True Blood is shaping up as the perfect summer series: sprawling, basically unserious, and filled with half-dressed men, women, and creatures in thrall to various hungers. One issue I can see going forward, though, is that the cast is getting seriously bloated.
Most of those introduced in Season Two are gone now, but the Season Three newbies are even more numerous. And yet, the show continues to develop everyone's storyline every single week, even as it relates to original characters who have gotten very peripheral. The producers need to give us less of what we've stopped caring about -- namely, everyone at what used to be Sookie's workplace -- and more of the Nazi werewolves.
Among the many new developments this week (HBO, 9 p.m.), Sookie heads to Mississippi in search of Bill, with a werewolf bodyguard provided to her by Eric. So I take it not all the werewolves are Nazis? Also, Tara falls under the spell of the intriguing Franklin, while Jason persists in an effort to become the world's dumbest cop -- as if there wasn't enough of a body count on True Blood already.
Also this week:
Monday: Saving Grace (TNT, 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.): Holly Hunter's star vehicle comes to an end with Grace staring tragedy in the eye before returning home with new ambition. I don't know that all the elements of this show worked, especially the buddy team of a barely together detective and an angel, but it's always good to see Hunter working.
Tuesday: Deadliest Catch (Discovery, 9 p.m.): We've known this was coming, but that doesn't make it any easier: this week's hour begins the final story arc for Captain Phil Harris, whose stroke and its aftermath will play out in episodes over the next month. I will grow my beard out in tribute. Also, Johnathan Hillstrand beats a retreat from the Time Bandit.
Wednesday: Top Chef: DC (Bravo, 9 p.m.): It looks like this season is going to take advantage of its setting by involving the nation's movers and shakers. This week, the cheftestants get in the spirit of Michelle Obama's healthy eating initiative by preparing food at a D.C. middle school. One more thing: My thanks to Padma Lakshmi for giving birth a few weeks before the start of this season. Seriously, thank you. I will just leave it at that.
Thursday: Rookie Blue (ABC, 9 p.m.): ABC is trying out a few new non-reality shows this summer, though such series are almost always major longshots. In a structure similar to that of the failed legal show The Deep End, this follows five rookie cops as they learn the ropes and face the consequences of mistakes. Missy Peregrym of Reaper not-quite-fame is the best known of the young officers.
Friday: Party Down (Starz, 10 p.m.): This sitcom has had trouble hanging on to its actors, but one of its alumni returns this week for the second season finale. Jane Lynch reprises her role as Constance, who is on the other side of the catering this time as her old friends work her unlikely wedding.
Saturday: Dinocroc vs. Supergator (Syfy, 9 p.m.): Do I need to add anything? This film gives you exactly what you'd expect from its title. Experimental reptiles escape from a top-secret research institute and begin using people as hors d'oeuvres. The late David Carradine stars in this film from the legendary Roger Corman.