Sunday, June 10 (HBO)
Season Premiere: Last season closed with Tara getting blasted in the head with a shotgun, thus Tara is now dead—that’s all I’m saying about that. Elsewhere in the True Blood Season 5 premiere, Bill and Eric are big trouble with the Vampire Authority, so much so that they go on the lam with the help of a mysterious woman from Eric’s past (new cast member Lucy Griffiths). Likewise, Sam has a vengeful werewolf pack after him, and Sookie and Lafayette continue their hot streak of making terrible, terrible decisions. Also, Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: SVU) joins the show as a badass power player in the Vampire Authority, psycho-vamp Russell may not be true-dead and—sorry, ladies—you’re never going to get enough quality time with dreamy Alcide (like there’s such a thing).
Comedy Bang! Bang!
Friday, June 8 (IFC)
Series Debut: Writer/comic Scott Aukerman’s 3-year-old Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast is a genius mashup of interview and improv that lets an expansive guest list of comedians, actors and musicians create some of the best radio theater that no longer happens on radio. How does that translate to TV, with visuals and a 22-minute time limit? Not as uncomfortably as faithful of the podcast might have feared—which is to say, even hipster-comedy fans who like IFC’s flagship Portlandia may find it waaay uncomfortable. Aukerman and Reggie Watts fit the host/bandleader talk-show standard on a cheap afternoon-TV set, but what follows is like the weirdo-classic Space Ghost: Coast to Coast re-imagined for Pee-wee’s Playhouse.
Jersey Shore Shark Attack
Saturday, June 9 (Syfy)
Movie: Jersey Shore Shark Attack may be a year or two late, but come on: juiced-up gorillas being chewed up by pissed-off sharks! The (ahem) situation: As per all Syfy disaster flicks, corporate greed-heads have disturbed the environment and unleashed a natural threat—in this case, rampaging bull sharks off the Jersey Shore. Of course, the authorities don’t believe The Complication, Nookie, J-Moni and the gang’s wild shark stories until Joey Fatone (Joey Fatone) gets chomped by one on the Fourth of July—now, it’s about Jersey and ’Merica! Arm the guidos! Need I even mention the dramatic presence of The Sopranos’ Paulie Walnuts and Jersey Shore’s Vinny, himself?
Sunday, June 10 (AMC)
Season Finale: So the Big Death that’s been hinted at all season didn’t turn out to be who we thought it’d be—but there’s still one episode left; maybe Mad Men will double down. Season 5 has been simultaneously funnier (never too late to launch that stand-up comedy career, Roger) and sadder (for once, it seems like they don’t drink enough at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce) than any previous, and Don Draper’s long journey to enlightenment and/or irrelevance is no longer the show’s most important, or even most interesting, story line. There are plenty of great characters old and new to play with up until Mad Men’s seventh and final season, but some of the pressing questions for tonight are: Will Peggy make an appearance? How’s Don going to handle the latest SCDP “resignation”? Is Joan really ready to step up and be a partner in the agency, despite how she arrived there? Will Pete finally get his Manhattan “work” apartment and “not insane” mistress (Alexis Bledel)? Is anyone ever going to be happy? Find out at Brewvies Cinema Pub (677 S. 200 West, 21+) tonight at 8 p.m., when True TV, City Weekly and Epic Brewing present the season finale of Mad Men, free on the big screen (you know, where we’ll be showing—plug ahoy!—Breaking Bad next month).