

JONATHAN STORM

GERALD JORDAN

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
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MONDAY
MAY 2
2016

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

Acorn TV, 3:00 a.m. ET

MINISERIES PREMIERE: The British aren’t the only one generating interesting mystery miniseries these days and exporting them to the States. This latest offering from Acorn, which begins streaming today, is from Australia, and stars Guy Pearce as Peter Temple’s roguish gumshoe. It’s a six-episode mystery that starts in Australian but soon expands to the Philippines.

 
  
 
 

NBC, 8:00 p.m. ET

We’re down to the Top 10 – and after those singers perform tonight, on this latest live edition, tomorrow’s results edition will narrow the field even more.

 
  
 
 

Fox, 8:00 p.m. ET

Hugo Strange, a different sort of Dr. Strange than the one in the rival Marvel universe, has been playing with reviving the dead and near-dead of late: First the future Mr. Freeze, and tonight the former villain Galavan (played by James Frain), the Gotham power broker whom the bad doctor is about to revive as a new type of villain: the costumed, superpowered Azrael. That may mean something to long-time DC Comics fans – but when I was young, I Made Mine Marvel.

 
  
 
 

Fox, 9:00 p.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: This is a warning, not a recommendation. Even with Stephen Mangan from Extras as a co-star (he plays the credulous Arthur Conan Doyle to Michael Weston’s skeptical Harry Houdini), this period variation of The X-Files is worth skipping, not watching. The acting, except for Mangan, is shrill, and the writing is depressingly limp, anachronistic, and needlessly inaccurate. For a full review, see Ed Bark's Uncle Barky's Bytes, and see David Hinckley's All Along the Watchtower.
 
  
 
 

A&E, 9:00 p.m. ET

Freddie Highmore, who stars as Norman (and sometimes his mother Norma) in this effectively creepy series, finds himself split yet another way, as Norman returns home from the asylum. Tonight, Highmore also is the scriptwriter – so whatever Norman does in this episode, the actor playing him was behind it from the start.

 
  
 
 

TCM, 10:15 p.m. ET

Any time you can watch this 1942 classic uninterrupted by commercials, you should. I will. And it’s on tonight, courtesy of TCM. Here’s looking at you, Casablanca.

 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

Now All the Guitars Gently Weep -- TVWW critic David Hinckley reports that the most poignant highlight of this year’s annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony special [on HBO Saturday 4/30 at 8 p.m. ET] will be a clip of the late Prince from his own 2004 Hall of Fame induction. Part of the clip includes this "super group" performance of While My Guitar Gently Weeps with a spectacular guitar solo from Prince, reminding us of the immense talent he possessed. -- Jim Davis

 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

  
   Visit TV We're Watching for these and other shows on
our DVRs right now...


The Americans
FX
Wedensdays
10 PM ET

Game of Thrones
HBO
Sundays
9 PM ET

The Good Wife
CBS
Sundays
9 PM ET

Inside Amy Schumer
Comedy Central
Thursdays
10 PM ET

 Last Week Tonight
HBO
Sundays
11 PM ET

Orphan Black
BBC America
Thursdays
10 PM ET

 Penny Dreadful
Showtime
Sundays
10 PM ET

 Silicon
 Valley
HBO
Sundays
10 PM ET

 United Shades of America
CNN
Sundays
10 PM ET

 Veep
HBO
Sundays
10:30 PM ET
 
 

BUT WAIT... THERE'S MORE!


FRESH AIR FAVES

Audio of Bianculli's favorite 'Fresh Air' reports, and the stories behind them...


FAVES FROM
"THE MORGUE"

Bianculli's favorite newspaper articles, and the stories behind them...


EXTRAS & FEEDBACK

Share your favorite TV in-jokes and first TV loves...

TV JUKEBOX

A new edition of Bianculli's favorite TV themes, coming soon!
 
 
 

From TV Worth Watching
TOP PICKS FOR YOUR HOME LIBRARY

The TVWW Seal of Approval is an honor we save for TV’s very best – our picks for a truly teleliterate home video library.
 
 

THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW: THE COMPLETE SERIES – This 2016 Paramount DVD offering is a newly repackaged release of the complete-series The Andy Griffith Show, one of TV’s more iconic and durable comedies. The extras assembled for this set remain woefully meager compared to the status of the series itself. But for all of what’s lacking in bonus material, what’s great here is the entire 1960-68 classic TV series itself – 249-episodes in a 39-disc set. Andy Griffith as Sheriff Andy, Don Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife, and Ron Howard as little Opie were at the center of a series as warmly nostalgic and soothing as its opening credits theme and sequence, whistling its way to the local watering hole. When I was in the hospital for a stretch a few years ago, the daily doses of The Andy Griffith Show I received on my hospital TV did me as much good, and comforted me, as much as anything the medical staff gave me. Well, except for the operation. And the post-op. And the rehab. And the drugs. But still, The Andy Griffith Show helped a lot. At Amazon for $70.David Bianculli

 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TV WWorth Buying
 TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$

HUMANS: Season One

There’s no precise date for the Season 2 return of AMC’s sci-fi import HUMANS yet, but we eagerly await. One of the legitimate worth-watching hits of 2015, HUMANS is science fiction in premise only. While it envisions the day-to-day dilemmas of humanoid servants among us, the series is in every other way an engaging drama of freedom and morality. Some of the “Synthetics,” as the robots are called, may have been secretly programmed to gain actual human consciousness. HUMANS squarely confronts the idea of drones spawned as neo-slave labor, and as their masters, our arrogance, guilt — and new idleness. On sale at Amazon. —Eric Gould