September 5, 2012

TV Time Warp Round-up

Considering it may be a while before time machines exist (not to mention have all the kinks worked out -- I'm none too keen on accidentally getting stuck in Cromwell's England or a pair of too-tight seventies' bell-bottoms), I'll more-than-happily make do with my television set. Fall is rife with kick-ass costume dramas. A rundown of what's in my DVR queue:

Boardwalk Empire: Nucky Thompson is a not-very-good guy who's also not-very-good-looking, and yet I find myself drawn to him with a fervent ardor and an ardent fervor. (The age-old Steve Buscemi conundrum). It's kinda, sorta "The Sopranos" but with bootleggers and flappers. (And if you're looking for eye candy, Michael Pitt's Jimmy Darmody more than makes up for what Buscemi lacks.)

Copper: Set in New York's Five Points during the Civil War era, the dreamy Tom Weston-Jones plays Detective (a.k.a. "Copper") Kevin Corcoran. The initial episodes felt a little more Sherlock Holmes-meets-C.S.I. than I expected, and while there were a few moments worthy of eye-rolling (saving the day on a nightmarishly fractured leg? Righhht), there are plenty of narrative layers to keep me tuning in.

Hell On Wheels: Laying railroad track is mind-numbing grunt work, but there's absolutely nothing boring about this show, which can be likened to "Deadwood"-on-the-move. Protagonist Mr. Bohanan (played by Anson Mount), is a ruggedly handsome troubled soul, the hero you can't always trust not to kill a guy or rob a train. Rapper Common does a seriously bang-up job as emancipated slave Elam Ferguson, whose love story with former prostitute, Eva, (pictured) is downright swoon-worthy.

Downton Abbey: Um, this goes without saying, of course. Anyone across the Pond gets to dive into the action this month. Sadly, we won't get to see it here in the States until January, so I'll just have to wait in agony to (I hope) see Mr. Bates freed from his wrongful incarceration. This season, Maggie Smith comes with a side of Shirley Maclaine. (Let the snarky mother-in-law smackdown begin!) Considering the real landed gentry of England began a gradual decline following the First World War, I can only hope this beloved show doesn't succumb to the same fate. But not too worried, really. The Bellamys of Upstairs, Downstairs made it through 68 episodes (the original lot, anyway)...surely, the Crawleys can compete with that.

Downton Abbey Season 3 Preview Trailer:

Watch Downton Abbey Season 3 Preview on PBS. See more from Masterpiece.

What other televised costume dramas should Kim and I be watching?

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