The TV Universe is ever-expanding (and often cluttered) but as summer season officially kicks off this week, there are several creative morsels that simply must be devoured.
Fans of HBO's addictive delight, Game of Thrones rush to the head of the line please. Sunday's Season Four finale (9pm ET/PT) is being touted as one of its series most memorable outings. Of course, we can say that for a number of Game episodes. Thus far, the HBO series has proven itself to be both a critical and ratings hit. It doesn't hurt that nearly everything from the writing to the cast to the pacing continue to stand out in this Emmy-winning series. (Truth be told, Emmy voters could toss several more awards to the deserving actors here. Thus far, the show's technical awards outweigh everything.)
So, what do we get in Sunday's episode? Dragons. Plenty of them. That's certainly a nice way to end a season but look for some new developments revolving around Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), who spent most of the season wandering beyond The Wall with his posse of youngsters and Hodor (Kristian Nairn) to boot. Bran et al reach the tree that has appeared in young Stark's (Sean Bean) visions. Cue: dramatic music.
Look for yet another twist of fate for the beleaguered fan favorite Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). In the meantime, take note of four other shows that you should place on your TV radar this week.
4. Fargo (Season Finale) The freshman season of the inviting FX series, which is based on the popular Coen Brothers film, wins points for innovation and some of the finest performances we have seen from two actors this year—Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman. Let's hope one or both of them are remembered when the Emmy noms arrive in July. (Although it's a tough year what with Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey's True Detective. (Tune in: 10pm ET/PT Tuesday, FX)
3. Louie (Season Finale) Yes, it's true. Comedian Louis C.K. has made this show one of TV's most-critically acclaimed comedy series. Thankfully, it returned in May of this year after nearly a two-year hiatus. On Monday's season four finale, will the season end with the same theme carried throughout the season: Louie’s relationships with the women in his life? It's a safe bet. Watch for the comedian/actor to grab another Emmy nom next month. (Tune in 10pm ET/PT Monday, FX)
2. Dominion (Series Premiere) It's been somewhat challenging to absorb the kind of programming that SyFy has produced since Battlestar Gallactica—a superior show in all respects—faded to black, but this new endeavor seems poised to lure in the viewers. The premise: it's tres apocalyptic and based on the 2010 film Legion. (Tune in 9pm ET/PT Thursday, SyFy)
1. Orange is the New Black (New Season) Yes, this may be last week's news, but in the event you have not delved into the binge-worthy new episodes of Jenji Kohan’s memorable female prison drama, have at it. Expectations were high after the show's marvelous first season on Netflix last year. This season has a number of fine moments and, as a whole, is wonderfully crafted and ends on yet another memorable note. Color me moved.