Wednesday, May 28 (DirecTV)
Season Premiere: In the 2013 debut season of DirecTV’s Audience Network original Rogue, Thandie Newton starred as a darkly effdup Bay Area cop on leave working undercover in a Russian drug ring to find the killer of her young son. Ten episodes and as many double-crosses, dead bodies, duplicitous sexual encounters and inexplicably non-lethal bullet wounds later, she was, naturally, promoted to the FBI. Rogue may be a ridiculous, just-go-with-it action thriller, but Newton’s (mostly) restrained performance is undeniably magnetic, deeper than the “supermodel Jack Bauer” first impressions. And yes, that is Vancouver trying to pass for San Francisco—don’t dwell.
Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys
Sunday, May 25 (Animal Planet)
Movie: So … Animal Planet is in the original-movie game now? At least it’s not another season of (Never) Finding Bigfoot. The exhaustingly titled Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys (they’re slimy, toothy, eel-like fish—not unlike Ryan Seacrest) looks like Syfy B-flick cheese because it’s “from the creators of Sharknado” and stars Shannen Doherty (whom you’d expect to be here) and Christopher Lloyd (wha?). The surprises end there: bikini babes and hapless townies get chomped via lake, swimming pool and, yes, toilet (top that, Sharknado 2), while Doherty and Lloyd (re)act and wait for the checks to clear. In case you hadn’t noticed, terrible TV movies are replacing terrible reality shows as social-media “events,” which is a step … up?
Petals on the Wind
Monday, May 26 (Lifetime)
Movie: Speaking of trainwreck cable flicks as hashtag bait, remember January’s loony-tunes Flowers in the Attic, starring Heather Graham and Ellen Burstyn? There’s a sequel! Based on the second installment of a book series The Only TV Column That Matters™ will now never, ever have to read—thanks, Lifetime—Petals on the Wind picks up a decade after the three Dollanganger kids escaped the attic. Believe it or not, years of abusive captivity and incestuous liaisons have left them not quite right, so eldest Cathy (Rose McIver) returns to Foxworth Hall to exact revenge on grandma (Burstyn) and, specifically, mom (Graham), by seducing her husband (Dylan Bruce, who presumably signed on to this franchise before Orphan Black became a thing). Happy Memorial Day!
The Night Shift
Tuesday, May 27 (NBC)
Series Debut: It was too much to hope for that The Night Shift would be the long-long-overdue TV adaptation of the 1982 Henry Winkler/Michael Keaton comedy of the same name. Instead, it’s just another Pretty Doctors Who Barely Have Time to Bang Between Traumatic Events dramedy tossed out as summer filler until someone at NBC figures out where they misplaced those leftover episodes of The Michael J. Fox Show. Will these docs who “work hard and play harder” run afoul of their new no-nonsense boss? Will old loves/lusts be rekindled? Will anyone notice The Night Shift before it’s canceled in two weeks? Yes, yes, and Chicago Fire reruns are locked and loaded.
I Wanna Marry “Harry”
New Series: In what I really want to believe was originally called Royally Screwed, 12 ’Merican women are flown to England to court “Prince Harry,” who’s actually just a nobody ringer. It’s been more than 10 years since Fox brought us reality-dating fake-outs Joe Millionaire and My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance, and there have been plenty of suckers born every minute since—a British royal is going wade through the skank factory of U.S. reality TV to find love? That’s as realistic as thinking none of you are already watching I Wanna Marry “Harry” no matter what I say.