This week: the MLB All-star Game and some mountain-top dude-love (it’s not what you think!)
Monday, July 11
9:00 p.m. Man vs. Wild (Discovery)
It's almost too easy, isn't it? Jake Gyllenhaal, isolated with another dude on top of a mountain, where they take big risks that could change their lives forever. But enough with the obvious Prince of Persia jokes already, there's a new episode of Man vs. Wild to talk about! In the latest celebrity installment of the travel series, professional death-defying crazy person Bear Grylls gets the actor to, among other insurance liabilities, climb across a very high rope and endure some bitterly cold weather. Luckily, his training for The Day After Tomorrow should pay off on the latter. Now if only he could bounce off that mountain in his Bubble Boy bubble and this little adventure would be a piece of cake!
10:00 p.m. Alphas (Syfy)
Sure, being a superhero has its disadvantages (as we pointed out last month...and , as did Ryan Reynolds in the disappointing Green Lantern) but we'd still take heightened abilities, much like the ones the band of crime-fighters in the new Syfy series Alphas possess, any day. (We call dibs on heightened smell! You haven't smelled pizza until you've smelled pizza.) Plus, in addition to featuring some cool, albeit enviable powers, the show also features actress Azita Ghanizada, whose superpower, as far as we can tell, is being superhot.
Tuesday, July 12
9:00 p.m. 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game (Fox)
Last year the National League ended their 14-year losing-streak as they bested the American League in the All-Star game, but will they be able to hold on to the momentum? We'll find out during the 82nd All-Star Game, which airs live from Phoenix's Chase Field (We'd cry home field advantage for the National League, except for the fact that no one from the Diamondbacks made the cut for the Midsummer Classic.) So will the NL (which has the likes of Brewers' Prince Fielder and Cardinals' Lance Berkman on their side) be able to go two in a row or will the AL (which has the Blue Jays' Jose Bautista and the Red Sox's David Ortiz among the heavy hitters on their roster) reclaim their place? Hey guys, bonus incentive for if you win, courtesy of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, popcorn for everyone.
Wednesday, July 13
10:00 p.m. Damages (DirecTV)
We have nothing but the utmost gratitude towards DirecTV. Not only did the cable network save the criminally under appreciated Friday Night Lights from getting placed on the sidelines for good (see below), but it did the same thing for the legal drama Damages, which got the axe from FX last year. As if they didn't already fucking rule enough already for not censoring their salty language, but they are now providing us with a summer filled with the gorgeous Golden Globe-nominated Rose Byrne as the show--which welcomes new cast member John Goodman on board--enters its fourth season. As our way of saying thanks, DirecTV, we vouch to not get off the couch until every commercial-free, Rose Byrne-y minute of it is watched.
10:00 p.m. The Franchise: A Season With San Francisco Giants (Showtime)
While none of the San Francisco Giants made the 2011 All-Star line-up (sorry Brian Wilson, there's no Bearded All-Star series, even though there absolutely should be) this fascinating new docu-series follows the team in the tumultuous year following their unpredictable World Series win. Throughout its run, The Franchise will follow all the highs and lows that unfold on (the team slipping below .500, Buster Posey’s devastating home plate collision) and off (meeting fans, dealing the press, leaving their stunning WAGs behind for road games) the field. While we're invested in all of this, we really can't wait until the episode in which ace pitcher Tim Lincecum finally opens up about what it was like to play Wiley Wiggins in Dazed and Confused.
Friday, July 15
8:00 p.m. Friday Night Lights (NBC)
While the series finale of the crazy good football drama already technically aired thanks to the aforementioned DirecTV, those who haven't seen it yet (or, really, even those who have) can still say goodbye to the good folks of Dillon, Texas. Yes, the fifth--and, unfortunately, last--season certainly had its fair share of bumps (Epic's inane and entirely inaccurate name, Vince's dull, deadbeat dad) along the way, it was still overshadowed by powerful performances (even in their darkest hour, as Coach and Tami, Kyle Chandler and the incomprehensibly beautiful Connie Britton, respectively, made marriage seem somewhat appealing) and welcome returns (Landry, Tyra, Saracen...though sadly original cast member Minka Kelly and her character Lyla.) Between its rotation of stunning actresses, authentic football scenes, and tender, yet never sappy moments, FNL was always a clear winner.
Sunday, July 17
9:00 p.m. Breaking Bad (AMC)
Breaking Bad left us with some burning questions (and possibly an anxiety disorder) during last season's finale: Did Jesse (Aaron Paul) follow through with his order to shoot Gale? Is Gus (bald bad-ass Giancarlo Esposito) going to shoot Walt (original bald bad-ass Bryan Cranston) or will it be the other way around? Are we going to shoot our televisions if we don't find out soon? Thankfully, we won't have to bust a cap in our blessed television, as the brilliant, nail-biting drug drama returns for its fourth season. But, still, don't expect too much relief, as the premiere has some seriously gruesome moments, including one so bloody (literally) disgusting it made Cranston's own kid pass out at the premiere's screening a few weeks ago. In a word: Bad-ass