Remember when nostalgia used to signify a comforting escape into the past? It hasn't been the same since Mad Men took us beneath the surface glamour to expose the grim consequences of chasing and selling the American dream. WGN America's bold new period drama Manhattan (Sunday, 9/8c) goes even further, eschewing the romantic veneer altogether in a gritty story of scientific mavericks operating in extreme circumstances. Looking back at a bygone time (World War II) with a jaundiced eye, the ambitious Manhattan is far more serious in intent than the channel's more recent effort at historical-fiction original programming, the lurid Salem.
Our top moments of the week:
10. Worst Coping Mechanism: On Switched at Birth, John tries to cheer up Daphne and Bay by planning an impromptu trip to Chicago, where Daphne meets a student who invites her to a pre-med mixer. Before they go, she asks if they can get any marijuana. The pothead next door doesn't have ...
Showtime is sticking with its winning formula.
The premium cable network doesn't have much to complain about with eight of its nine eligible series garnering Emmy nominations. With the return of Homeland the launch of The Affair in October, and three more pilots in the works, Showtime president David Nevins is psyched about its latest hit, horror drama Penny Dreadful, which became the network's most-watched new show On Demand and on ShowtimeAnytime.
Our top moments of the week: 13. Best Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card:
Leo is once again up to no good on Chasing Life
, and this time he drags April along for the ride. When he takes a hot sports car out for a test drive when a dealership's salesman isn't looking, the car is reported stolen. When the cops catch up and are about to bust them, Leo starts having a seizure related to his brain cancer, and the...
Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan
Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex both returned for their second seasonson Sunday, and if you missed either episode, we've got you covered.
Season 2 of Donovan finds the titular Hollywood fixer (Liev Schreiber) looking for a way to fix his biggest problem: himself.
Returning shows: Where we left off
After Bill's surprising declaration of love on Masters of Sex last season, he and Virginia are now taking their research out of the lab and into the bedroom.
Watch both premieres below:
Seth Meyers says his first few months of hosting Late Night has prepared him to host the Emmys for the first time in August.
"I feel the most ready than I've ever felt, but...
Liev Schreiber, Jon Voight
On the second season of Showtime's Ray Donovan, Liev Schreiber's titular Hollywood fixer will have to find a way to fix his biggest problem: himself.
The drama's first season dealt primarily with Ray's complicated history with his father Mickey (Jon Voight), whom Ray eventually tried to have killed by Sully Sullivan (James Woods), one of Mickey's old Boston rivals. Although Mickey actually ended up killing Sully instead, the biggest twist of the first season revealed that Ray, like his brother Bunchy (Dash Mihok), had been sexually abused as a child by a priest.
Summer TV: Get scoop on your favorite returning shows
While the revelation helped color exactly why Ray carries so much hatred for Mickey, who failed to protect his son, it also provides fertile ground for the show to explore its main character in Season 2. "It was a big reveal and we need to deal with it and we do," executive producerAnn Biderman tells TVGuide.com...
Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan
Masters of Sex is back to give you satisfaction.
After last season's finale interruptus, Showtime's period drama returnsSunday at 10/9c to finish what Bill Masters (Michael Sheen) started. The doctor had just declared to his sex research partner Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) that she is the one thing he cannot live without.
PHOTOS: The most revealing red carpet looks ever
How will this revelation play out in Season 2? Read on to see what Masters, Johnson and the rest are up to:
"It's not for everyone," growls the grizzled, sword-wielding Armenian pawnshop owner (Game of Thrones' David Bradley), whose unromantic notion of vampire slaying includes mass decapitations and body burnings. Likewise, FX's deliciously freaky and gruesomely graphic The Strain (Sunday, 10/9c) won't be for all tastes. But the network is betting, probably correctly, that a midsummer popcorn feast of classic monster-movie horror, served without apology and blessedly free of irony, will resonate with fright fans eager to jump out of their seats, which turns out to be a Strain specialty. This could, and deserves to be, FX's Walking Dead-sized blockbuster.
No one expects the Emmy nominations to please everybody — there's simply too much TV these days, including on unconventional platforms like Netflix, and there are always going to be shows and performers that won't make the cut, however deserving. But even when the Emmy voters get something right, like adding HBO's freshman hoot Silicon Valley to the best-comedy contenders, we still find ourselves griping over where they stumbled, nowhere more glaringly than in the drama-series race. (For a list of nominees in the major categories, go here.)