Friday TV: More Juicy ‘Orange’

orange_new_black-e1401989048511I’ve just lately been binge-finishing the first season of “Orange is the New Black” (Netflix) and mostly been wondering why I’ve been delaying this gratification so long. The Jenji Kohan adaptation of a woman’s story in prison is one of the most assured piece of humane storytelling in a TV serialization (that it’s not actually on TV either says something about broadcast or cable, or helps prove how streaming is ushering in the future).

Kohan, whose previous work was the long-running “Weeds,” has amassed a splendid ensemble and maintains a number of compelling, intertwining storylines about a waspy girl sentenced to jail. There she encounters a broad, diverse and exciting cast, whose backstories continue to be richly investigated. Even while mostly locked up, it’s one of the best reflections of contemporary life. Also, it’s funny as hell.

So while I’m still not quite finished with season one, I have no doubt about the continuing quality of the series as it unloads all the episodes of season two today. And rather than dole out the episodes or set them aside this time, I see precisely how my weekend is going to play out.

Brian Williams has taken over from Tom Brokaw in more ways than one. In addition to being the NBC News anchor, he’s also the chief cheerleader for the Greatest Generation in occasions such as tonight’s “Brian Williams D-Day Special” (NBC, 8 p.m.). The 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy is not noted widely elsewhere, oddly, save for “D-Day in HD” (History, 9 p.m.).

A longer version of Lofty Nathan’s documentary on Baltimore dirt bike kids, “12 O’Clock Boys: The Director’s Cut” (Showtime, 8 p.m.) makes its cable premiere.

An awful lot of time, money and television time is given up to looking for clearly nonexistent creatures including, tonight on “Mountain Monsters” (Destination America, 10 p.m.) the supposed Death Cat of Cherokee County, N.C., being sought by those in the Appalachian Investigators of Mysterious Sightings of West Virginia. Beats mud runs, I guess.

The exoneration of a Bronx man wrongly convicted of the killing of a cabdriver is covered on a new “Dateline” (NBC, 9 p.m.).

John Waters, Ralph Reed, Anthony Weiner, Jim Geraghty and Nicolle Wallace are scheduled guests on “Real Time with Bill Maher” (HBO, 10 p.m.).

The seventh season episode of “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta” (TLC, 9 p.m.) features a new bunch of ladies addressing their wardrobes in Southern accents.

Pirates abound on TV these days, not just on the newly-started John Malkovich series “Crossbones” (NBC, 10 p.m.) but also in a new, month-long Friday night showcase of pirate movies begins on Turner Classic Movies with “The Sea Hawk” (8 p.m.), “The Black Swan” (10:15 p.m.), “The Spanish Main” (midnight), “Pirates of Tripoli” (2 a.m.), “The Golden Hawk” (3:30 a.m.) and “Hurricane Island” (5 a.m.).

Baseball tonight includes Boston at Detroit (MLB, 7 p.m.).

The French Open (Tennis, 7 a.m.; NBC, 11 a.m.) reaches the men’s semifinals.

Daytime Talk

Kelly & Michael: Ice Cube, Fran Drescher, Guy Fieri. The View: Miranda Lambert, Maria Menounos, Jesse Williamson, Star Jones. The Talk: Alyssa Milano. Ellen DeGeneres: Simon Cowell, Kelly Rowland, Diana Nyad (rerun). Wendy Williams: Dave Mizejewski.

Late Talk

David Letterman: Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Hyland, Ray LaMontagne (rerun). Jimmy Fallon: Channing Tatum, Joshua Topolsky, Julian McCullough. Jimmy Kimmel: Emily Blunt, Daymond John, Birds of Satan (rerun). Seth Meyers: Maya Rudolph, Lake Bell, Eddie Izzard (rerun). Craig Ferguson: Ricky Gervais, Keb’ Mo.’ Tavis Smiley: James Conlon, Ledisi. Arsenio Hall: Betty White, Bill Klein & Dr. Jennifer Arnold, War featuring Cheech & Chong, Caroline D’Amore (rerun).

This entry was posted in What's On TV. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.