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TV Wasteland: The Hollow Crown

Dexter bows out and Sleepy Hollow premieres, but it's all about the Bard this week.

By Rob Vaux     September 16, 2013

 It’s a fairly busy week, and the series finale of Dexter certainly seems to call out for notice. The show was a solid hit, and going out on the top of its game is worth noting in and of itself.  I’d like to focus on something else, however, which might not earn the attention that Dexter does, but is certainly of interest to genre fans. PBS is premiering The Hollow Crown, an epic adaptation of the four plays in the Shakespeare’s Henry cycle (Richard II, Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, and Henry V). It’s certainly quite ambitious, especially considering that Henry V has at least two other “definitive” versions out there. The main draw to genre fans is the cast. Tom Hiddleston plays young Hal, with Ben Whishaw, Jeremy Irons and Patrick Stewart in prominent roles. It’s a huge undertaking, and by all accounts a complete triumph as well. And it won’t clash with Dexter, the season finale of Under the Dome, or the series premiere of Sleepy Hollow so there’s no excuse not to infuse a little culture into your week. 

The Hollow Crown airs on PBS starting this Friday at 9:00 PM EDT.


Under the Dome (CBS, 10:00 PM EDT)
The forces behind the dome reveal themselves while the conflict between Big Jim and Barbie reaches a climax.
Sleepy Hollow (Fox, 9:00 PM EDT)
Fox unveils a new series placing Ichabod Crane and the Headless horseman in the 21st century. Interesting premise. Let’s see what they do with it.
Life of Pi (HBO, 6:45 PM EDT)
It’s still incredible, even after multiple viewings. 
Cloverfield (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Because giant monsters are the worst when they disrupt young people’s social lives.
District 9 (Sundance, 7:45 PM EDT)
We are never more inhuman than dealing with non-humans in this brilliant modern sci-fi masterpiece.
Underworld: Evolution and Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
They’re actually not too bad. Just a little pulpy.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
And… it’s on basic cable now. Swell.


Face Off (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
The remaining contestants must create classic Halloween characters; make-up artist Valli O’Reilly serves as a guest judge.
Heroes of Cosplay (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Season 1 ends with more hijinks at Kansas City’s Planet Comicon.
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (FXM, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
The third entry in the Ice Age franchise pretty much derails whatever middling charms were left.
Iron Man 2 (ABC, 8:00 PM EDT)
The runt of the Phase One litter lands on ABC. 


Paranormal Witness (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
A detective with supposedly paranormal powers helps to catch a serial killer in this week’s episode.
Ghost Mine (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
The team learns some new information about the past while equipment malfunctions and ghost sightings pick up.
Battleship (Cinemax, 9:00 PM EDT)
Bah! The stink, she does not fade! Repeats on Sunday at 10:00 PM EDT.
In Time (HBO, 7:00 PM EDT)
It got such a bad rap and yet it’s such a fantastic premise with such an interesting execution. And now I’m officially a Justin Timberlake fan… which is kind of freaky


Revolution Marathon (Syfy, 8:00 AM EDT)
Syfy runs the entire first season of its post-apocalyptic show today: a good way to catch up if you’ve missed any episodes.
Bell, Book and Candle (TCM, 8:00 PM EDT)
Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart star in a dated but reasonably charming tale of modern-day witches in New York.
The Green Hornet (FX, 10:00 PM EDT)
There is nothing remotely charming about this Seth Rogen ego-fest that thoroughly ruins the old 60s TV show.
National Treasure (AMC, 7:00 PM EDT)
It’s good for families, I suppose, in that it doesn’t make you want to actively gouge your eyeballs out.
Deep Impact (Cinemax, 7:00 PM EDT)
AKA. The One Where Morgan Freeman Is President.


Great Performances: The Hollow Crown (PBS, 9:00 PM EDT)
PBS unveils an epic new version of Shakespeare’s Henry plays, starting with Richard II. Ben “Q” Whishaw stars, alongside Patrick Stewart. See the top of the article for more.
Haven (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
People in Haven are bursting into flames, but Nathan is too obsessed with finding Audrey to do anything about it.
La Jetee (TCM, 8:00 PM EDT)
If you’ve ever seen Twelve Monkeys, you should be very interested in this French sci-fi film that relies almost entirely on still images. The plots of the two films are identical.
Rollerball (TCM , 8:45 PM EDT)
The original, with James Caan, helps TCM handily win the Double Feature of the Week Award.
The Amazing Spider-Man (Starz, 6:40 PM EDT)
Andrew Garfield really kind of nails the character, doesn’t he?
Wreck-It Ralph (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
Despite the Academy’s gross favoritism, this remains the best animated feature of last year.
X-Men: First Class (FX, 7:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
And why not follow it up with the best X-Men movie thus far?
The Green Mile (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Stephen King and Frank Darabont create a decent story that still doesn’t reach as high as it could. Repeats on Saturday at 8:00 PM EDT on IFC.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
Everything that’s wrong with Hollywood in two unwatchable hours.


The White Queen (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
Time for some political weddings! They never end badly…
Resident Evil: Afterlife (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
I could remind you which one this is, but it doesn’t really matter, does it?
Drive Angry (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Hope Nic Cage paid off some serious bills with this one. Repeats Sunday night at 7:00 PM EDT.
Ratatouille (ABC Family, 6:30 PM EDT)
ABC Family delivers a one-two punch from the very best of Pixar’s animated features… both directed by Brad Bird.
The Incredibles (ABC Family, 9:00 PM EDT)
The Ayn Rand vibes get a little strong here, but it’s still one of the best superhero films out there. Repeats on Sunday at 6:30 PM EDT.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Cartoon, 7:00 PM EDT)
In case anyone needs an update before the sequel hits. It’s pretty good… making this a fine night for animation.


Dexter (Showtime, 9:00 PM EDT)
The series concludes with Dexter facing his biggest threat, even while a hurricane descends on Miami. Congratulations to the cast and crew for a successful run, and best wishes for all your future endeavors!
Ghost Rider (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
And we’ll say it again: Daredevil was not Ben Affleck’s fault!
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (ABC Family, 9:00 PM EDT)
Johnny Depp returns as Jack Sparrow in an adventure that remains sadly underrated.
A Knight’s Tale (BBC America, 7:00 PM EDT)
This film has its adherents too, who enjoy its unique combination of medieval adventure and 70s power ballads.
Starship Troopers (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT, 10:45 PM EDT)
It is awfully bombastic, isn’t it?
King Arthur (Starz, 10:00 PM EDT)
The knights make dick jokes and Kiera Knightley wears something strappy. What’s not to love?


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CaptAmerica04 9/16/2013 7:46:53 AM

I loved "In Time," making me another Justin Timberlake convert.  I won't buy his music, but I dig the dude as an actor.  I think he's got a lot of potential if he gets the right chances with some good directors.

Kiera Knightley needs to go to the same eating disorder clinic as Zoe Saldana.

Oh, and you forgot the most important show of all to genre fans everywhere:  Dancing with the Stars, because our wives make us ALL sit through it, waiting to get back to our shows.

karas1 9/16/2013 7:59:34 AM

I don't really get this facination with Dancing With The Stars.  Yeah, the costumes are pretty and the dancing is fun to watch.  But I find that a little of that goes a long way and the parts of the show where they have interviews and watch the contestants practice and such are DEATHLY dull.

I liked In Time too.  I saw it in the theater and thought it was creative and interesting though the love story part was a little predictable.  And Hey!  Matt Bomer!  With how much I love him in White Collar I'm happy to see him getting work in movies.  (And watching him strip in Magic Mike was SO much fun!)

jedibanner 9/16/2013 8:27:59 AM

Mmm, CaptAmerica04, I wouldn't say our wives makes us ALL sit throuhg it...mine certainlly doesn't and even if she tried, no way in hell would I watch DWTS....even less since hockey is starting too so, no way in hell.

Call me crazy but, Justin T isn't a good actor...and his movies aren't that good. The ideas and the stories he played in were great but he is the weakest link in the movies he played IMO.

And the worst is that he keeps getting works....what's the world coming true.

redhairs99 9/16/2013 8:36:08 AM

Has anyone been able to figure why exactly the writers and producers of Under the Dome decided to completely ignore the source material?

monkeyfoot 9/16/2013 9:23:20 AM

I'll be watching the Sleepy Hollow premiere. The idea of it has my attention so I will see if the execution of it keeps it.

In Time was just okay to me. Haven't seen it in a while but as I recall the setup for how the world worked and JT's character attack on it didn't make sense to me. JT as an actor is fine to me.

The Incredibles and Ayn Rand? WTF! Parallels to her Objectivist philosophy is new to me. I had to google a couple of sites to figure what that was about. I guess you can see some parallels in the Incredibles family supressing their specialness to appear normal to her beliefs that society was against being exceptional. But director/writer Brad Bird said he had no intention to touch on Randian philosophies.

blankczech 9/16/2013 10:50:17 AM

 As usual I find Vaux's mini reviews to be a little too self absorbed for my taste (trying too hard to be cute and witty in 25 words or less) 

...still, it's nice to perouse a partial list of TV shows that will air during the week.

I agree that The Incredibles is one of the best Super Hero movies ever...

I'm also a fan of J. Timberlake.  The kid is a real pro.  Everything he does isn't necessarily a gem but you can see the hard work and attention to detail he puts into each performance...whether he's hosting Saturday Night Live, singing and dancing at the VMA's or playing a bit part in the movie Alpha Dog.

jackwagon 9/16/2013 10:59:04 AM

In Time was absolutely atrocious.  It's one of those movies where I couldn't get past the premise at all.  Why would society decide that it's a good idea to convert all currency into amounts of time?  How could science figure out a way to beat biology and make everyone stop aging at 25?  Just how long has society been living this way?  Is the entire world like this, or did it only affect America?  (That final question, depending on its answer, opens all kinds of doors for further questions)

The movie was so ham-fisted with its ideas about class struggles and the economy that it annoyed me from the very beginning.  Science fiction films certainly can be - and have been - used as allegories to talk about social issues, but I don't need to be preached to with the subtlety of being hit across the face with a 2 x 4.

makabriel 9/16/2013 2:54:27 PM

@Redhairs.  To make it and ongoing miniseries, that's how.

See Haven.  

aegrant 9/16/2013 5:41:24 PM

 Oddly enough I never saw the end of In Time

I thought Drive Angry was a pretty decent (of course I went in with VERY low expectations)

I am really hoping Sleepy Hollow is good

Damn DVR - I only have the first half of Under the Dome (hate when that happens)

Going to have to DVR Hollow Crown on Friday (hope it records right) - That's Friday night lights time in NE Ohio

And @CaptAmerica04 my ex tried to get me to watch DWTS once, and well, now she is my ex

jetpackjesus 9/16/2013 8:09:03 PM

Thanks for bringing up Hollow Crown.  I was totally unaware of its existence, but I definitely want to check it out.  

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