Thursday, January 27, 2022

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On The Tube

Bodies of evidence


on the tubeWith “Reckless,” CBS tries to create a sexy summer series — and succeeds (Sunday, 8 p.m.). Jamie (Anna Wood), a gorgeous Yankee lawyer in Charleston, South Carolina, is introduced in stiletto heels first, the camera practically drooling as it pans up to her tight miniskirt. You might think that’s offensive, and maybe it is. But Jamie’s hunky male rival, assistant district attorney Roy (Cam Gigandet), gets equal treatment as a piece of meat, parading around shirtless in low-hanging jeans. These two have a lot of important cases to work on, such as the one that requires them to watch a tape of an orgy — several times, to make sure they understand it thoroughly — while struggling to keep their paws off each other.

It’s amusing that, amid such softcore goings-on, “Reckless” bothers to add a sprinkling of redeeming social value. The soundtrack turns to mush whenever Roy gets a call from his adorable daughters, or when Jamie defends an innocent man in court. We’re asked to feel moral outrage over corruption in local law enforcement, with the evidence contained in the aforementioned orgy tape.

I am, indeed, morally outraged. But I think I need to see the tape one or two more times to make sure that I understand it thoroughly.

True Blood

Sunday, 8 p.m. (HBO)


In its last season, “True Blood” is determined to go out in spectacular fashion. This week, the Louisiana town of Bon Temps reels in the aftermath of an apocalyptic vampire attack.

And it’s not just the people who are reeling. The vampires themselves, infected with a virus, despair over their lack of self-control — i.e., their inhumanity. A group of them hole up in a bar, mouths bloody, with humans chained in the basement as future food. In an unforgettable scene, freaked-out prisoners Holly (Lauren Bowles) and Arlene (Carrie Preston) recognize a local fourth-grade teacher among their vampire captors. They desperately appeal to her conscience, which has somehow survived amid the bloodlust.

What happens next is shocking, and I don’t want to give anything away. All I’ll say is: Rarely has inhumanity seemed so human.

The Musketeers

Sunday, 8 p.m. (BBC America)

I admit that, as a kid, I played Three Musketeers with a silky cape and toy sword. But those things have been packed in the basement for a long time, and none of the Musketeer movies or TV shows of recent years has made me want to get them back out. So imagine my surprise at “The Musketeers,” which delivers swashbuckling thrills as if it were the easiest thing in the world. As we know from NBC’s leaden pirate drama “Crossbones,” it isn’t.

In 17th century Paris, three of the king’s bodyguards (Tom Burke, Santiago Cabrera and Howard Charles) take on rookie D’Artagnan (Luke Pasqualino), who must learn — be still, my heart — their various codes of honor. The production pokes fun at Musketeer mythology, but it doesn’t let irony get in the way of a ripping good story. Brace yourself for clanging swordfights, forbidden romance, galloping horses, dank dungeons, pointy goatees, black-hearted villains and, of course, enough puffy-sleeve shirts to fill Notre Dame Cathedral.

I can’t tell you how much willpower it’s taking not to get my silky cape and toy sword out of the basement. CV   

Dean Robbins is a syndicated TV columnist from Madison, Wis. He graduated from Grinnell College and went on to become an award-winning journalist, but he’s been a committed couch potato long before he figured out a way to get paid for watching TV. See more of his work at

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