Sunday, 9 p.m. (HBO)
The modern-day vampire series True Blood begins its sixth season in ghastly fashion. Bill (Stephen Moyer) dies, then returns to life as something else—something bloody and horrible. He emerges from a burning building and shoots into the sky “like a naked evil Superman,” according to the fleeing Jason (Ryan Kwanten).
Has Bill become the reincarnation of vampire godhead Lilith? If so, should he/she be killed? “Whatever that thing is,” says Sookie (Anna Paquin), “it’s not Bill.”
As the governor of Louisiana declares war on the state’s vampire population—who’ve been acting up after a shortage of the synthetic TruBlood concoction—Bill mystically summons Jess (Deborah Ann Woll) to see him in his new incarnation. When she arrives, he looks like his (very) handsome self again.
“I am no monster,” he tells Jess. “I do not wish any of you harm.”
Why am I not reassured?
Sanjay And Craig
Saturday, 10:30 a.m. (Nickelodeon)
Finally, a gross-out cartoon series that leaves you feeling elated rather than sick to your stomach. Sanjay (voiced by 30 Rock’s Maulik Pancholy) is a 12-year-old boy, and Craig (voiced by Chris Hardwick) is a talking snake. They’re in the Best Friend Hall Of Fame, according to the awesome theme song, and you can see why. These pals are on the same frantic wavelength, delighting in disguises, bodily functions and other stupid stuff.
The first-time filmmakers (Jim Dirschberger, Jay Howell, Andreas Trolf) were evidently given free rein, and they deliver a series with a distinctive sensibility. True, it’s a middle-school boy’s sensibility, but all of us former middle school boys now have a reason to get up on Saturday mornings.
Primeval: New World
Saturday, 10 p.m. (Syfy)
Mangled bodies are turning up on the streets of Vancouver, apparently victims of an animal attack. “His eyes were pecked out,” says a member of the Canadian team called in to investigate. “Chest ripped open. Organs consumed.”
There’s only one possible explanation: Dinosaurs are spilling into Vancouver through a rip in the time-space continuum. I mean, what else could it be?
This wonderfully cheesy new series isn’t stingy with the creatures. We get a good look at the big, scary reptiles as they hunt down one unlucky victim after another. The sound effects technicians have stumbled into the job of a lifetime, delivering screeches, snarls and plenty of flesh-munching tones.
I’m ready to watch Primeval: New World for the rest of the summer. I just worry that Canada will run out of extras to feed its ravenous beasties.
Sunday, 9 p.m. (TNT)
In season three, the humans stand strong against the extraterrestrial monsters who’ve overrun the Earth. A ragtag band of freedom fighters have organized themselves into the New United States of America, with former history scholar Tom (Noah Wyle) as president. This week, the humans wait tensely for an invasion that, as Tom suggests, is almost certain to occur.
“In the last two years I’ve been kidnapped, tortured, shot, implanted with an eye worm and contaminated by a nuclear reactor,” he says. “I think we can count on something happening, don’t you?”
In the meantime, Tom’s newborn baby is acting suspiciously, at least according to his partner, Anne (Moon Bloodgood). The baby is standing up and talking, and that wouldn’t be possible at her age unless—gulp—she’s an alien. Tom thinks that Anne is just having a breakdown, and that the baby will be fine.
You hope he’s right, but you can’t get his earlier comment out of your head: “I think we can count on something happening, don’t you?”
King & Maxwell
Monday, 10 p.m. (TNT)
TNT puts no effort into finding a novel angle for this new cop series. Sean King (Jon Tenney) and Michelle Maxwell (Rebecca Romijn) are your standard pair of bickering private investigators, solving ho-hum cases. In between wisecracks, they outwit stodgy by-the-book cops who are just there to issue hollow threats. One minute we’re asked to take supermodel Romijn seriously as a gun-wielding, punch-throwing gumshoe; the next we’re invited to ogle her half-naked in a towel.
TNT, if you can’t come up with anything better than King & Maxwell, we’re just going to switch to a cop series on the USA network. (Hey, I can issue hollow threats of my own.)