At the risk of sounding like a fanboy, I can't resist delivering one more brief pitch for "The Walking Dead."
Yes, I know, I already raved about the first two episodes of the second season. But the third hour premiering this Sunday is an absolute stunner -- featuring a terrific performance by Jon Bernthal -- and the fourth isn't much worse, with a scene that's simultaneously revolting and downright hysterical.
My point is that as good as the ratings have been, I suspect there's an audience out there that hears "zombie show" and doesn't possibly believe it could hold anything for them. If you fall into that camp but have a taste (heh heh) for firstrate drama, this Sunday's hour would be a good place (heh heh heh) to test your palate.
This pitch for "Dead" also comes with an "Atta boy" to TV in general on Sunday nights, which has become packed with so many good hours it's difficult to know where to begin.
If you live in L.A. and have East Coast feeds of pay series, here's the menu: "Boardwalk Empire," "Dexter" and "The Walking Dead" (6 p.m.); "Homeland" (7); "Once Upon a Time" (second episode, 8); "Desperate Housewives" and "The Good Wife" (9). And that doesn't include a Discovery Channel special under the "Curiosity" banner, "How Evil Are You?," which also merits a look.
That's a helluva lot of good television, without even including "Hung," which remains mildly entertaining.
As a critic, I have the luxury of advance DVDs on a number of these programs, but there are still barely enough hours in the day to accommodate them all.
Fortunately, I don't have much of a life. But even if you do, you might want to consider finding 40-some-odd DVR-crunched minutes for "The Walking Dead."