Sundays, 10pm, NBC
Captive audience: Concerned parents; X-Files fans; people who can’t wait for 24: Live Another Day to hit TV screens.
Moment of truth: Who’s ready for some suspenseful, action-packed stupidity? This weekly nail-biter focuses on the intense drama that arises when wealthy, teenage offspring are kidnapped. Wait, did I say drama? I actually meant ridiculousness! Even with all the danger and whatnot, the writing is still fascinatingly dumb. Lance Gross, Rachael Taylor, Dermot Mulroney and Gillian Anderson are just some of the ensemble players who are forced to play their characters as dickishly stubborn and annoyingly clichéd as possible. I don’t know how they did it, but NBC has found a show even sillier than The Blacklist.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Phlegmmy.
From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series
Tuesdays, 9pm, El Rey
Captive audience: Fans of the From Dusk Till Dawn movie; Latino TV audiences; people who can’t wait for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For to drop in theaters.
Moment of truth: The first bit of original programming from Robert Rodriguez’s newly launched El Rey Network is also a TV version of one of his more peculiar films. Rodriguez reboots the 1996 crime/vampire whatzit he did with writer/co-star Quentin Tarantino and star George Clooney. The pilot, written and directed by Rodriguez, is not a bad one, as it introduces the outlaw Gecko brothers, butting heads with Texas Rangers (including an ornery Don Johnson) during a shootout, before they meet up with deadly, seductive vampires at a Mexican brothel. The show’s just crazy enough to work.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Emmy.
Wednesdays, 10pm, FXX
Captive audience: Cringe-humor fanatics; people who actually know which channel FXX is; Louie fans who need to watch a show about a loser comic who can’t stop whacking off.
Moment of truth: Let’s take this time to talk about Jim Jefferies and his hilariously wrong sitcom, which used to be on FX but has now found its home on the supposedly even-more-hardcore FXX. Now in its second season, the dirty-minded Aussie comic is once again in fine, filthy form, as he tends to his equally dirtbag, dysfunctional-sibling roommates (D.J. Qualls and Dan Bakkedahl) while trying to curb his debauched, sexual needs in sunny LA. As raunchy and unrepentant as the show can get, it does reveal some heart—when it’s not dishing out all that merciless, un-P.C. humor, that is.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Emmy.
In Memoriam: David Brenner