True Blood returns to make Sundays less cerebral, more visceral 

True Blood returns to make Sundays less cerebral, more visceral 

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, June 16. All times are Eastern.

TOP PICK

True Blood (HBO, 9 p.m.): The supernatural drama enters its sixth year, a time in a show’s life when, traditionally—oh, who are we kidding? This is a TV show based on books known collectively (and unironically) as The Southern Vampire Mysteries. Everything here is on the nose, and that nose is being ripped off in gory fashion, probably in the middle of a wild sex scene. Not that Carrie Raisler can’t still give True Blood a critical, incisive treatment—but the show’s return heralds the start of the popcorn-TV season, so we’ll just hold off on the highfalutin’ observations for a spell.

REGULAR COVERAGE

The Killing (AMC, 9 p.m.): Word that The Killing was un-canceled must’ve just reached Linden and Holder, because it’s taken the show three weeks to reunite the pair. Phil Dyess-Nugent is already baking a cake for the occasion—a gray, soggy cake.

Falling Skies (TNT, 9 p.m.): Speaking of celebrations: What kind of gift marks the two-year anniversary of a civilization-destroying alien invasion? A time machine? Les Chappell thinks you should buy a time machine.

Mad Men (AMC, 10 p.m.): “Don takes a day off,” the TV Guide synopsis blithely states, as if written by Ted Chaough in a sour, sarcastic mood. Todd VanDerWerff will attempt to keep his review from implying any scoffs or other sounds of derision.

Veep (HBO, 10 p.m.): If Selina’s rival’s first name is Danny, and her scheming-est staffer’s first name is Dan, a mixup of farcical proportions must be in the offing. Robert David Sullivan is happy to participate in cases of mistaken identity with any and all Roberts, Davids, or Sullivans.

The Borgias (Showtime, 10 p.m.): Get your fill of sexy pope action tonight, because after this episode, there’s no more sexy pope action to be had. From the recently canceled Borgias, at least—Les Chappell bets you’ll find some interesting results if you plug “sexy pope action” into your preferred search engine.

Family Tree (HBO, 10:30 p.m.): With Erik Adams embarking on a journey of his own, Phil Dyess-Nugent steps in to see Tom off to Los Angeles. WillardWatch 2013 predicts a 75 percent chance of Fred Willard, with conditions looking favorable for affably boneheaded punchlines.

The Venture Bros. (Adult Swim, midnight): Yeah, sure, The Killing detectives are getting back together, but how far off is a Henchman 21-Monarch reunion? If 21 keeps angering his OSI bosses, Zack Handlen supposes it’ll happen pretty soon.

TV CLUB CLASSIC

Farscape (11 a.m.): “Crackers Don’t Matter” declares the first of this morning’s episodes—to which Alasdair Wilkins argues, “Actually they do, especially when one is eating a chili, or maybe when a fine cheese is about to be served.”

Saturday Night Live (Classic) (1 p.m.): Skip out on Phil Dyess-Nugent’s review of the first season’s Rob Reiner-hosted installment? What are you, some kind of meathead? (Thank you, thank you—we’ll be here all week. Please stick around for a crazy street-dancing take on Swan Lake from The Lockers.)

The Simpsons (Classic) (3 p.m.): So it’s come to this: Erik Adams reviews “Another Simpsons Clip Show,” the second-ever Simpsons “greatest hits” episode—but certainly not its last. (And certainly not the last time a clip show will prompt us to recycle this blurb.) 

WHAT ELSE IS ON?

Daytime Emmy Awards (HLN, 8 p.m.): Just like the soap operas that serve as the awards’ most prominent honorees, the Daytime Emmys have slid far, far down the TV totem pole. So far that they’re now telecast in whatever timeslot HLN isn’t devoting to Nancy Grace shouting about Jody Arias.

Inspector Lewis (PBS, 9 p.m.): The sixth series of the British crime drama begins with the case of a murdered psychic. You’d think they would’ve been able to see that sort of thing coming…

2013 Miss USA Pageant (NBC, 9 p.m.): Sadly, this beauty pageant was not one of the Donald Trump ventures represented on this fantastic piece of work by the Cake Boss—which is, undoubtedly, one of the classiest and most delicious ways of ever telling someone they’ve been fired.

Nurse Jackie (Showtime, 9 p.m.): Lest The Borgias’ untimely demise suggest that Showtime is no longer the “in perpetuity” network, here’s the fifth-season finale of Nurse Jackie to remind us that a sixth season is on its way—even though the past 10 episodes worked so hard to undo the hard work of season four.

RoboCop (BBC America, 8 p.m.): Or, as it would be known on BBC proper, AutoBobby.

To Kill A Mockingbird (TCM, 8 p.m.): Or, as it’s known to the members of the National Pork Board, When A Ham Helped Defeat Segregation.

NBA Finals: Heat at Spurs (ABC, 8 p.m.): The Heat pulled even in Game 4, the third straight game of the finals to be decided by double digits. Let’s see if either squad throws more energy into defense tonight in order to make league history by holding their opponents to a three-figure deficit.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Magic City: The summertime’s about to claim Mad Men, but Starz has your ’60s period-piece bases covered with the second season of this Miami-based crime story. Will Harris looks forward another eight episodes of mid-century drama where misconduct isn’t something to be hidden—it’s just another accessory for the sharp-dressed ensemble. 

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