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Mad Men and Orphan Black’s clones visit Fargo; must-sees for the week of April 13

- April 11th, 2014

Jon Hamm as Don Draper

Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of April 13

1 Orphan Black
Season-two debut: Clone-based series sees Tatiana Maslany returning in her signature role as Sarah. And Rachel. And Cosima. And Alison. And on and on and on. I hope Maslany is getting paid accordingly.
When: Saturday on Space

2 Fargo
Debut: This is not a direct remake of the Academy Award-winning movie, but rather a new story, “inspired by” the original. Billy Bob Thornton stars as Lorne Malvo, a dangerous drifter with a cruel sense of humour.
When: Tuesday on FX Canada and FXX Canada

3 Mad Men
Seventh-season debut: This technically is the final “season” for this acclaimed series, but it’s airing over two years, just like Breaking Bad. Last we saw Don Draper (Jon Hamm, pictured above), he was out of a job. Poor ugly schmuck.
When: Sunday on AMC

4 MTV Movie Awards
Live: Conan O’Brien hosts yet another annual hardware handout. So does this officially bring an end to “awards season?” Regardless, scheduled presenters include Kate Upton and Mila Kunis, so count me in.
When: Sunday on MTV

5 Vegas Rat Rods
Debut: No, this isn’t about an infestation of rats in Sin City and the questionable methods used to control them. Rather, it focuses on a company called Welder Up, which specializes in crazy vehicles known as “rat rods.”
When: Thursday on Discovery

6 When Calls the Heart
Canadian debut: Family drama based on a book series by Janette Oke, this stars Erin Krakow as Elizabeth Thatcher, a 19th-century, high-society teacher suddenly living in a coal town. Also with Lori Loughlin.
When: Wednesday on Super Channel

7 Mom
First-season finale: Christy (Anna Faris) and Bonnie (Allison Janney) try to help an emotional Violet (Sadie Calvano) through labour. This series has been renewed, so time to buy some cutesy baby clothes.
When: Monday on CBS, City

8 Unusually Thicke
Debut with back-to-back episodes: This is a reality show with Alan Thicke, his young wife Tanya, and his three sons, including pop star Robin Thicke. I’ll bet Robin gets into more mischief than Kirk Cameron on Growing Pains.
When: Wednesday on Slice

9 Californication
Debut of seventh and final season: As usual, Hank (David Duchovny) is desperate to reunite with his eternal love Karen (Natascha McElhone), while Charlie (Evan Handler) is overcome by performance anxiety.
When: Sunday on The Movie Network, Monday on Movie Central

10 Nurse Jackie
Sixth-season debut: Jackie (Edie Falco) is “using” again. And lo and behold, she is getting her drugs at the gym. You know, this show seemed a lot more daring and shocking before Rob Ford dulled our senses.
When: Sunday on The Movie Network, Monday on Movie Central

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Pretty Little Liars come Full Circle with a Crisis of Continuum? TV must-sees for the week of March 16

- March 14th, 2014

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Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of March 16

1 Continuum
Third-season debut: Kiera (Rachel Nichols) jeopardizes everything to stop Alec (Erik Knudsen) from altering history in his mission to save Emily (Magda Apanowicz). But can Kiera’s new allies be trusted? Experience suggests no.
When: Sunday on Showcase

2 Crisis
Debut: The children of Washington’s elite are on a school trip when their bus is ambushed on a secluded road. Who are the kidnappers and what do they want? With Gillian Anderson, Dermot Mulroney and Rachael Taylor.
When: Sunday on NBC

3 Pretty Little Liars
Fourth-season finale: After years of questions surrounding the night Alison (Sasha Pieterse) disappeared, her four best friends – played by Shay Mitchell, Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson and Troian Bellisario – finally learn what happened.
When: Tuesday on M3

4 The 100
Debut: The only human survivors of nuclear destruction were in orbit, on space stations. Now, a century and three generations later, 100 juvenile prisoners secretly have been sent back to Earth, to see if it’s inhabitable.
When: Wednesday on CW

5 Glee
This is the 100th episode. In some ways doesn’t it feel as if this show has been around longer than that? Anyway, past and current members of New Directions gather to reminisce and reinvent their favourite performances.
When: Tuesday on Fox, City

6 Doll & Em
Debut with back-to-back episodes: Real-life best friends Emily Mortimer (The Newsroom) and Dolly West portray fictionalized versions of themselves in this semi-improvised comedy about an actress who hires her pal as a personal assistant.
When: Wednesday on HBO Canada

7 Love Under Cuban Skies
Documentary debut: Apparently there’s a steady stream of Canadian women partaking in sex tourism in Cuba. Many merely are looking for a little excitement. But some wind up bringing their new lovers back up north.
When: Thursday on CBC

8 Resurrection
Bellamy (Omar Epps) gets some help from Maggie (Devin Kelley) as he pushes hard for permission to exhume the tomb of Jacob (Landon Gimenez). Meanwhile, Pastor Tom (Mark Hildreth) reaches out to his childhood friend.
When: Sunday on ABC, City

9 Full Circle
Canadian debut: From DirecTV in the U.S., each episode has two characters talking in a restaurant. The next episode has one of those characters back, alongside a new character, and so on. Minka Kelly and Tom Felton get it started.
When: Thursday on Super Channel

10 Colin and Justin’s Cabin Pressure
Debut: The latest of many TV series from well-known Scottish interior designers Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan. In this one, they’re searching for a Canadian cottage in Muskoka on which to put their own stamp. Look out, loons!
When: Tuesday on Cottage Life

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Will Star-Crossed and Jimmy Fallon appeal to Generation Like? Must-sees for the week

- February 15th, 2014

Jimmy Fallon, Tonight Show, one

Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of Feb. 16

1) The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Debut: Fallon becomes the sixth host in the history of this fabled late-night talk-show franchise, following Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, and then Jay Leno again.
When: Monday on NBC, CTV Two

2) Generation Like
Debut: Many teens today truly don’t understand the term “selling out.” This doc examines how kids are more than willing to work tirelessly for free online to market products, such as movies, to other teens.
When: Tuesday on PBS

3) Star-Crossed
Debut: Aimee Teegarden and Matt Lanter star as teens trying to overcome the prejudices of their respective peoples. Oh, did I mention Lanter’s character is an alien? That’s kind of important to know.
When: Monday on CW

4) Lost Girl
Season-four finale: Bo (Anna Silk) is forced to make the toughest decision of her life if she hopes to stop evil from bringing destruction to her world. No Fae-king this time.
When: Sunday on Showcase

5) About a Boy
Debut: Following nightly Olympics coverage, this is a sneak peak of a new sitcom that ultimately will air Tuesdays, on NBC and Global. David Walton, Minnie Driver and Benjamin Stockham star.
When: Saturday on NBC

6) Darknet
Debut: This horror anthology series shows the lives of everyday people being interrupted by vivid instances of unexpected strangeness or violence. Just in case you weren’t stressed out enough already.
When: Friday on Super Channel

7) Castle
Beckett (Stana Katic) and Castle (Nathan Fillion) take on the case of a high school mean girl who apparently was murdered by someone with telekinetic powers. More proof, thinking too much kills.
When: Sunday on CTV, Monday on ABC

8) Intelligence
Gabriel (Josh Holloway) and Cybercom investigate when artificial-intelligence scientists are infected and eventually killed by microscopic robots. That’s pretty much the scariest thing I’ve ever heard.
When: Monday on CBS, CTV

9) The Following
While Joe (James Purefoy) acclimatizes himself to his new surroundings, Emma (Valorie Curry) realizes that she is in dangerous company. Hey, if Emma’s scared, we all should be, too.
When: Monday on Fox, CTV

10) Shameless
Fiona (Emmy Rossum) goes to jail while Frank (William H. Macy) wakes up in the emergency room. Um, philosophically speaking, couldn’t all episodes of this series end up that way?
When: Sunday on The Movie Network, Monday on Movie Central

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Black Sails spook The Walking Dead in a House of Cards? TV’s must-sees for the week of Feb. 9

- February 9th, 2014

Beatles Grammys show, low res, two

Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of Feb. 9

1) The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles
Archival footage from the Fab Four’s first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show – which occurred 50 years ago, to the exact day and hour – is interspersed with tribute performances by current artists.
When: Sunday on CBS, City

2) The Walking Dead
Return: Eight episodes remain in season four. Following events in the mid-season finale, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) deals with old wounds while members of the prison try to accept their new environment.
When: Sunday on AMC

3) Black Sails
Debut: Taking place 20 years before Treasure Island, this pirate series centres on the tales of Captain Flint (Toby Stephens), who takes on a young addition to the crew named John Silver (Luke Arnold).
When: Friday on Super Channel

4) Dads
One-hour season finale: Eli (Seth Green) ignores David (Peter Riegert), putting one of them in the hospital. And when Crawford (Martin Mull) moves out, Warner (Giovanni Ribisi) has an odd reaction.
When: Tuesday on Fox, City

5) House of Cards
Second-season debut: With Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) set to become vice-president, he’s going to have to fly a little more under the radar with his underhanded shenanigans. Um, right?
When: Friday on Netflix

6) MasterChef Canada
The home cooks prepare lunch at the Air Canada Centre for a delegation from the Toronto Maple Leafs, including current player James Van Riemsdyk and alumni Darryl Sittler and Wendel Clark.
When: Monday on CTV

7) Twisted
Return: Jo (Maddie Hasson) struggles with conflicted feelings – really, are there any other kind on a show such as this? – while Danny (Avan Jogia) overhears some surprising information about his dad.
When: Tuesday on ABC Spark

8) Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid
Debut: No, this is not the movie with Robert Redford and Paul Newman. Airing as part of the American Experience series, this documentary about the real-life 1890s outlaws separates fact from fiction.
When: Tuesday on PBS

9) Girls
Hannah (Lena Dunham) gets a job writing advertorials, while shallow Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) reconsiders her breakup with Ray (Alex Karpovsky) in light of his new-found success.
When: Sunday on HBO Canada

10) Super Fun Night
Work intervenes as Kimmie (Rebel Wilson) tries to celebrate Valentine’s Day with new boyfriend James (Nate Torrence). But Kendall (Kate Jenkinson) marks the occasion by hosting a sex-toy party.
When: Wednesday on ABC, City

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Girls find Flowers in the Attic in Suburgatory; TV must-sees for the week of Jan. 12

- January 11th, 2014

True_Detective_promotional_image

Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of Jan. 12

1) True Detective
Debut: Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson star in this dark and brooding eight-episode series about cops and occult-related killings. The narrative jumps between 1995, 2002 and 2012.
When: Sunday on HBO Canada

2) Girls
Third-season debut: Some people love it. Some people hate it. Many don’t understand it. But few series in this day and age prompt as much discussion as this one from star/creator Lena Dunham.
When: Sunday on HBO Canada

3) Justified
Fifth-season debut: Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) confronts the Crowes, a deadly, lawless family from Florida that is determined to find a new centre of operations.
When: Tuesday on Super Channel

4) 1964
Debut: Documentary examines what has been dubbed “the last innocent year,” in which the world both came together and split apart as it embraced the Beatles and dealt with rising civil unrest.
When: Tuesday on most PBS affiliates

5) Flowers in the Attic
Debut: Made-for-TV movie tells the twisted story of kids living in an attic in an ill-advised effort to reclaim a family fortune. With Heather Graham, Ellen Burstyn and Kiernan Shipka.
When: Saturday on Lifetime

6) Golden Globe awards
Amy Poehler and Tina Fey return as hosts of this hardware handout that tends to cause more eyes to roll than any other awards show. But hey, at least Amy and Tina will provide a few laughs.
When: Sunday on NBC, CTV

7) Shameless
Fourth-season debut: This picks up a few weeks after the previous season ended, with the Gallaghers braving a brutal winter. Tell me about it, huh? William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum star.
When: Sunday on The Movie Network, Monday on Movie Central

8) Suburgatory
Third-season debut: Tessa (Jane Levy) and her dad George (Jeremy Sisto) adopt a furry friend as they try to rebuild their relationship, while ditzy Dalia (Carly Chaikin) tries to fill a void.
When: Wednesday on ABC, Thursday on City

9) Cloud 9
Debut: Executive produced by Ashley Tisdale, this made-for-TV movie stars Dove Cameron as a snowboarding diva. Are snowboarding divas like regular divas, but colder?
When: Friday on Family Channel

10) House of Lies
Third-season debut: Marty (Don Cheadle) is seeking clients for his new firm, while Jeannie (Kristen Bell) plots big moves of her own, like the Veronica Mars movie. Wait, that’s not right.
When: Sunday on The Movie Network, Monday on Movie Central

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv