It’s a big week for moody middle-aged guys: Louie, Marc Maron, and Jack Bauer are all back. There’s also an ample supply of creepiness this week courtesy of British teen zombies, a reimagining of a classic horror story, and a new Showtime series.
Monday, May 5
24: Live Another Day (8-10 pm, Fox)
This 12-hour “event series” resumes the story of former government agent Jack Bauer, who’s been on the run for four years. Jack comes out of hiding in London to attempt to prevent a terrorist attack on the US president. The clock will still tick in real time but some parts of the day will be skipped over, which I hope means there won’t be any need for the silly subplot distractions of the original series. (Two-episode premiere; regular time slot Mondays at 9.)
Also tonight: after a lengthy delay, the fourth season of Louie finally arrives (10-11:05 pm, FX). Two episodes will air each week so the season can finish in time to qualify for this year’s Emmy awards.
Tuesday, May 6
Faking It (10:31-11:01 pm, MTV)
A show on MTV that’s worth watching? Yes. (To be fair, Awkward, which airs before this show and is now in its fourth season, is also decent.) In this witty comedy two high school friends are mistaken for a lesbian couple, which leads to a surge in their popularity that convinces them to perpetuate the ruse. This is the third episode, and I neglected to mention it when it premiered two weeks ago, but conveniently MTV is showing the first two episodes again tonight at 11:30 pm and midnight.
Wednesday, May 7
Lost in Space (9:20-11:35 pm, Encore)
Laughably terrible attempt to update a cheesy 1960s sci-fi TV series. Sometimes you just have to watch the awful movies to see how wrong everything went. The actors who collected paychecks for this embarrassment include William Hurt, Mimi Rogers, Gary Oldman, Heather Graham, and Matt LeBlanc.
Thursday, May 8
Maron (10-10:30 pm, IFC)
The grumpy comic, whose semi-autobiographical character makes Louis CK’s seem well adjusted, returns for a second season of misadventures and humiliation, followed by the season three premiere of Comedy Bang! Bang! at 10:30.
Friday, May 9
Darkman (10:30 pm-12:10 am, Flix)
It seems like it must have been based on a comic book; it wasn’t, but Sam Raimi’s first mainstream feature after Evil Dead and its follow-up is definitely imbued with comic-book spirit and carries more than a trace of what made RoboCop so watchable and memorable. Liam Neeson, in one of his earliest leading roles (and a foreshadowing of his more recent action oeuvre), stars as the title character, a scientist seeking revenge on those who disfigured him.
Saturday, May 10
In the Flesh (10-11 pm, BBC America)
The British do things differently, including zombie stories. This BBC miniseries returns for a second season, about a world with different rules, where the living and the undead are attempting to coexist. (For those looking to get caught up, the three episodes from season one are currently available to stream on the BBC America website.)
Sunday, May 11
Rosemary’s Baby (9-11 pm, NBC)
In addition to shifting the location to Paris, this new four-hour miniseries adaptation goes back to the source material (a 1967 novel by Ira Levin, also the author of The Stepford Wives, The Boys From Brazil, and the play Deathtrap) to fill out its story. It stars Zoe Saldana and Patrick J. Adams as the expectant couple, and Carole Bouquet and Jason Isaacs as the friendly neighbors who become a little too helpful and involved in their lives. (Part two airs Thursday the 15th from 9-11 pm.)
Also tonight: the premiere of Penny Dreadful (10-11 pm, Showtime), a horror thriller set in Victorian London that brings to life some of fiction’s more disturbing characters (Dorian Gray, Dr. Frankenstein). The cast includes Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, and Billie Piper.
Twin Peaks (1990-91)
David Lynch’s exploration into disturbing goings-on beneath the surface in a small town in Washington state (not dissimilar to the themes he had explored a few years earlier in Blue Velvet) starts strong and eventually goes off the rails, partly because it was originally developed as a miniseries meant to end after nine episodes, and partly because of the deliberately obtuse ways it makes use of supernatural elements. But it’s still mostly an enjoyable journey if you enjoy Lynch’s flavor of quirky, and are the sort of viewer who can accept weirdness for weirdness’s sake and many plot strands being left unexplained. (30 episodes total, with one of the most WTF unresolved cliffhangers in television history.)
(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.)