Rescue Me: Season Three
FX Tuesday, May 30 (10 p.m. ET)
As FX’s Rescue Me starts its third season, firefighter Tommy Gavin (co-creator Denis Leary) finds himself with a whole new set of problems.
When we left him at the end of the second season, Gavin’s son Connor had been killed by a drunk driver and his Uncle Teddy avenged the boy’s death. Now, his on-again, off-again marriage to Janet (Andrea Roth) seems to finally be off. Along the way, Gavin finds out the identity of his soon-to-be-ex’s new beau, with disastrous results. And his problems don’t stop there.
Rescue Me’s third season carries on the excellent acting, great writing and sharp wit that has made it one of the best show’s on television. The supporting cast — including James McCaffrey, Jack McGee, Charles Durning, Tatum O’Neal, Marisa Tomei and, new this year, Susan Sarandon — is flawless. The show’s momentum and what looks to be a strong season should help Rescue Me fare well as Sony Pictures Television prepares to sell it into syndication (see story, page 24). —Eric J. Smith
The Human Behavior Experiments
Sundance Channel/Court TV Thursday, June 1 (10 p.m. ET/PT)
Directed by Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys In the Room), The Human Behavior Experiments is a disturbing look at how social conditions and issues of obedience or authority can encourage unethical human behavior. A Sundance Channel and Court TV co-production, the documentary juxtaposes looks at three behavioral experiments conducted in the 1960s and early 1970s with current events such as the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. The film’s cold, clinical feel can be off-putting, but also heighten, the viewer’s unease at witnessing human behavior at its worst. —George Vernadakis
Beyond the Break
The N Friday, June 2 (8:30 p.m. ET)
Teen-targeted nighttime network The N kicks off its summer originals season with the dramatic series Beyond the Break. The half-hour show, which debuts as an hourlong special, is centered around the world of professional surfing.
David Chokachi plays onetime surfing legend Justin Healy who turns coach for WaveSync, a surf company that has seen better days. Healy’s job: To teach an all-female squad how to manage the waves and their lives.
Shot on location in Oahu, Hawaii, Beyond the Break offers up a “life’s-a-beach” fantasy while trying to strike a teen angst chord with viewers. Its attractive cast should capture young adults’ interest, despite some weak writing and flat performances. The N could also score a following for the show via a mini Web site where fans can round out linear viewing with exclusive clips, downloads and cast profiles. —George Vernadakis