Matt's Weekend Picks: June 17-19
Kyle Chandler and Michael B. Jordan
Friday Night Lights (Friday, 9/8c, NBC)
[Reprinted from last Friday, when this episode was pre-empted by the hockey finals; sorry for the confusion] Someone needs an attitude adjustment — and that someone is star player Vince (Michael B. Jordan), caught in a tug of war over his future between his arrogant ex-con dad and well-meaning Coach Taylor, who threatens to bench Vince if he can't be more of a team player. Meanwhile, coach's wife Tami has her hands full with problem student Epyck and their daughter Julie runs off to Chicago for a rendezvous with one of coach's most beloved former protégés.
Inception (Saturday, 8/7c, HBO)
Last summer's hit "life is but a dream" brain-teaser arrives on pay cable, a perfect opportunity to kick back and try to figure out what's what and what's real all over again. Leonardo DiCaprio leads a team of mind-gamers who invade people's dreams, and things go spectacularly topsy-turvy with dazzling frequency.
The Inbetweeners (Saturday, 11/10c, BBC America)
The accent is on bawdy, outrageously oh-no-they-didn't comedy as BBC America launches a new Ministry of Laughs franchise on Saturdays. The highlight: the return of a new (and final) season of The Inbetweeners, a teen romp so hilariously raunchy you may feel you deserve detention just for watching, and laughing despite yourself. These are the hormone-driven antics of four misfit high-schoolers — pretentious buffoon Will, handsome dolt Simon, delusionally arrogant Jay and dim-bulb Neil — who major in the comedy of mortification, as their plans for sexual conquest and social advancement invariably collapse in the most embarrassing ways imaginable. In the premiere, a charity fashion show benefiting the world's most unsympathetic kidney patient gives the boys a new platform to expose their warts (and worse) in front of their unforgiving peers.
This is paired with Come Fly With Me (11:30/10:30c), a mockumentary satire about rapacious airlines and hectic airports from the chameleon comics Matt Lucas and David Walliams of Little Britain fame. In the spirit of Tracey Ullman, they play dozens of wacky characters of all genders and races, from officious gate agents to pilots and passengers. They're amusing enough to almost make flying look fun again.
The 38th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards (Sunday, 8/7c, CBS)
It may feel more like a post-mortem than a celebration, given the increasingly thinning ranks of daytime soap operas and a landscape that is now Oprah-free — although Queen Winfrey will receive the Crystal Pillar Award for changing the face of talk — but look for host Wayne Brady to put a happy face on the festivities from the Las Vegas Hilton.
Falling Skies (Sunday, 9/8c, TNT)
This crackerjack alien-invasion thriller, launching with a two-hour premiere, is perfect summer sci-fi escapism, the sort of show V should have been. It thrusts us directly into the trenches of a war between marauding aliens (who don't even try to mask their spidery selves) and a band of underdog human resistance fighters, led by a very appealing Noah Wyle as a family man/history professor who appreciates the significance of leading this charge on the same Massachusetts soil where an earlier Revolutionary War occurred. If this well-produced piece of popcorn populism isn't a hit, I give up.
Game of Thrones and The Killing finales (Sunday, 9/8c, HBO; and 10/9c, AMC, respectively)
And so it ends with two of the spring's most compelling dramas, coming off shattering twists the week before. Game of Thrones picks up in the aftermath of a true game-changer: the horrific execution of Ned Stark, with many of the major characters (Starks, Lannisters and exiled Daenerys from across the sea) facing significant turning points. On The Killing, the episode title "Orpheus Descending" should give you some clue how the investigation into Rosie Larsen's murder progresses, now that candidate Darren Richmond (aka "Orpheus") is back in the crosshairs. Some definitive answers, please. The best news: Both shows will return next year.
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