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HBO And Showtime Are Bringing Them Back: Our Favorite (Anti-)Heroes

Holly Butcher |
July 27, 2010 | 7:09 p.m. PDT

Senior Music Editor

Tired of sexy vampires and brooding shapeshifters? Don’t care about movie stars, talent agents or the best friend manager? What about basketball coaches who turn tricks at night?

Well, you’re in luck because in the upcoming weeks, cable is bringing back some of America’s favorite anti-heroes and introducing us to new Soprano-esque gangsters.

Here’s a look at four late summer/ early fall premieres on HBO and Showtime.


Boardwalk Empire – Debuts Sept. 19

Get excited – this new series, adapted from Nelson Johnson’s book "Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times and Corruptions of Atlantic City," stars Steve Buscemi as gangster “Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson,” Michael Pitt as “Jimmy Darmody,” William Hill as “Ward Boss O’Neil” and Nicholas Alexander Martino as “Pius D’Alessio.”

Set in the dawn of prohibition, “Boardwalk” tells “Nucky’s” story as a badass bootlegger and ruler of Atlantic City. Not much has been revealed, but there will be plenty of action as the creator is none other than Terence Winter (“The Sopranos”).

Oh, and Martin Scorsese directed the pilot.

Bored To Death – Premieres Sept. 26

This “noir-rotic” comedy left off after the Edition Magazine team (Jason Schwartzman as "Jonathan Ames" and Ted Danson as "George Christopher") suited up for a boxing challenge against their superiorly athletic GQ rivals. (Can you guess who won).

“Bored” has been consistently funny as struggling writer Ames attempts to get over his ex-girlfriend by moonlighting as a private investigator. With a cast including Danson and Zach Galifianakis, the situations were at best, awkward (i.e. Ames leaving behind a screenplay at a therapist’s house after being intimate with his very young daughter).

This season, it looks as if Ames finds himself in even more sexually uncomfortable settings and taking on even more dangerous clients (last season he was accosted by a skateboarding bully). Hopefully Danson and Galifianakis will tag along again as his partners in crime.

Another reason to watch in case you weren’t sold at amateur private eye: Kevin Bacon will guest star this season.


Weeds – Premieres Aug. 16

When we left the quirky, unlawful Botwins in season five, young Shane (Alexander Gould) had just offed Mexican political heavyweight Pilar Zuzua (Kate delCastillo) by hitting her over the head with a mallet. The credits rolled as her corpse fell into the pool, shading the water crimson. With a title aptly named, “Thwack,” season six picks up seconds later.

For someone like Nancy, who’s made up her own legal code since the death of her husband, the only response to such an event is to flee from Esteban Reyes (Demian Bichir) and his loyal followers. Fast.

Thus, the show resumes with the Botwins on the road as the "Newmans." And, according to teasers, Uncle Andy (Justin Kirk) tags along for the ride. They must remain anonymous if they wish to survive on the run. So does this mean Nancy’s leaving drug sales for good?

Never. The "Newmans" eventually settle in Seattle where Nancy meets Linda (Linda Hamilton), an eco-friendly marijuana grower. There, the family rebuilds a life where the promises of conflict between the brothers (Shane, the tormented killer and Silas, the good moral backbone) and sexual tension between Andy and Nancy (both have left their love lives behind) should be strong enough to attract any"Weeds" fanatic.

Unfortunately, Celia Hodes (Elizabeth Perkins) will not be making the trek up north with the gang and does not return in season six. 

Dexter – Premieres Sept. 26

Season four left blood on Dexter’s (Michael C. Hall) hands, but this time it doesn’t wash off. He feels responsible for Rita’s (Julie Benz) death, and even worse, his baby Harrison was found crying in a pool of blood (sound familiar?). Dexter and his son are now connected as ever.

According to teasers, Dexter immediately informs police at the beginning of season five, “it was me.” So now all eyes are turned in his direction. To add to the dramatics, police already have a suspect and sketch: none other than Kyle Butler, a name Dexter used while trying to get close to the “Trinity Killer” (John Lithgow) last season. Looks like Dexter’s luck keeping the “dark passenger “ hidden might evaporate this season…

Each "Dexter" season explores one central theme. Season one focused on the origin: how did Dexter become a serial killer whose victims were murderers? Season two revolved around this dark passenger who Dexter cannot control and the idea of a good monster (remember, The Code). Season three gave Dexter his first taste of friendship, which ended fatally because he realized he must always operate alone. And in season four, Dexter tried to have it all: serial killer by night, family man by day. Unfortunately, his stepfather Harry Morgan (James Remar) was right: he can’t. It’s not part of The Code.

Now season five hones in on guilt. Dexter sure looks like he’s started to feel.

Also to look forward to, this season Julia Stiles will join the cast for a few episodes, along with Katherine Moennig and Peter Weller.

Reach Senior Music Editor Holly Butcher here. 



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