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Picks and Pans Main: TV

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The Bridge

FX, July 10, 10 p.m. ET/PT |


Emotionally intense and intensely timely, this new crime drama hunkers down on a geopolitical hotspot: the border of El Paso and Chihuahua, Mexico. On the bridge linking the countries, Mexican authorities find a corpse: She was an American judge, so our side claims her. But a gruesome forensic detail means that Mexico gets a stake in the case after all. Their investigation is led by Marco Ruiz (Weeds’ Demiàn Bichir), an excellent cop who’s learned to work around corruption: Rules slide and stretch with adaptive elasticity. His American partner, and to some degree opponent, is Detective Sonya Cross (Inglourious Basterds’ Diane Kruger). An obsessive stickler for detail – she suffers from Asperger’s – she finds Ruiz bewilderingly disruptive.

An intricate mystery confidently spun out with dark, unsettling shocks, The Bridge quickly becomes a moral swamp that includes illegal trafficking in immigrants (Annabeth Gish, a wealthy El Paso woman, discovers a suspicious tunnel her husband had built under their property), serial murder and more. Kruger’s deliberately inexpressive, otherworldly performance takes getting used to – she seems to be methodically working her way through a roster of neurotic tics—but the twists will have you hooked.


NBC, July 10, 10 p.m. ET/PT |


This new hour-long comedy is a bustling, rather scattered affair – it’s sort of like learning to weave a basket, start a fire and right an overturned canoe all in one session. Rachel Griffiths (Brothers & Sisters) plays the financially strapped, newly single owner of the Little Otter Family Camp. In addition to keeping track of the many romances, feuds and friendships among her counselors, she enjoys robust casual sex with the divorcé who owns the prospering rival camp. None of this adds up to much—the chief recreation is watching Griffiths, who somehow combines a sunny naturalness with a small reserve of arch, ironic detachment. For her scenes, at least, be a happy camper.