For those of you who, like me, are feeling that the wasteland of summer TV is endless, take comfort in the knowledge that the fall season is only about six weeks away.
Monday, August 12
MythBusters Breaking Bad Special (10-11 pm, Discovery)
Jamie and Adam attempt to recreate some of Breaking Bad’s more notorious, um, “science experiments.” Show creator Vince Gilligan and Aaron Paul (Jesse) stop by to watch.
Tuesday, August 13
Fixing Juvie Justice (9-10 pm, PBS)
This one-hour special looks at an alternative approach to youth crime being practiced in New Zealand, and an adaptation of the same method in use in Baltimore.
Wednesday, August 14
This Is Spinal Tap (9:45-11:15 pm, Sundance)
The original mockumentary, and still one of the funniest. It works because of everyone’s utter deadpan seriousness. Absolutely a must-see if you’ve never seen it, and if you have, do you need an excuse to watch it again?
Thursday, August 15
Action Jackson (8-9:40 pm, Encore)
Remember on Arrested Development when Tobias took “acting lessons” from Carl Weathers? If you watched that and found yourself wondering who Carl Weathers was/is, this 1988 clunker might help answer the question (If you never saw Rocky IV, that is). Co-stars include Sharon Stone, Craig T. Nelson, and Vanity. Come to think of it, maybe you don’t need to watch any TV tonight…
Friday, August 16
NFL Exhibition Football: Buccaneers vs. Patriots (8-11ish, Fox)
You know it’s a slow TV week when I’m citing a preseason Pats game. Tampa Bay comes to Foxboro tonight; they’ll return for real in week 3, the only preseason opponent the Patriots play again during the regular season.
Saturday, August 17
Being Human (11 pm-12 am, BBC America)
The supernatural drama reaches its conclusion tonight. I never connected with this below-the-radar show, but I know people who have enjoyed it.
Sunday, August 18
Masterpiece Mystery: The Lady Vanishes (9-10:30 pm, PBS)
Not the Alfred Hitchcock film but a new adaptation from the same source material Hitchcock used (a 1930s novel called The Wheel Spins), in which a woman goes missing from a train and none of the other passengers can recall seeing her.
Barton Fink (1991)
One of the weirdest of the Coen Brothers’ movies, this story of an intellectual playwright (John Turturro) trying to write a Hollywood screenplay while coping with writer’s block in 1941 is the kind of movie you feel you need to watch again as soon as you finish it. The stellar supporting cast includes John Goodman, John Mahoney, Judy Davis, Tony Shalhoub, and Steve Buscemi.
(Note: this information is accurate as of publication time, but programming is subject to change at the discretion of channels and networks. All times listed are Eastern time.)