WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR LAST NIGHT’S DEXTER EPISODE, “SUNSHINE AND FROSTY SWIRL”
I’m not saying last night’s Dexter storyline was a little bit ridiculous or anything, but, remember that episode of The Facts of Life where Blair was dating that dude who cheated on her (season 4, “Magnificent Obsession,” and no, not ashamed that I know that), and her friends couldn’t believe snooty Blair would allow herself to be treated that way by any guy? But she did, and when Mean Boy asked her to go away on a ski trip with him, the other girls didn’t want her to go, so they stayed up all night to keep her away from the dorm pay phone (pay phone … I know!) so she wouldn’t call him and tell him she would go and he would ski off without her?
Last night’s Dexter, and Deb’s plan to have nightly sleepovers with her brother to help him cure his serial killerness?
The Facts of Dexter’s Life.
And that other serial killer, who spouted wise to Dexter and actually had him briefly believing he might be able to change, before Other Serial Killer walked into a semi?
He’s the Mrs. Garrett of this scenario.
The fall TV season gets into full swing this week, but lots of TV fans are still getting their tube fixes with marathon catch-up sessions via DVDs. Here, a few recent DVD releases to get viewers up-to-date on returning favorites:
Homeland: The Complete First Season (Fox Home Entertainment)
Surprise Emmy Best Drama winner Homeland is one of those rare shows that is so carefully and cleverly crafted that you’ll pick up new things even on your second or third viewing. Is Claire Danes‘ CIA agent Carrie crazy, or are her suspicions that returning war hero Brody (Emmy winner Damian Lewis) is actually a terrorist correct? Watch, and enjoy the twists, especially with season two just a week away (Sept. 30 on Showtime).
Bonus features: Deleted scenes; Under Surveillance, a making-of featurette; and The Visit, a preview of season two
Dexter: The Sixth Season (Paramount Home Entertainment)
Season six started off with one of the funniest storylines in Dexter history, as our favorite serial killer attended his high school reunion (picture it: Dexter dancing). Things were a little rocky after that, with some crazy storylines involving guest stars Edward James Olmos and Colin Hanks, but the season ended with shocking Dexter/Deb happenings, and that’s where we pick up with season seven, which debuts on Showtime on Sept. 30.
Bonus features: Cast interviews and episodes of other Showtime series, like House of Lies, The Borgias and Californication.
Supernatural: The Complete Seventh Season (Warner Home Video)
A sad loss for Sam and Dean meant the Winchester brothers were on their own just when they were faced with their toughest and most dangerous foes ever. And in further twists, the discovery of a demon facility to concoct a cure for cancer turned out to be a very bad thing, and Sam and Dean ultimately had to help destroy a friend to save him from himself. Season eight of the CW drama premieres on Oct. 3.
Bonus features: Unaired scenes, gag reel, episode commentaries, featurettes on show directors and composers and a fan-favorite video of star Jensen Ackles singing an Air Supply classic.
The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Third Season (Warner Home Video)
Elena made a couple of maaaajor choices in season three, one involving her love life and one involving the continuing existence of, well, her, as a human. And those choices will continue to play out in season four, which kicks off on Oct. 11 on The CW.
Bonus features: Bloopers, favorite scenes and featurettes on Stefan, the original vampires and the show’s writers.
Revenge: The Complete First Season (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
Orphaned Emily’s plot for revenge against those who turned against her father took some surprising turns in this first-season drama, a delicious, guilty pleasure primetime soap. Catch up with all 22 episodes in time for the Sept. 30 season two premiere on ABC, during which Emily will try to locate her previously-resumed-dead mom (Jennifer Jason Leigh).
Bonus features: Bloopers, deleted scenes, pilot episode commentary, music videos and featurettes like Roadmap to Revenge and Haute Hamptons: Femme Fatale Fashion.
The Mentalist: The Complete Fourth Season (Warner Home Video)
Yep, Patrick Jane is still trying to track down Red John, the serial killer who killed Jane’s family. And season four introduced him to Red John’s cohort, Lorelai (Entourage‘s Emmanuelle Chriqui), who just might become Jane’s new love interest in season five, which premieres Sept. 30 on CBS.
Bonus features: CBI: Behind the Badge featurette.
Suburgatory: The Complete First Season (Warner Home Video)
One of last season’s few new comedy hits, Suburgatory finds single dad George and his teen daughter Tessa leaving their hip Manhattan apartment behind for a house in the cookie cutter ‘burbs when George frets Tessa is growing up too quickly. Curb Your Enthusiasm star Cheryl Hines is a scene stealer as rich chic neighbor Dallas, who, in season two (premiering Oct. 17), will have her first date with George.
Bonus features: Gag reel, unaired scenes and the Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell: Life in Suburgatory featurette
Person of Interest: Season One (Warner Home Video)
High concept, yes, but fantastic performances by Michael Emerson and Jim Caviezel sold the first season of this drama about a billionaire who uses access to U.S. intelligence agency data to team with a presumed dead CIA agent to try and prevent violent crimes. Season two begins Sept. 27 on CBS and we’ll learn what exactly Root has up her sleeve for the kidnapped Finch (Emerson).
Bonus features: Pilot episode audio commentary, gag reel, extended pilot episode and Living in the Age of Surveillance featurette.
Castle: The Complete Fourth Season (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
It’s the season that featured the season finale that answered the question: will they or won’t they? In case there’s still any doubt, the season five premiere, on Sept. 24 on ABC, will answer it definitively.
Bonus features: Audio commentaries, deleted scenes, bloopers and featurettes Nathan & Friends: Castle Goes Radio and Anatomy of a Stunt.
Private Practice: The Complete Fifth Season (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
The fifth season ended with Kate Walsh‘s Addison “forced” to choose between two love interests, played by Taye Diggs and Benjamin Bratt. So, you know she had quite a season leading up to that. Her choice, by the way, will be revealed in the season six finale on ABC on Sept. 25.
Bonus features: Blooper reel and The Practice of Parenthood featurette.
The Office: Season Eight (Universal Home Entertainment)
James Spader made his exit as Robert California, Darryl finally got his dream girl, Andy got his shot at running the office and Jim and Pam’s marriage was just fine, despite that plotting co-worker who set her eyes on Mr. Halpert. That was the show’s penultimate season, and here’s hoping things end up on even happier notes for the Dunder Mifflin gang in its ninth and final season, which began last Thursday.
Bonus features: Deleted scenes, webisodes and extended episodes.
The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fifth Season (Warner Home Video)
Howard got married, Leonard and Penny got back together (again) and that clever — and very patient — Amy Farrah Fowler finally got Sheldon to make her his girlfriend. As the new season debuts on Sept. 27 on CBS, AFF tried to push her relationship with her reluctant even further along.
Bonus features: A gag reel, a behind-the-scenes feature on the various departments that bring the show to life very week, a cast reflection on season five and The Big Bang Theory @ 100 feature on the show’s 100th episode.
2 Broke Girls: The Complete First Season (warner Home Video)
Roommate waitresses and aspiring cupcake shop owners Max and Caroline met up with Martha Stewart in season one, so, when the show kicks off season two on Sept. 24, they’re even more jazzed to launch their bakery. But first, Steven Weber will pop in as Caroline’s estranged, Bernie Madoff-y dad.
Bonus features: Unaired scenes and a behind-the-scenes featurette called 2 Girls Going 4 Broke with cast and crew interviews
Parks and Recreation: Season Four (Universal Home Entertainment)
Leslie Knope finally got her guy and her dream city council seat, and we got to see the funniest collection of supporting actors on TV: Rob Lowe‘s Chris (“lit-trally”), Chris Pratt‘s Andy, Aziz Ansari‘s Tom, Aubrey Plaza‘s April and, of course, Nick Offerman‘s Ron Swanson.
Bonus features: Deleted scenes, extended scenes, alternate scenes, webisodes, gag reel and The Swanson Zone, a series of mini features on Offerman and his scene-stealing Ron.
Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Second Season (HBO Home Entertainment)
If you’re following the show, you probably already know about Jimmy, even if you haven’t actually seen the episode yet. But the who/what/how/why/when backstory of how he got there — along with the continuing Emmy-worthy performance of star Steve Buscemi — is the reason to catch up with season two, so you can jump in on season three, which is already in progress.
Bonus features: Audio commentaries, promos, recaps and featurettes on the show’s new characters and changes to the season two landscape.
Grimm: Season One (Universal Home Entertainment)
Season two debuted in August, but it’s not too late to catch up with this drama about homicide detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli), who finds out he is a Grimm, a group of people who keep others safe from supernatural creatures.
Bonus features: Gag reel, audition tapes, highlight reel and multiple featurettes.
Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Eighth Season (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
A plane crashed, someone died and not all of the survivors are doing so well themselves. And that’s where season nine begins on Sept. 27 on ABC.
Bonus features: Deleted scenes, outtakes, an extended episode and a trip to Scotland with star Kevin McKidd.
The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season (Anchor Bay Home Entertainment)
Shane … oh, Shane. The zombie drama that even non-zombie fans love just got better in season two, with fresh gruesome-ness (poor well-dwelling dude), fresh friction among the survivors and at least two shocking deaths. Catch up for season three, which premieres on AMC on Oct. 14 and promises to unfold the stories of the Governor, Michonne and life at the prison for Rick and company.
Bonus features: Audio commentary, deleted scenes and more than 10 featurettes.
(ALL TIMES ET)
10PM, FRI | STARZ – SERIES PREMIERE
Boss – Kelsey Grammer‘s recent campaign of nastiness towards nearly equally unsympathetic ex-wife Camille has overshadowed some of the buzz for Boss, which is a shame, because, well, Grammer is really fantastic in it. He plays Tom Kane, mayor of Chicago, who finds out he has a neurological disease that will eventually debilitate and kill him. He keeps it a secret and goes on about his ruthless business of running the city and maneuvering relationships with his cold wife and estranged daughter. As Starz’ best original series since Party Down, it’s definitely worth checking out.
9PM, FRI | PBS
American Masters: Pearl Jam Twenty – Cameron Crowe, who made one of the best movies ever – Singles – and included the members of Pearl Jam in the cast, is behind this documentary, which celebrates the Seattle band’s 20th anniversary with fresh video footage (including Eddie Vedder dancing with Kurt Cobain), concert clips and interviews with the band.
9PM, FRI | THE CW
Supernatural – Clever Buffy reunion alert: Charisma Carpenter guests as a witch who unleashes her anger, and powers, on a small town when she finds out her husband (guest star James Marsters) is cheating on her.
10PM, FRI | CBS
Blue Bloods – While Danny tries not to let work interfere with a romantic weekend he and Linda have planned, Jamie goes deep undercover in a crime family.
8PM, SUN | ABC – SERIES PREMIERE
Once Upon a Time – House alum Jennifer Morrison plays a woman who gave up a child for adoption years earlier and is later found by the boy and asked to accompany him to Storybrooke, a town where fairytale characters like Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) live. The effects and characters are whimsical, I guess, but pilot episode is a mess that never makes clear what the show is really going to be about. Still, worth a look and judging for yourself.
9PM, SUN | SHOWTIME
Dexter – Deb holds her first official press briefing, while Homicide begins to uncover the reasons behind Travis and Professor Gellar’s sick plot.
9PM, SUN | CBS
The Good Wife – When a key witness commits suicide, Alicia has to go to killer Colin Sweeney (Dylan Baker) for help.
9PM, SUN | AMC
The Walking Dead – Rick continues to try to help save Carl, which leaves it in Shane’s hands to try to get past the walkers and retrieve some desperately needed medical supplies.
10PM, SUN | SHOWTIME
Homeland – The powers that be want to push Brody as a national hero, but his flaky behavior may tarnish their plans.
10PM, SUN | BRAVO
Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion, Part 2 – Teresa and Caroline continue to trash their friendship in the final part of the season three reunion.
Worth flipping to during commercials:
- Michael invites a new doc (guest star Eriq La Salle) to join the practice on A Gifted Man (Fri., 8PM, CBS);
- Michael arouses Nikita’s suspicions when he tries to help an ex-girlfriend who’s in danger on Nikita (Fri., 8PM, The CW);
- The CSIs are on the case when a paroled man, the brother of a young basketball whiz, is suspected of murder on CSI: NY (Fri., 9PM, CBS);
- Writer Toure is among the guests on Real Time with Bill Maher (Fri., 10PM, HBO);
- On The Amazing Race (Sun., 8PM, CBS), the competition continues in Thailand;
- Ghost stories inspire cool, elaborate cakes on Challenge (Sun., 8PM, Food Network);
- Nucky thinks he may be about to leave his opposition behind on Boardwalk Empire (Sun., 9PM, HBO);
- Bridezillas (Sun., 9PM, WE) takes its craziest turn yet, as a bride tries to feed her groom drugged brownies, which accidentally fall into the hands (and bellies) of her family, too;
- Lynette hits a singles bar on Desperate Housewives (Sun., 9PM, ABC);
- On CSI: Miami (Sun., 10PM, CBS), Horatio protects a Mexican police woman whose husband has been murdered;
- Ray and Tanya whip up a plan to get rid of a difficult client on Hung (Sun., 10PM, HBO);
- Kathy Griffin and Kelly Ripa are among the judges on Iron Chef America (Sun., 10PM, HBO);
- On Dirty Soap (Sun., 10:30PM, E!), Kelly returns home to the Poconos and has a dramatic run-in with her ex-fiancée.
(ALL TIMES ET)
9PM, SUN | AMC – 2ND SEASON PREMIERE
The Walking Dead – So. Good. We’ve waited quite a while for the follow up to those first six episodes, and the show doesn’t lose a step with the season two premiere, full of tension, drama, thrills, gore, the continuing love triangle and one of the grossest, by which I mean cool, scenes you will ever see on TV (you’ll know which one I’m talking about when you see it). Also not to be missed: the premiere of Talking Dead (11:59 p.m.), the new Chris Hardwick-hosted aftershow that will air each week after the new Walking Dead eps, and Walking Dead A to Z, the alphabetical guide to all things Dead I wrote this week at TheWrap.com.
11:30PM, SAT | NBC
Saturday Night Live – What’s Your Number? star Anna Faris hosts, and Degrassi alum/rapper Drake makes his first appearance as musical guest.
8PM, SUN | DISCOVERY
iGenius: How Steve Jobs Changed the World – MythBusters hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman host this special that pays homage to the many innovations of the late Apple co-founder and how they have impacted the world.
9PM, SUN | ABC
Desperate Housewives – Lynette thinks Tom may be dating, and Bree thinks Danielle’s new business may not be as wholesome as she’s hoped.
9PM, SUN | SHOWTIME
Dexter – Dexter comes face to face with someone he idolized as a teen. Just think about the kind of person Dexter would idolize as a young, aspiring serial killer …
9PM, SUN | CBS
The Good Wife – Alicia volunteers for a case, but one of her witnesses turns out to be the prime suspect.
9PM, SUN | TV GUIDE
TV Guide: 100 Moments That Changed TV, Part 4 – The Real World and The Simpsons episodes are among the shows that provided seminal TV moments in this penultimate installment of the TV Guide miniseries.
10PM, SUN | FOOD NETWORK
Chopped – A special Halloween-themed episode finds candy, chicken feet and some, ahem, unusual meats, in the mystery baskets.
10PM, SUN | SHOWTIME
Homeland – Carrie and her team investigate a potential Al Qaeda attach on American soil.
10PM, SUN | BRAVO
Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion, Part 1 – Finally. After three seasons of watching Teresa act like a creep, the women call her on her nonsense. The Teresa vs. Caroline showdown: not to be missed.
10:30PM, SUN | E!
Dirty Soap – Galen and Jenna argue about having another baby, while Nadia and Brandon attend Fashion Week in New York, where he walks in one of the shows.
Worth flipping to during commercials:
- Puppies vs. Babies: Cutest of the Cute (Sat., 10PM, Animal Planet): Perhaps the most brilliant idea for a reality show ever, right?;
- On The Amazing Race (Sun., 8PM, CBS), the teams compete in underwater and rock-climbing;
- The gang re-does the home of a family whose child with dwarfism will be able to use everything in the new home on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Sun., 8PM, ABC);
- Gayle considers selling the Gatsby on the season finale of Jerseylicious (Sun., 8PM, Style);
- The remaining contestants visit their mentors’ homes on The X-Factor (Sun., 8PM, Fox);
- On Boardwalk Empire (Sun., 9PM, HBO);
- A fistfight breaks out during a bachelorette party on Bridezillas (Sun., 9PM, WE);
- Tim takes his first trip on the Death Road on IRT: Deadliest Roads (Sun., 9PM, History);
- 24 alum Carlos Bernard (Tony!) guest stars as Horatio’s new nemesis on CSI: Miami (Sun., 10PM, CBS);
- Ray worries his new client may be his old student on Hung (Sun., 10PM, HBO).
(ALL TIMES ET)
9PM, SUN | SHOWTIME – 6TH SEASON PREMIERE
Dexter – The new season gets off to a great start, as Dexter worries about Harrison’s spiritual future while looking for a good preschool for his son, and also goes to his high school reunion, where he’s got a little Dexter-style karma to deliver. He also unexpectedly finds himself as one of the most popular guys among his old classmates, which leads to several delightfully funny moments.
Not so funny: the season’s new baddies, played by Edward James Olmos and Colin Hanks. They are up to some gruesome adventures, and as great as EJO is as a heroic space commander, he’s even better as a warped, homicidal religion professor.
CHECK LISTINGS FOR TIME AND CHANNEL, SAT | PBS – 37TH SEASON PREMIERE
Austin City Limits – Mumford & Sons and Flogging Molly kick off the new season which will also include episodes with Raphael Saadiq, Widespread Panic, The Decemberists and Gillian Welch.
9PM, SAT | COMEDY CENTRAL
Weird Al Yankovic Live!: The Apocalypse Tour – Multiple costume changes and a whole string of familiar hits are the highlights of any Weird Al concert. This one, taped in July, includes classics like “Fat,” “Amish Paradise” and “White & Nerdy,” as well as his latest parody, the Lady Gaga-skewering “Perform This Way.”
9PM, SAT | BBC AMERICA – 6TH SEASON FINALE
Doctor Who – “The Wedding of River Song” is the name of the season ender and it occurs on the day The Doctor is supposed to die.
11:30PM, SAT | NBC
Saturday Night Live – The fabulous Gilmore Girls/Bridesmaids/Mike & Molly star Melissa McCarthy makes her first appearance as SNL host, with musical guest Lady Antebellum.
CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS FOR TIME, SUN | PBS
Prohibition – Ken Burns‘ latest documentary, this three-part history of Prohibition kicks off with “A Nation of Drunkards,” about the initial movement towards temperance.
8PM, SUN | FOX
The Simpsons – Superintendent Chalmers’ tales of Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders get Bart all fired up, and when Chalmers gets axed from his job, Bart employs Teddy tactics to get Chalmers’ job back.
9PM, SUN | CBS
The Good Wife – Alicia tries a case against a tough British attorney, played by guest star Eddie Izzard.
9PM, SUN | FOOD NETWORK – SERIES PREMIERE
Halloween Wars – The four-part series features five teams, comprised of candy makers, cake designers and pumpkin carvers, who create tricked out Halloween displays for a shot at winning a $50,000 grand prize.
9 and 10PM, SUN | TV GUIDE NETWORK
100 Moments That Changed TV – Parts one and two of this five-part miniseries counts down TV events like the “Who shot J.R.?” cliffhanger, the Menendez brothers’ trial, the O.J. Simpson car chase and the classic Apple 1984 commercial.
10PM, SUN | HISTORY – SERIES PREMIERE
Around the World in 80 Ways – Survivor alum Boston Rob Mariano and Dennis Anderson attempt to travel around the globe, using any method of transportation they can. In the premiere, that means bus, horse, zipline, motorcycle and water taxi to get to Peru.
10PM, SUN | AMC
Breaking Bad – “End Times” is the penultimate episode of season four, and if you think Walt and Jesse have been painted into a corner so far, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
10PM, SUN | SHOWTIME – SERIES PREMIERE
Homeland – Claire Danes stars in this terrific new thriller from 24 showrunner Howard Gordon. Danes is CIA operative Carrie Anderson, who’s suspicious when long-missing Marine and POW Nicholas Brody (Damien Lewis) turns up after eight years. He’s got big secrets for sure, but is one of them what Anderson thinks it is, that he’s been flipped by Al Qaeda and is part of some planned terrorist plot against the United States? And, Carrie has a secret of her own … she’s taking medication for some, uh, emotional issues.
10PM, SUN | HBO – 3RD SEASON PREMIERE
Hung – Ray and Tanya look for financing for their business, while Lenore finds a new, ahem, resource, that may make her their biggest competition.
10PM, SUN | BRAVO
Real Housewives of New Jersey – The gang’s still in Punta Cana, and they’re all still getting on each other’s nerves. Meanwhile, back in New Jersey, the bratty Ashley considers getting a tattoo.
11PM, SUN | BRAVO
Watch What Happens: Live – Given all the Real Housewives of New Jersey drama that has unfolded this week, it should make for an interesting evening in the clubhouse when Caroline Manzo stops by to chat with host Andy Cohen.
Worth flipping to during commercials:
- Gail counsels a 30-year-old woman whose shopping addictions have left her homeless more than once on Princess (Sat., 10PM, CNBC);
- On The Amazing Race (Sun., 8PM, CBS), the teams face a double elimination in Indonesia;
- The Gomez family in Utah get an Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Sun., 8PM, ABC);
- Making Monsters (Sun., 8PM, Travel) is the new reality series that follows animatronic monster makers Ed and Marsha Edmunds;
- The third season premiere of Tough Love (Sun., 8PM, VH1) finds matchmaker Steve Ward moving the action to Miami as he tries to help a new crop of women meet potential mates;
- A hurricane hits Stoolbend on The Cleveland Show (Sun., 8:30PM, Fox);
- Jimmy tries to make a deal with Arnold Rothstein on Boardwalk Empire (Sun., 9PM, HBO);
- On Bridezillas (Sun., 9PM, WE), one bride’s strict, weird wedding rules includes no chewing gum for anyone;
- Lynette and Tom’s kids take advantage of their parents’ guilt about their separation on Desperate Housewives (Sun., 9PM, ABC);
- Brian ingests some powerful pharmaceuticals on Family Guy (Sun., 9PM, HBO);
- The creepy cliff roads, a truck on the fritz and the language barrier slow the truckers down on IRT: Deadliest Roads (Sun., 9PM, History);
- The CSIs investigate the murder of a gigolo on CSI: Miami (Sun., 10PM, CBS);
- On Dirty Soap (Sun., 10PM, E!), Nadia‘s mom reveals she’s not too happy about the Nadia/Brandon pairing.
Charlie Sheen, Russell Brand and Louis C.K. are getting most of the attention, but I’m most excited that one of the best new shows of last TV season — Wilfred – returns for its second season on FX tonight (10PM ET). Season one of the series ended with a cliffhanger — had Ryan (Elijah Wood) [...]
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