5.27.11 Must-See TV
It's Memorial Day weekend. The start of being outdoors all the time. If only the torrential rains would stop we might start working on our tans. (Not.) Or our gardens. But still, the sun will go down (if it ever comes out at all), and then you may be looking for a way to while away a few evening hours not spent on your porch drinking wine and watching the fireflies. As you may remember, I am addicted to fond of high-quality, commercial-free television drama and I have recently been enjoying two new shows that I can recommend without reservation. The Killing is yet another AMC winner (they also have the incomparable Mad Men and Breaking Bad). Adapted from a Danish show of the same name, it stars the laconic and lovely Mireille Enos (above)—whom you may recognize from Big Love, where she played the much-abused twins at Juniper Creek—as a Seattle detective investigating the murder of a high-school girl.
The rest of the cast is equally stellar, including Michelle Forbes—who was married to Gabriel Byrne on the first season of In Treatment—as the girl's furiously heartbroken mother. The other detective, played by the lanky, stonerish Joel Kinnaman, is an amusing counterpart to Enos' stoic obsessive. Feel too behind to start watching now? That's what iTunes is for. You can download episodes and catch up. Do it.
The other show is on HBO, a channel that consistently purveys groundbreaking, brilliantly cast programming. If you don't have HBO On Demand, you might want to seriously consider remedying that. It allows you to go back and watch entire shows on your own schedule. Feeling blue? Sink into the couch and have a Six Feet Under pig-party. Or treat yourself to an episode of Game of Thrones every night this week and you'll be caught up to where we are in this show's first season. You may be turned off when you learn that it's a medieval fantasy, but suspend judgment! Set in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, it's been jokingly called "The Sopranos set in Middle-Earth," and features plenty of intrigue and randiness, not to mention wolves, dragon eggs and lots of comely wenches. It stars the gruff and manly Sean Bean (you've seen him play a lot of Irish toughs) as Ned Stark, "the hand of the king." Another standout in the large and accomplished cast is Peter Dinklage, as Tyrion Lannister, the hilariously ironic and debauched brother of the queen. This is going to sound like a back-handed compliment, but he's the only hot dwarf I've ever seen. Need I say more? Get caught up on Game of Thrones, airing Sundays on HBO.
Enjoy the long weekend! Feast! Frolic! Fraternize!