Lori’s list: ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,’ ‘Masters of Sex’
By LORI RACKL TV Critic September 23, 2013 5:02PM
Clark Gregg of “The Avengers” returns to the role of Agent Coulson in “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” with Brett Dalton and Chloe Bennett. The highly anticipated drama premieres Tuesday on ABC.
Updated: October 25, 2013 6:04AM
“MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.”(7 p.m., Tuesday, WLS-Channel 7): Broadcast TV’s most anticipated new drama unfolds in the Marvel universe, picking up where the blockbuster “Avengers” film left off. Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) is back to lead a covert team of human heroes — not superheroes — charged with protecting the planet from extraordinary threats. Co-created by fanboy favorite Joss Whedon, the show’s pricey-looking pilot caters to both comic book geeks and mainstream viewers with its witty writing and special effects. Whether it’s able to sustain that for a whole season, only someone with Level 7 clearance knows. ★★★
“MASTERS OF SEX”(9 p.m. Sunday, Showtime): As one cable show steeped in science says farewell (AMC’s “Breaking Bad” 75-minute finale at 8 p.m.), another one begins. Midwestern sex researchers Dr. William Masters and Virginia Johnson’s groundbreaking — and rule-breaking — work on human sexuality is the focus of this 1956-set series. It makes the most of its pay-TV platform by showing plenty of skin, but the sex scenes service a bigger story made all the more compelling by a couple of strong leads in Michael Sheen (“Frost/Nixon”) and Lizzy Caplan (“Party Down”). Watch the pilot online now at Sho.com or YouTube. Rating: ★★★½ At 8 p.m. the premium cable net launches season three of its addictive CIA thriller “Homeland,” with everyone struggling to pick up the pieces two months after last season’s explosive ending, dubbed America’s second 9/11. ★★★★
“HELLO LADIES”(9:30 p.m. Sunday, HBO): This anti-rom-com stars Stephen Merchant, Ricky Gervais’ frequent partner-in-comedic-crime, in all his gawky glory. The Brit does a toe-curling turn — almost to a fault — as a successful web designer who, when it comes to dating, crashes more often than shoddy software. ★★½ On the broadcast side, a trio of top sitcoms are back with supersized installments. “Modern Family” returns with an hour-long premiere at 8 p.m. Wednesday on WLS-Channel 7. “The Big Bang Theory” airs two back-to-back episodes at 7 p.m. Thursday on WBBM-Channel 2, the same time “Parks and Recreation” starts season six strong on WMAQ-Channel 5 with a ★★★★ episode that puts the Pawnee gang in England, where Ron Swanson declares the Tower of London has nothing on Chicago’s Sears.