Dexter, Ray Donovan 

Plus: Independence Day-saster, Maron, Anna Nicole

Dexter - SHOWTIME
  • Showtime
  • Dexter

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Dexter
Sunday, June 30 (Showtime)
Season Premiere: Dex (Michael C. Hall) and Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) are not on good bro/sis terms as the eighth and final season of Dexter kicks off; that Big Event at the end of last season conveniently tied up all of his serial-killer loose ends, but turned her into a boozy head-case—she’s also quit the Miami PD and gone to work for a private-investigation firm headed up by a Boondock Saint (Sean Patrick Flanery). Everything’s not coming up Milhouse for Dexter for long, however: There’s a new, frighteningly good psychopath profiler (Charlotte Rampling) aiding the department, and she knows the Dark Passenger’s driver. And, as per Dexter bylaws, there’s a new not-Dex serial killer terrorizing Miami this season, “The Brain Surgeon” (pretty self-explanatory), not to mention the return of jilted Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski) and—finally!—some quality Masuka (C.S. Lee) time. Now if they could only somehow bring Lila “Pardon My Tits” West back one last time … or is that just me?

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Ray Donovan
Sunday, June 30 (Showtime)
Series Debut: Liev Schreiber is one intense mofo; as Ray Donovan, a Los Angeles “fixer” to the rich and famous (Woke up with a dead hooker? Call Ray’s ’Ho-Be-Gone), he’s even steelier than usual—especially more so than in his ill-advised role as Wolverine’s brother in X-Men: Origins (now you know the guy). Ray Donovan isn’t just a TMZ-scrape-of-the-week serial, however; his oversized noggin is preoccupied with family matters—like his just-released jailbird dad (Jon Voight) and a wife (Paula Malcomson) who’s nagging for the same upscale lifestyle as Ray’s client base. Tonight’s pilot leans more heavily on the family than the job—a clever, if backward, introductory tactic—but Ray Donovan hits the sweet spot soon enough. Stick with this one.


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Independence Day-saster
Thursday, June 27 (Syfy)
Movie: Actual line: “America is under attack! On the Fourth of July!” You don’t mess with God’s ’Merica on Firecracker Day, you faceless alien invaders of indeterminate origin! Actually, they do quite effectively, taking out the nation’s defenses in a matter of minutes and shooting down the president’s helicopter, conveniently reuniting the prez with his small-town firefighter brother who, doubly-conveniently, has picked up a hot blond scientist who may have the only technology to stop the invasion. Are there exploding spacecraft “fireworks” in the sky? The vague threat of a sequel? A cease & desist order in the mail from the producers of Independence Day? Yes, yes and hell yes.

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Maron
Friday, June 28 (IFC)
Season Finale: Marc Maron’s (hopefully) exaggerated version of his WTF podcast and daily life started as pretty good, developed into potentially great around the middle and ends better than even Maron himself likely imagined—plus, he got to sleep with an impressive array of “podcast groupies” along the way. No, I didn’t know that “podcast groupies” were a thing, either; maybe this is why everybody I know records at least two a week. Directive: Buy and watch all 10 episodes of Maron in any on-demand manner available—it’s the least you can do after downloading his podcast for free all these years.

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Anna Nicole
Saturday, June 29 (Lifetime)
Movie: Is Anna Nicole an exploitative jiggle-fest that takes many a liberty with the story of the stripper/model who shot to stardom as an alleged gold-digger and alleged actress and then died of a verified overdose? Well, yeah, but you glossed right over the phrase that pays: “jiggle-fest.” B-cupped actress Agnes Bruckner wore gravity-defying DD prosthetics to bring Anna Nicole Smith back to, uh, life. You don’t hate science, do you?

Twitter: @Bill_Frost

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