Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, August 11. All times are Eastern.
Breaking Bad/Talking Bad (AMC, 9/11 p.m.): This is it, the culmination of all the bluster and hubbub, the event we’ve all been counting down toward: The culmination of Breaking Bad Week, a point at which The A.V. Club will stop blathering about the show and actually sit down to watch the first of its final eight episodes. And then we’ll resume blathering about the show an hour later, led by Donna Bowman’s review of the midseason première, which will be followed by Kevin McFarland’s thoughts on the new, Chris Hardwick-hosted wrap-up show, Talking Bad. Guys, Breaking Bad’s only around for a little while longer—let’s enjoy it while we still have time.
True Blood (HBO, 9 p.m.): Warlow might be cut out of whatever faerie-aided plan exists to deal with the vamp camp—an odd decision, because every faerie-aided plan needs a guy with a name like Warlow. To Carrie Raisler, that’d be like plotting with North Pole elves and cutting out someone named Jingles.
Dexter (Showtime, 9 p.m.): During the recently concluded Television Critics Association press tour, Showtime boss David Nevins hinted (ever so vaguely) toward the possibility of a Dexter spin-off. Tonight, Dexter begins training a protégé, and Joshua Alston has never read a logline that so clearly said “spin-off” in his life.
The Newsroom (HBO, 10 p.m.): Will is distracted by technology during a News Night taping—coincidental, because Todd VanDerWerff will seek any technological excuse to pay less attention to The Newsroom. Don’t believe us? Snapchat him during tonight’s episode.
Ray Donovan (Showtime, 10 p.m.): After shaving his mutant facial hair, Liev Schreiber returns to the business of fixing Hollywood’s problems—though in tonight’s episode, Ray’s problems exist on the East Coast. Sonia Saraiya wonders if this has anything to do with Ray collecting on a debt for electric-car repairs…
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Farscape (11 a.m.): Alasdair Wilkins gets to know a little bit more about the Nebari, representatives of which show up on Moya to take Chiana back to her home world. Don’t bogart those mind-cleansing drugs, Nebari dudes!
The Simpsons (Classic) (3 p.m.): A startling truth about Homer’s conception is revealed—though you’ll have to wait until next season’s “Mother Simpson” to get the whole story. Erik Adams explains: “You see, when a cartoon daddy drinks a tonic that makes him love an unseen cartoon mommy very much…”
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Marvel’s Hulk And The Agents Of SMASH (Disney XD, 11 a.m.): Or, as Oliver Sava would prefer you call it, HASMASH. Because why write about the Hulk family if you can’t lapse into ALL CAPS every few sentences. HASMASH!
Food Network Star (Food Network, 9 p.m.): At last, the latest heir to Guy Fieri’s queso-coated throne is named. Is it Margaret Eby? Margaret Eby really hopes it’s Margaret Eby.
Low Winter Sun (AMC, 10 p.m.): The network pairs the beginning of Breaking Bad’s end with the actual beginning of another gritty drama about a bald guy with a busted moral compass who is forced to take drastic measures by circumstances out of his control. But this one takes place in Detroit, so Todd VanDerWerff gets to stare at the crumbling Beaux-Arts façade of the Michigan Central Station in between gritty happenings.
Aqua TV Show Show/Squidbillies (Adult Swim, 12/12:15 a.m.): Two of Adult Swim’s flagship mindfucks return, heralded by yet another change of title for the series formerly known as Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Eric Thurm appreciates that Squidbillies, at least, has the decency to not fuck with his season-pass settings every eight-months or so.
Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (HBO Signature, 7:20 p.m.): If there remains any confusion as to why Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is kind of a big deal, that confusion should be alleviated by a viewing of the original Anchorman, a film so funny, many of its funniest parts were shuttled off to another, less funny film to keep Anchorman at optimum levels of funny. Funny.
The Grapes Of Wrath (TCM, 8 p.m.): Wherever there’s a a fight, so hungry people can eat, John Ford’s film adaptation of a John Steinbeck classic will be there. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, Henry Fonda will be there as Tom Joad. He’ll be there in the way—oh, Breaking Bad’s gonna cut into the second hour of this telecast? Well, this movie’s waiting for you somewhere else, we suppose.
MLB Baseball: Rays at Dodgers (ESPN, 8 p.m.): The scattered American League-National League series necessitated by the Houston Astros’ leap to the AL took some of the spectacle out of interleague matchups this season. Fortunately, it also created games like this, where two unexpected playoff hopefuls meet in a pivotal August matchup where the Rays offense can’t hide behind a designated hitter.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Hell On Wheels (Saturday): Winter couldn’t kill Cullen Bohannon, just as the cold indifference of a TV audience has yet to kill Hell On Wheels. Don’t worry, show—Alasdair Wilkins still cares, he just won’t be doing so on a weekly basis this year.