Saturday, July 24 (BBC America)
Season Premiere: A certain other season premiere will swipe all of the TV hype this week (see below), but Being Human is an equally don't-miss affair. The premise—a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost share a Bristol flat—doesn't sound like anything to be taken as seriously as '60s advertising men grappling with a changing culture and a nagging Surgeon General, but the execution is brilliant, funny, terrifying and touching all at once, in every episode. At the end of Season 1, Mitchell (the vamp), George (the 'wolf) and Annie (the Casper) had defeated a vampire sect bent on world domination, and begin Season 2 hopeful to just get on with "normal" life among humans (even Annie, who's now visible and solid to nonsupernaturals). But now it's the humans they have to worry about—a team of religious nuts who want to cure/kill all of the "beasts," to be exact. Season 2 also introduces deliciously unhinged vampire couple Ivan and Daisy, and packs more action and plot twists into an eight-episode span than Buffy the Vampire Slayer used to manage in 22. See it now before the inevitably inferior American adaptation arrives—that's not snobbery; Being Human is just too perfect to mess with.
Sunday, July 25 (AMC)
Season Premiere: You know now-divorced Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is off his ladies' man game when he's being set up on blind dates and hiring call girls to ... nope, don't want to spoil that one. Likewise, Don's not having an easy time of it at the newly established Sterling Cooper Draper Price ad agency. Sure, the new office is swank and all of the talent has come onboard (including, praise all that is holy, Christina Hendricks' Joan, criminally underutilized last season), but starting up a new business is/was no easier in 1964 than it is now—that Lucky Strike account can't carry everything. Without giving any more away (because the fans hate that), Season 4 of Mad Men opens with a brisk sense of direction and justifies all of the critical ink long before the first episode's small-victory conclusion. Now ... more Joan!
Sunday, July 25 (TBS)
Season Premiere: My Boys remains the smartest original series on TBS—none too difficult with crap like Lopez Tonight, Neighbors From Hell and Tyler Perry's [Insert Title Here] stuffing the programming cracks between The Office and Seinfeld reruns. But now the comedy, about a 20-something female sports writer (Jordana Spiro) and her circle of dude friends, has lost co-star Jim Gaffigan—pretty much the only reason to watch. If FX could build a series around him even half as awesome as Louis CK's Louie, they'd have a serious comedy power block. Where was I? Oh yeah, My Boys: You don't need something else to watch on Sundays.
Growing Up Twisted
Tuesday, July 27 (A&E)
Series Debut: This really has to stop. Eight years after ground zero with The Osbournes, following washed-up '80s rock stars around with cameras just ain't fun anymore—and don't think some cable genius isn't dreaming up my-wacky-family reality shows for Kip Winger and Mark Slaughter (possible titles: Wingin' It and The Slaughter House Rules—you're welcome, cable genius). But now the network that brought you the most tightly scripted "reality" show since The Hills, Gene Simmons' Family Jewels, is cranking out Growing Up Twisted, all about Twisted Sister's Dee Snider, his wife and four kids rockin' the suburbs of Long Island. Somehow, it's even worse than you'd imagine—not unlike Twisted Sister (though this finally explains why the hell the band played on A&E's Private Sessions recently). I'm holding out for Keepin' It Real With Vince Neil.