Lori’s list: a gimmick on ‘The Bachelorette,’ 4 stars for ‘The Normal Heart’
BY LORI RACKL Television Critic May 18, 2014 5:26PM
Matt Bomer and Mark Ruffalo in "The Normal Heart." | HBO
Updated: May 18, 2014 7:07PM
“THE BACHELORETTE” (8:30 p.m. Monday, WLS-Channel 7): Andi Dorfman dodged a bullet with Juan Pablo. Now, the assistant district attorney from Atlanta will try her luck with 25 new suitors, including two from Chicago: Cody, a personal trainer, and Nick V., a software sales executive. On the stalker side of things, a former contestant turns up with a fistful of roses — purportedly uninvited by producers — and demands to join the pool of hopefuls. Gimmicks aside, the season starts off on a somber note; contestant Eric Hill died in a paragliding accident shortly after he finished filming the show.
“MODERN FAMILY” (8 p.m. Wednesday, WLS-Channel 7): One of television’s top-rated comedies wraps up its sixth season with a walk down the aisle by Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet). The first half of this two-part episode that aired last week had the big day shaping up to be an even bigger disaster. More chaos ensues in the finale. Between the laughs, expect some moving, emotional moments, too — an effective combo that’s a hallmark of this sharply written sitcom.
“GANG RELATED” (8 p.m. Thursday, WFLD-Channel 32): Ramon Rodriguez (“Charlie’s Angels,” “The Wire”) stars as Ryan Lopez, a cop torn between two families: the LAPD’s gang task force where he works and — on the completely opposite side of the spectrum — L.A.’s most powerful gang, headed by a man (Cliff Curtis) who raised Ryan after he was orphaned as a child. Ryan’s de facto father convinced him to infiltrate the police department. This should make for some great tension, but that key ingredient is sorely lacking in this mediocre crime drama. Instead of Ryan being a complex antihero with shades of gray, he’s more like a boring beige. Rating: ★★
“THE NORMAL HEART” (8 p.m. Sunday, HBO): Larry Kramer adapts his Tony Award-winning play by the same name in this unflinching look at the dawn of the HIV-AIDS crisis in early ’80s New York City. Three decades and 36 million worldwide deaths later, the film tells the story of a government, medical establishment and public — both gay and straight — that were deep in denial about this burgeoning epidemic. It’s also an intimately personal tale of Kramer’s heartbreaking first-hand experience with the disease. Directed by Ryan Murphy, it’s bound to put Emmys in the hands of a remarkable cast that includes Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Alfred Molina, Jim Parsons and Matt Bomer (“White Collar”). Rating: ★★★★