Also: Gillian Anderson as David Bowie and Shane Carruth Showcasing Breakthroughs in Predicting the Future.
We are changing things up a little bit this week for our TV guide, trying something different and seeing if this works better for you and us. Instead of highlighting just one program for each of the next seven days, we’re highlighting seven programs, and ranking them by our anticipation, regardless of when during the week they’re airing or streaming. This allows us to feature the multiple must-see items on, say, Tuesday or Friday while not forcing us to find something special for, say, Saturday.
1. House of Cards: Season 3
Are we still interested in Frank Underwood in the era of Donald Trump? The simple answer is yes. House of Cards is one of the great Washington-set series that is adversely affected by the craziness of the current administration, because nothing this or Veep or any other show can do can top what’s going on at the real-life White House anymore. But we also watch this series for the very specific character-driven drama of Frank, Claire, Doug, and the rest, as well as for the performances by Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, etc., in those roles. Newcomers for Season 5, which will be the first following the departure of creator Beau Willimon as showrunner, include Patricia Clarkson, Neve Campbell, and Campbell Scott. All 13 episodes of the season will be available to stream on Netflix starting on Tuesday.
2. Long Strange Trip
Even if you’re not a casual fan of the Grateful Dead, let alone a full-on Deadhead, this four-hour documentary promises to be of interest. And given its acclaim on the festival circuit since its Sundance debut and its being directed by a dependable filmmaker like Amir Bar-Lev (My Kid Could Paint That, Happy Valley), we’re not doubting such an idea. Oh yeah, and it’s produced by Martin Scorsese. It sounds like a great test for us all to take just to see if enthralling as major critics are saying. While most of Amazon’s movie releases are heavily committed to a theatrical run far in advance of their debut on Prime, Long Strange Trip will be available to members starting June 2nd, as an episodic series, one week after it opens on the big screen.
3. Twin Peak: The Return: “Part 3” and “Part 4”
If you’re on board for the new Twin Peaks and didn’t discover you can watch the third and fourth episodes On Demand already, then you can catch them both as they air on Showtime on Sunday night. The first of the two is all about the many sides of Cooper, while Part 4 is heavy on guest stars, including Naomi Watts, Robert Forster, and Michael Cera, who is surprisingly perfect for Twin Peaks. We won’t spoil anything about his character but he’s already a new favorite of the fans.
4. American Gods: “Lemon Scented You”
Also Sunday night, the latest episode of American Gods has the debut of another exciting character. Actually, we’ve already met Gillian Anderson’s Media, but she’s back with a new incarnation: David Bowie. And not just David Bowie but Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie.