Standing tall on the small screen

Spend some quality time with Klingons, murderous brothers, NY porn stars, serial killers or the meshugas of Larry David – the choice is yours.

JAMES FRANCO takes on the dual roles of twin brothers in ‘The Deuce.’ (photo credit: HBO)
JAMES FRANCO takes on the dual roles of twin brothers in ‘The Deuce.’
(photo credit: HBO)
The golden age of television doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. Everywhere you look, there’s great TV to be enjoyed. But in case you’re a little overwhelmed by the dozens of new shows that will be coming over the next few months in the US and shortly thereafter in Israel on YES and HOT, here’s my pick of the crop.
‘The Deuce’
The acclaimed director of HBO’s The Wire, David Simon has developed yet another series, The Deuce.
Set in New York City, the show focuses on the rise of the porn industry in the 1970s and how it changed in the ’80s amid the cocaine and HIV epidemics. James Franco stars in a dual role (a popular move these days) as Vincent Martino and Frankie Martino, twin brothers operating out of Times Square who become fronts for the Mob. The series also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Method Man.
According to the Huffington Post, the series name was taken straight from the annals of NYC history.
During the ‘70s West 42nd Street between 6th and 8th Avenues were known as “The Deuce.”
In a recent interview with Out Magazine, Franco said “I play twin brothers: Vincent and Frankie. I like to say I play the Harvey Keitel character in Mean Streets and I also play the Robert De Niro character in Mean Streets. One is the responsible brother and the other is the guy who can’t get it together.”
Here’s hoping the show is a success, as the last time HBO went back to the ’70s the result was Vinyl, which didn’t work out too well for those involved.
‘The Deuce’ premieres in the US on September 10.
‘Star Trek: Discovery’
Let’s boldly (and happily) go where we’ve gone many, many times before! One of the most iconic and influential global franchises returns to television with Star Trek: Discovery. Set around 10 years before the original Star Trek TV series, Discovery explores the cold war between the United Federation and the Klingons that involves the crew aboard the USS Discovery.
Leading the cast is The Walking Dead’s Sonequa Martin-Green, who will be starring as Michael Burnham, the First Officer of the USS Shenzhou and a close friend of Spock’s astrophysicist father, Sarek, played by British actor James Frain (best known for True Blood and Gotham).
Also starring in the series are Doug Jones, Michelle Yeoh and Jason Isaacs. Rainn Wilson (The Office) takes the recurring role of comic relief confidence trickster Harry Mudd, a character from the original series played by Roger C. Carmel.
‘Star Trek: Discovery’ premieres in the US on September 25.
‘Law & Order: True Crime’
With his new Law & Order limited series, TV producer Dick Wolf tackles one of the most sensational trials in the 1990s. Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders centers on Lyle and Erik Menendez, who were convicted of murdering their parents and sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole in 1996. The brothers, who were 21 and 18 years old, respectively, at the time of the 1989 murders, were tried separately but eventually convicted in a third trial after no verdicts were rendered in the first two trials because of hung juries.
The series follows Edie Falco as defense attorney Leslie Abramson, who defended the two brothers (played by Gus Halper and Miles Gaston Villanueva) through two trials and their conviction.
According to E! Online, Falco said that she was attracted to the role of Abramson because of her passion for both her job and this particular case.
“Her job came first,” Falco said.
“Justice was really what this was about for her, and I’m always moved by that.”
She was also attracted to the idea that this show had a lot of new information to reveal.
“I’m pulled by material,” she explained. “Every page I turned I was like, oh, that was a misconception, that’s not what I thought it would be, so that was very compelling to me.”
True Crime also stars Josh Charles, Heather Graham and Anthony Edwards.
‘Law & Order: True Crime’ premieres in the US on September 26.
‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’
After six long years of waiting, HBO’s knight in shining armor, Larry David, returns for a new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. The Emmy award-winning series is a fictional take on David’s everyday life and the multitude of characters that orbit the neurotic comedian.
Asked why he decided to come back, David said, “In the immortal words of Julius Caesar, ‘I left, I did nothing, I returned.’” According to the IMDB plot description of the season premiere, “Larry gets scammed by an online dating site. He falls in love with a woman from Russia and lives his own 90 Day Fiance.”
“It’s coming back with all the things about it that people love,” cast member Jeff Garlin told People’s Peter Travers. “But it’s not following any big formula. The storyline is rather insane. Like people are gonna go, ‘I can’t believe they’re doing this!’ That’s what they’re gonna say. And I don’t often think that with our show.”
Travers also asked about the cast finding their rhythm again after such a long break. “It felt like putting on an old pair of shoes,” Garlin said. “The first scene I shot was with Larry [David] and JB Smoove, who plays Leon. And we all began laughing because there was no hiccups, there was nothing.”
There will be some new but familiar faces joining the cast including Elizabeth Banks, Jimmy Kimmel, Bryan Cranston, Nick Offerman and Judge Judy herself.
‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ premieres in the US on October 1.
Netflix is introducing a creepy new series just in time for Halloween.
Mindhunter, a detective drama executive produced by David Fincher (Fight Club, Seven), explores the psyche of some of America’s most infamous serial killers.
The series is based on the book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker, a 1996 nonfiction book that follows the agents of the FBI’s Investigative Support Unit.
The series will be set in 1979, and will feature Jonathan Groff (Glee) as Holden Ford, a special agent in the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, and Holt McCallany (Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Sully) as Bill Tench, a fellow agent. Anna Torv (Fringe) and Coter Smith (X2) also star. Fincher will produce the series along with Charlize Theron, and will direct three of the episodes.
‘Mindhunter’ premieres in the US on October 13.