Homeland, Masters of Sex
Sunday, Sept. 29 (Showtime)
Season Premiere, Series Debut: Alleged Langley bomber Nicholas Brody (Damien Lewis) is laying so low in the Season 3 premiere of Homeland … let’s just say it’s pretty damned low. Meanwhile, things are going from bad to worse to supremely effd-up for Carrie (Claire Danes) during the Senate investigations into said “Second 9/11” bombing that killed more than 200, and Saul (Mandy Patinkin) takes some seriously un-Saul-like actions to distance the CIA from the whole mess. The tense “Tin Man Is Down” goes a long way toward getting Homeland back on track after some sub-soap distractions last season, and the sure-to-be-huge ratings should deliver a lot of curious eyes to the fantastic new Masters of Sex, the dramatized story of 1950s sexuality-research pioneers Dr. William Masters (Michael Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) that’s more about human relationships and academia (and, yes, gorgeously detailed Mad Men period style) than sex and nudity—but there’s plenty of that, too. Go, Showtime!
Eastbound & Down, Hello Ladies
Sunday, Sept. 29 (HBO)
Season Premiere, Series Debut: At the end of Eastbound & Down’s third and intended-to-be final season in 2012, baseball legend-in-his-own-pants Kenny Fucking Powers (Danny McBride) quit the game and faked his own death to be with his true love, April (Katy Mixon). Season 4 (the real final chapter, if you trust HBO this time) opens with a sadly domesticated Kenny working in rental-car hell and denying his lust for the spotlight—until he’s tapped to guest on a popular sports-talk TV show by its host (Ken Marino); in two episodes, KFP is back in all of his obnoxious glory. New companion comedy Hello Ladies, starring and almost entirely carried by Stephen Merchant, is far more low-key and dry: Brit Stuart (Merchant) and a staggeringly awkward crew of fellow singles look for love in Hollywood, with staggeringly awkward results. It’s the anti-Entourage.
Sunday, Sept. 29 (AMC)
Series Finale: The finale episode of Breaking Bad is titled “Felina,” it’s 75 minutes long, there’s no longer an hour of dead air called Low Winter Sun between it and Talking Bad, and … that’s all The Only TV Column That Matters™ knows. AMC isn’t sending out preview screeners to TV critics or real people—and why would they? True TV, City Weekly and Brewvies Cinema Pub (677 S. 200 West, 21+) will be presenting the Breaking Bad finale tonight at 7, so be there (early).
Super Fun Night
Wednesday, Oct. 2 (ABC)
Series Debut: Don’t dismiss a TV-subdued Rebel Wilson with an American accent: Super Fun Night works hilariously, largely due to Wilson’s (relative) underplaying as Kimmie, a junior attorney whose recent promotion is also moving her up the social ladder. But will she abandon her equally geeky best friends (Liza Lapira and Lauren Ash) and their standing Friday shut-in “Super Fun Night”? It’s an odd pairing with Modern Family, but Super Fun Night shares the same underlying sweetness and bonding. But it’s also saltier and edgier then the rest of ABC Wednesday, and look where that got Happy Endings.