“Breaking Bad” Bryan Cranston’s New Web Video Series

Bryan Cranston, the Emmy Award winning lead on AMC's “Breaking Bad” (where he plays a high school chemistry teacher who runs a meth lab while in remission from cancer) has a new series, available only on the web, called “The Handlers.”

He plays a well-meaning politician running for state senate, who gets some really wacky advice from his incompetent handlers. The segments are only 3 minutes, and they are really funny. There will be 8 episodes in all, available on Atom TV. Here are the first two:

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“Damages” Does Bernie Madoff

The new season of “Damages” begins tonight on FX. It’s a fictionalized version of the Bernard Madoff case (without using their names of course.) The New York Times explains and gives it a big thumbs up, especially for Lily Tomlin who plays the financier’s wife.

Rose Byrne is now a D.A. but she and Patty continue their complex and bizarre relationship. Update below: Continue reading

“Raising the Bar” Season Opener

Raising the Bar

The season opener of “Raising the Bar” is tonight on TNT. From a review:

Tonight’s hour starts wonderfully, as friends roast Jerry Kellerman (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) on his birthday. The guy’s a public defender – passionate, caring and profoundly disheveled. Then – for the sake of a client – comes a transformation. That signals a strong start for the second season of this show from Steven Bochco, the “NYPD Blue” and “L.A. Law” producer.

Viewers will like these idealistic lawyers,changes and all. Jerry has had a makeover, Bobbi (Natalia Cigliuti) is getting a divorce; their boss (Gloria Reuben) is working cases again, because of funding problems. And viewers will care about the cases. Tonight, a decent chap may go to jail, because his nephew was selling drugs in the back of his barber shop. It’s smart, Bochco-quality TV.

I will DVR it for later watching, as the Bachelorette, Nurse Jackie and especially Weeds are first on my list.

For those of you who watch The Closer, that has its season opener tonight as well.

Dale Helmig: America’s Most Wanted to Feature Innocence Case

Kenny Hulsof Dale Helmig
(Former Congressman and state proseuctor Kenny Hulsof and Dale Helmig)

Don’t miss America’s Most Wanted on Fox this Saturday Night. Instead of trying to find a murderer, this time the show is trying to free one.

“America’s Most Wanted,” scheduled for broadcast at 8 p.m. Saturday on KQFX-TV (Fox 38), will devote an hour to the investigation and trial of Helmig, now 53, who in 1996 was convicted of murdering his mother. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The show is designed to capture bad people and put them away,” said producer Dave Bolton. “This case jumped to our attention because it looked like a huge miscarriage of justice because the bad guy who did the crime was still out there and the innocent guy was put in prison for a crime he did not commit.”

Helmig was convicted of killing his mother. The evidence against him, all circumstantial, was beyond thin. His conviction was overturned in a federal habeas petition (opinion here), but the state appealed. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated Dale’s conviction and the Supreme Court denied cert. He remains in prison today, having served 12 years of a sentence to life without parole. Continue reading