Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Veep 

Plus: Granite Flats, Academy of Country Music Awards

Game of Thrones - HBO
  • HBO
  • Game of Thrones

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Game of Thrones
Sunday, April 6 (HBO)

Season Premiere: “Two Swords” is as lighthearted and humorous as Game of Thrones gets, thanks mostly to series vets Peter Dinklage (Tyrion is the master of the stoic WTF? face) and Lena Headey (have another drink, Cersei), though The Only TV Column That Matters™’s new favorite character has to be The Hound (Rory McCann kills it, in every sense, in a late-episode scene that’s essentially a death brawl over a chicken). Meanwhile, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) learns it’s easier to control a growing army than growing dragons (spoiler: they’re assholes), and you get your standard GOT allotment of weird sex and nudity (to ease the transition from Girls).

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Silicon Valley
Sunday, April 6 (HBO)

Series Debut: Mike Judge nailed the corporate cubicle-farm ennui of the early 2000s with Office Space, and it’s easy to see the line from there to his new Silicon Valley—and you know where you are, because someone says “this is Silicon Valley” every five minutes in the pilot. For those not up on all things Google, Microsoft and TED Talks, much of Silicon Valley will sound like tech-gibberish at first, but once the groove is established, it’s as relatable as Office Space: A programmer nerd (Thomas Middleditch) toiling for a Google-like behemoth and crashing at the “Hacker Hostel” of a dotcom millionaire (T.J. Miller) inadvertently creates a game-changing algorithm and suddenly finds himself in the middle of a corporate bidding war. Will he sell out and cash in, or build his own company with his fellow underdog housemates? Stick with it—the comedy soon outweighs the jargon in Silicon Valley, and how can you not love the sight of Kid Rock playing to a thoroughly disinterested code-monkey house party? (You can’t.)

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Veep
Sunday, April 6 (HBO)
Season Premiere: As Season 3 opens, vice president Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is on a hellish—meaning, “public”—tour promoting the autobiography she “didn’t even write,” Some New Beginnings: An American Journey, which the chief of staff (Kevin Dunn) points out “is so full of shit, they put a colon right in the middle.” The rest of Selina’s staff is desperately awaiting news of the still-unseen-on-the-series president’s re-election plans, as well as her possible competition for the nomination should he not run (he’s not, as if there were any doubt—Selina and the show need new venues in which to fail upward). Veep is as hysterically mean as ever, and still the most profane HBO series since Deadwood—and probably closer to the truth of Beltway politics than anyone would care to admit.

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Granite Flats
Sunday, April 6 (BYUtv)

Season Premiere: BYUtv isn’t screwing around with promotion for the Season 2 premiere of Granite Flats—hell, they even got my attention. At the heart of the 1960s-set series is an annoying Kids As Detectives conceit, but beyond that, Granite Flats is a semi-dark tale of Cold War paranoia that even dares to take on the infamous (at least in conspiracy circles) MKUltra program, in which the U.S. government secretly tested mind-control drugs its own military and civilians. This, of course, led to the creation of contemporary country music …

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Academy of Country Music Awards
Sunday, April 6 (CBS)

Special: So we’re to believe that there’s an actual “academy” recognizing such genius lyrics as “This brand new Chevy with a lift kit/ Would look a hell of a lot better with you up in it” (Florida Georgia Line, “Cruise”) and “Might sit down on my diamond plate tailgate/ Put in my country ride hip-hop mixtape/ Little Conway, a little T-Pain, might just make it rain” (Luke Bryan, “That’s My Kind of Night”)?

Twitter: @Bill_Frost | TV Tan Podcast

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