DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

Social Media Manager

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

NOEL HOLSTON

GERALD JORDAN

JONATHAN STORM

DONNA J. PLESH

DAVID SICILIA

 
 
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THURSDAY
MAY 28
2015

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

ABC, 8:00 p.m. ET

SEASON FINALE: At least I think this is the finale. But honestly, the way ABC has been staggering the original installments of this series, I’m not entirely certain. What I do know, at this point, is that 500 Questions is more worthy of a simple notation than any sort of hearty recommendation. So here’s the ending, maybe, if you’re interested.

 
  
 
 

Fox, 9:00 p.m. ET

When ABC launched Lost years ago, you had to watch the next few episodes just to see if the show knew what it was doing, and was going somewhere interesting. With Lost, the answer was a resounding yes. With Pines, the deeper you get into it, the shallower it seems. Tread lightly.

 
  
 
 

NBC, 9:00 p.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: This is the dumbing of the Age of Aquarius. Even with David Duchovny as the star, this period mystery series, introducing a pre-murder spree Charles Manson, never gels, never makes proper dramatic sense, and never provides viewers a real reason to stay tuned. CBS did a marvelous miniseries about the Manson case, Helter Skelter, that covered his early years much more quickly – and much, much more effectively. And that was way back in 1976, when miniseries were new. For a full review, see Eric Gould’s Cold Light Reader.
 
  
 
 

FX, 10:30 p.m. ET

SEASON FINALE: Louie C.K.’s “Road Trip” continues, and concludes, with tonight’s Part 2, putting an end to another too-brief, but utterly brilliant, season of the comedian’s very personal, very imaginative comic explorations.

 
  
 
 

FX, 11:00 p.m. ET

And after the season finale of Louie, here’s a full-length Louis C.K. comedy special, originally offered via his website for $5. Placed right after his bold season-finale opening monologue on Saturday Night Live, it’s another indication why he’s one of the best comedians working today. Enjoy him wherever you can.

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

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

WE'LL MISS YOU, MR. LETTERMAN – With David Letterman’s retirement now upon us, I’ve been tasked with finding a Video Worth Watching from Dave’s thirty-three years on late night television. How do I choose a highlight from a career filled with highlights? The Velcro suit. His mom. His Christmas show. Jack Hanna. And on and on and on. But I think the one that will always be close to my heart, and to the hearts of millions of others, is the first show Dave did after September 11th. He spoke with emotion, grace, admiration, and love. Most of all, he helped all of us move toward our new normal and let us know it was all right to go there. When Dave was back on the air making a few jokes, we knew it was ok to laugh again. The man with the reputation as an old grump was the one who held our collective hands and let us know we were going to be whole...eventually. Yes, Dave brought silliness, intelligence, and irreverent fun to late night but he was also there when we needed him. Thanks for all the laughs, Dave, and thanks for looking after us. – Linda Donovan

 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

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


Big Time in Hollywood, FL
Comedy Central
Wednesdays
10:30 PM ET

The Graham Norton Show
BBC America
Saturdays
11 PM ET

Inside Amy Schumer
Comedy Central
Tuesdays
10:30 PM ET

Inside Comedy
Showtime
Tuesdays
11 PM ET

Louie
FX
Thursdays
10:30 PM ET

Maron
IFC
Thursdays
10 PM ET

Nurse Jackie
Showtime
Sundays
9 PM ET

Parts Unknown
CNN
Sundays
9 PM ET

Penny Dreadful
Showtime
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 WONDER YEARS: THE COMPLETE SERIES SET – The Wonder Years ran for six seasons, from 1988 to 1993, and featured an adult narrator looking back on childhood with both nostalgic affection and a wizened perspective. It wasn’t a new idea for a sitcom – one of TV’s very first, Mama, pulled the same trick in 1949. But in The Wonder Years, which had narrator Daniel Stern portraying the adult Kevin Arnold looking back on his own junior high and high school years in the Sixties and Seventies, series creators Carol Black and Neal Marlens gave us one of TV’s all-time best comedies. Fred Savage stars as young Kevin, with Danica McKellar and Josh Saviano as unforgettable childhood friends Winnie and Paul, respectively. This complete set, which looked back at a previous generation, took another full generation to arrive on DVD, but it’s well worth the wait. – David Bianculli

 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
 
 

Dispatches from TVWW

 
 
 
 
 
 
In Praise of American Idol
By Alex Strachan
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 TV WWorth Buying
 TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$

Weeds: The Complete Collection (Blu-ray + UltraViolet)

Showtime's Weeds (2005-2012) took a different spin on the 21st century TV antihero with a widowed soccer
mom who turned pot dealer to make ends meet. Mary-Louise Parker starred as Nancy Botwin, who found the drug trade darker, and with more consequences, than the easy little side business she envisioned. The black comedy probably went on for a few too many seasons, but the tale of the suburban outlaw was always smart and outlandish. (With all previous bonus material and special Day-Glo green acrylic case). On sale at Amazon at 60% off.Eric Gould