True Blood

HBO, June 16, 9 p.m. ET/PT |

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True Blood began to go wrong last season, as the supernatural action shifted from life in swampy Bon Temps, La., to corporate and religious issues at vampire headquarters. The first few episodes of season 6 don't promise much improvement. Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) has finished digesting the vampire-goddess blood he swallowed at last year's finale, and in the process he has shed most of his quaint southern gentleman charm to become a powerfully dangerous prophet. The state of Louisiana, meanwhile, is ratcheting up its war on fanged society, shipping vampires to camps and conducting experiments on them. In other words, Blood is neglecting the potent subtext of vampire myth - forbidden sex and romance - in favor of political allegory. Isn't that what zombies are for? I'd be inclined to ditch the whole thing if it weren't for Anna Paquin as heroine Sookie Stackhouse, waitress and faerie heiress. Paquin is a sadly underrated actress, probably because she simply creates a grounded character without any fancy technical footwork. But even in this craziness, every word she says rings true.

The Fall

Netflix, currently streaming |

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Gillian Anderson, with her sensually curved lips and finely chiseled, patrician features, is perfect in this cool yet intensely emotional British crime series. She's Stella Gibson, a high-ranking investigator on the hunt in Belfast for a serial killer. He's played by Jamie Dornan (Once Upon a Time), who looks like a crestfallen Ashton Kutcher and is, for all the repulsive calculation of his killings, strangely sympathetic. You want this monster caught, and yet every time he trips up, you wince. With only five episodes, The Fall makes for a perfect, not-too-long marathon. And a second season has been ordered back in England.

Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret

Lifetime, June 22, 8 p.m. ET/PT |

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It's only a month since Jodi Arias was convicted of murder for stabbing her lover Travis Alexander nearly 30 times—and look, here comes Lifetime with a movie, hot from the oven! With the sensational trial taking up no more than the concluding 15 minutes, this is a low-rent Fatal Attraction starring Tania Raymonde (Lost) as a love-crazed stalker and Jesse Lee Soffer (The Mob Doctor) as her rather callow victim. But even a low-rent Fatal Attraction has some power. The crudely shot bloodbath that ends this last tango makes a salient if unpleasant point: Life can go from merely crummy to headline-tawdry in the blink of an eye.




Shakira and Usher (above) close out their first season judging the hit singing contest - CeeLo Green and Christina Aguilera are back next season. NBC, June 18.


Jackie (Edie Falco, right) is facing the first anniversary of her sobriety - but will it last? Season 5 finale. Showtime, June 16.


A history of Marilyn Monroe that features stars such as Glenn Close reading her writings. Pretentious, as if she were Anne Frank, but fascinating. HBO, June 17.

AMC's brutal drama, one of TV's best, is back for its final run Aug. 11. If you haven't caught up, catch up. These eight episodes from season 5, which aired almost a year ago, establish that drug-cooking nerd Walter White (Bryan Cranston) has grown as ruthless as the thugs who once terrified him - and that he's on the brink of what could be a catastrophic fall.

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You gave birth to your daughter Sebella, 1, just one month before shooting the show!

It was insanity. I was breast-feeding all the time. She'd be sitting in my lap in the makeup chair. She was like the mascot of the set! I wish that I could be home with my child, but I do care about my career. I'd been waiting eight years to work with [series creator Marc Cherry].

Eva Longoria is your producer. How do you like working together?

She's an inspiration. We did Dragnet together years ago and became friends. I was up for her Desperate Housewives role, but I was happy for her when she got it.

Do you treat your own housekeeper differently after playing one?

She is like family and always treated with respect. She'd pass out if I acted like they do on the show!


You were PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive 1987. Is that a point of pride, since you're working with other notably good-looking men?

It hadn't occurred to me. But I should get a card that says: Sexiest Man Alive and don't you forget it!

As a fan of the show, did you have an idea of what kind of character you'd play?

They gave me no clue who this person was or if I was even coming back. Was there a script? No. It was a leap of faith.

Was it fun wearing the '60s styles?

They're out of sight. Everything I've worn, from socks to the ties to the tie clasps to the shirts, is so perfect from the period.

What does your wife, actress Lisa Rinna, think of your role?

She goes on and on about it. We're both fans, so she loves it!