On the tube: a look at what’s on TV right now

HBO's "True Detective" Season 1 / Director: Cary Fukunaga
(AP Photo) – Woody Harrelson (left) and Matthew McConaughey (right) appear in a scene from True Detective.

By: Saúl Berríos-Thomas | Layout Editor

There is something fun to watch every night of the week on TV. With that in mind, the goal of this column is to give a suggestion of what to watch each night followed by some other popular shows.

Let’s start with network TV’s newest chart-topper, Resurrection on ABC, which airs every Sunday. This show has captured America’s attention with just two episodes. The pilot was the ninth ranked network show that week drawing in 11.2 million viewers according to the Nielsen ratings. This provocative show follows people returning from the dead and how it affects their families. The child who returned in the first episode had been dead for 30 years, while the guy who returned in the second show had only been dead a few years.

A Monday show that I enjoy is The Following on Fox. This show, which drew 4.18 million viewers, covers a very dark topic, while avoiding the use of graphic violence well enough for network TV. The show details the life of a serial killer, who is inspired by Edgar Allan Poe. The rogue alcoholic FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) is dark, but addictive.

My favorite network TV show is Person of Interest, Tuesdays on CBS. This combination of sci-fi, action and drama follows a man who built a “machine” that can detect violence before it happens based on the data from cell phones, email and other technology. After he sold the machine to the US government he realized they were not going to protect the average person with the machine, so he hacked in and got a group of ex-military operatives to help him prevent the violence. Each week they get a number from the machine then they have to find the person who needs help, figure out the threat to him or her and save the person. The leading man John Reese (Jim Caviezel) is a graying former CIA operative who is trying to right all his wrongs while working for the government. The show captures all this, while still developing the characters and an overarching plot.

Wednesday is the home of a fun alternative to all the action in ABC’s Nashville. Nashville follows the life of some up-and-coming country music artists. The leading ladies Rayna James (Connie Britton) and Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) often butt heads, but they end up working together because they both realize how much they love the music. James, the artist who has been on top for a while struggles with things like divorce, raising her children and opening a new label. Not only is the acting good, but the other characters are talented singers as well.

Thursday is home to American Idol on Fox and Parks and Recreation on NBC, but I prefer something a little different. I like Hell’s Kitchen on Fox. In this show, 20 aspiring restaurateurs will brave Gordon Ramsay and his fiery command of the kitchen as he puts the competitors through an intense culinary academy to prove they possess the right combination of skill and will to win a life-changing prize.

If you’re staying in on Friday, check out Hannibal on NBC. It is based on the famous movie and, like The Following, it manages to achieve a highly creepy level. Dr. Hannibal Lecter is played well by Mads Mikkelsen.

On Saturday nights the top dog is still Saturday Night Live on NBC. In it’s 39th season, is still a must see. This live sketch comedy show has a cast that includes Vanessa Bayer, Taran Killam, Bobby Moynihan, Nasim Pedrad, Jay Pharoah, Kenan Thompson, Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant and Mike O’Brien.

Those are some of your options for network TV, but if you are looking for even more then cable TV has many more options. The cable show that dominates ratings is The Walking Dead. The show follows the life of survivors after a virus spreads that cause dead people to turn into zombies. This Sunday show on AMC got 13 million viewers last week in it’s fourth season. It has become a huge success and continues to grow.

Another huge cable TV show is Justified. This Tuesday FX show follows federal marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) in a small town in Kentucky. The dialogue on this show is second-to-none. Givens always has a witty line and he and the main villain Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) have incredible back and fourths.

The top premium cable shows are all on Showtime right now. My favorites are House of Lies and Shameless. House of Lies is a show about a consulting firm headed by Don Cheadle’s character Marty Khan. He and his group of consultants swoop into major corporations and help them raise their bottom-line for a not-so-small fee. Shameless follows a Chicago family in the depths of poverty. They go through many struggles while trying to get money. The kids are often forced to make tough decisions including selling drugs and whether they can go to college or not. However, HBO is gearing up for the return of their top dog, Game of Thrones, which returns April 6.

Of course, one show that just ended its first season is HBO’s True Detective. The 8-episode season was probably the most impressive show on TV. The cinematography was amazing and the acting of Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson was unparalleled anywhere on TV. Unfortunately it does not sound like those two will be in the next season. It also brings up an interesting point that is echoed by The Following on Fox. Notable movie actors are starting to take more TV jobs, which shows a transition from a time when movie actors looked down upon TV. In an interview Bacon did with ESPN Radio’s Dan Lebatard he said that it was fun to be able to develop a character over the course of several seasons and that it was more of a challenge than a movie was.

You have something to watch every night. There are also options on some of the cable and premium cable channels. This is just a snippet of what I like right now, but suffice to say whatever you are looking for I’m sure someone is doing it really well somewhere.