Now that “Homeland,” “Downton Abbey,” and “True Detective” are done for the year and “Mad Men” hasn’t started up again, may I suggest some shows I like that you might like too?
By Mitch Silver
“The light is winning.”
— Rust Cohle, “True Detective”
Now that “Homeland,” “Downton Abbey,” and “True Detective” are done for the year and “Mad Men” hasn’t started up again, may I suggest some shows I like that you might like too? That is, if you’re not totally consumed by March Madness and the battle rounds on “The Voice.” With the treasure trove TV has to offer these days, the light from the box is truly winning.
On Mondays, I’m watching Season 5 of the animated comedy/action series “Archer” at 10 on the FX Channel. As you’ll recall from Season 4, ISIS was raided and disbanded by the Feds. Cyril, Pam, Cheryl, Krieger, and Ray promptly spilled the beans about the spy agency, while Lana and Archer broke out of custody only to find that Malory had managed to get everyone off the hook. Then there was the hidden vault containing a literal ton of cocaine. See what you missed? Well, now the show is called “Archer: Vice.” Must have something to do with coke. Or Joe Biden.
On Tuesdays at 10 it’s “Justified,” also on FX. Here’s how Forbes put it: “Angsty Marshall Raylan Givens puts Thomas Wolfe to the test and returns home to Harlan County, Kentucky, where his boyhood friend Boyd Crowder controls the drug business.
“Until Rust Cohle came along, Raylan Givens could claim the crown of television’s most existential lawman. Add in the equally edgy antihero Boyd Crowder, who speaks like he swallowed a thesaurus, and ‘Justified’ has a lot of the qualities that made ‘True Detective’ so consistently appealing. Like Hart and Cohle, Raylan and Boyd know each other better than they let on, and need each other more than they’d confess even to themselves.” It’s a show the late, great Elmore Leonard bequeathed to us in his will.
But enough of rooting for the good guys. “The Americans” (Wednesdays, 10) is on FX as well (I think my remote is stuck), and it concerns Soviet sleeper agents, living as a normal American family in the D.C. area, who find themselves forced to choose between their faux family and Mother Russia. But I told you about them the last time.
Now that the remote is fixed, switch over to HGTV Thursdays from 8 to 10. “Rehab Addict” has nothing to do with uppers and downers, unless we’re talking about apartments in a two-family house. Nicole Curtis buys derelict houses — sometimes in Detroit but more often in Minneapolis, where she lives with her son and her folks — just before the wrecking ball gets them, and fixes them up with little more than her own very significant musculature (for such a slender woman). If ever there was a show made for real-estate-happy Rye, this is it. The two-hour block is broken up into four half-hour segments, so you can watch Nicole scream “Gaaawwwd! in her flat Midwestern twang every time she pulls the plywood off that banister.
Friday is what Newton Minnow was talking about when he described television as a “vast wasteland.” Don’t bother with live TV; instead fire up your On Demand channel and check out something like “Those Who Kill,” the police procedural on A&E. Or maybe catch up on the basketball tournament. I’m picking Louisville.