The Bridge

FX, July 10, 10 p.m. ET/PT |

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Emotionally intense and intensely timely, this new crime drama hunkers down on a geopolitical hotspot: the border of El Paso and Chihuahua, Mexico. On the bridge linking the countries, Mexican authorities find a corpse: She was an American judge, so our side claims her. But a gruesome forensic detail means that Mexico gets a stake in the case after all. Their investigation is led by Marco Ruiz (Weeds' Demiàn Bichir), an excellent cop who's learned to work around corruption: Rules slide and stretch with adaptive elasticity. His American partner, and to some degree opponent, is Detective Sonya Cross (Inglourious Basterds' Diane Kruger). An obsessive stickler for detail - she suffers from Asperger's - she finds Ruiz bewilderingly disruptive.

An intricate mystery confidently spun out with dark, unsettling shocks, The Bridge quickly becomes a moral swamp that includes illegal trafficking in immigrants (Annabeth Gish, a wealthy El Paso woman, discovers a suspicious tunnel her husband had built under their property), serial murder and more. Kruger's deliberately inexpressive, otherworldly performance takes getting used to - she seems to be methodically working her way through a roster of neurotic tics—but the twists will have you hooked.


NBC, July 10, 10 p.m. ET/PT |

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This new hour-long comedy is a bustling, rather scattered affair - it's sort of like learning to weave a basket, start a fire and right an overturned canoe all in one session. Rachel Griffiths (Brothers & Sisters) plays the financially strapped, newly single owner of the Little Otter Family Camp. In addition to keeping track of the many romances, feuds and friendships among her counselors, she enjoys robust casual sex with the divorcé who owns the prospering rival camp. None of this adds up to much—the chief recreation is watching Griffiths, who somehow combines a sunny naturalness with a small reserve of arch, ironic detachment. For her scenes, at least, be a happy camper.




Jane Lynch, who as you know is not really like Glee's Sue Sylvester, hosts a competition that teams stars and nonstars. NBC, July 11.


Well, what's the alternative? A new extreme reality contest with the wilderness man. NBC, July 8.


As Chris O'Dowd winds down his visit to his American relatives, that monkey puppet goes AWOL. Season finale. HBO, July 7.


You and Teri Polo (inset, right) play a lesbian couple who take in a foster child. How did you approach the part?

I'm not gay, but I know what love is. And I do love Teri! I kissed her for a photo once, and someone said, "You guys are brave." The only brave thing about that is that she likes onions!

Jennifer Lopez is a producer on the show. What's she like?

So down-to-earth! When you talk to her, you know she's listening.

What kind of feedback have you gotten from viewers?

I've heard from women who have families like we do on the show, and they're excited about it. It's humbling.



Congratulations on Wilfred's third season!

It's gratifying because we have fun creating it. People love the absurdity of it—a man in a dog suit talking to a guy—but it's a layered show, not just a comedy.

Do you ever think it would be more fun to play the dog?

His makeup process is a nose, basically, and he can wear sweatpants when he's not in the suit. It's pretty easy. I have wardrobe changes four times a day!

How did you avoid the pitfalls of child stardom?

I credit my mother for instilling in me a balanced perspective and a well-roundedness. I'm also lucky.

Do you still get recognized as Frodo?

I suppose I get recognized most from the Lord of the Rings films, but I'm actually surprised people reference Green Street Hooligans and Yo Gabba Gabba! People also think I am Daniel Radcliffe.


Netflix's Orange Is the New Black, an irritating comedy-drama set in a women's prison, revolves around Piper Chapman, a privileged blonde princess serving time because she carried drug money. Taylor Schilling (Mercy) plays her realistically (and believably)—a mistake. Weepy, whiny, cringing, this girl would be better off in solitary. Preferably in another medium.