Sure, with “Game of Thrones,” “Mad Men,” “Girls,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Veep” and more, Sunday’s overcrowded with great TV, but what to watch the rest of the time? Each Monday, we bring you this guide to five noteworthy highlights from the other six days of the week.
Sundance Channel, Monday, June 4 at 10pm
A “Sex in the City” for the wheelchair-bound, the Sundance Channel’s new nonfiction series follows four beautiful, ambitious women — Angela Rockwood, Tiphany Adams, Mia Schaikewitz and Auti Angel — living with paralysis in Hollywood. The half-hour show, produced by Gay Rosenthal of “Little People, Big World,” promises to challenge expectations of portrayals of disabilities on television.
TNT’s ampersand buddy series return, with the female-led procedural “Rizzoli & Isles” now getting paired with the bro-lawyer dramedy “Franklin & Bash” on Tuesday nights. Both shows have the watchabe but disposible quality of USA network knock-offs, though “Rizzoli & Isles” has attracted some extra attention for the way it teases the extremely close but apparently platonic friendship between its central characters (played by Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander), who’ve been labeled “TV’s gayest non-gay couple.”
And on to actual open LGBT themes — in honor of Pride Month, Showtime’s airing a trio of docs that deal with gay, lesbian and transgender themes, two of them U.S. broadcast premieres — like “Orchids: My Intersex Adventure” (7pm), an auto-biographical 2010 doc about Australian filmmaker Phoebe Hart’s discovery that her parents kept secret from her that she was born intersex. “No Look Pass” (8pm) is another U.S. broadcast premiere, a profile of Harvard basketball player Emily Tay, a first-generation Burmese immigrant who’s hiding her homosexuaity from her parents. And “Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston” (9:30pm) looks into the life of the legendary ’70s designer.
The newest ventures into alt-comedy from the network that brought you “Portlandia” are based around satirical takes on talk and game shows. “Comedy Bang! Bang!” (10pm) is adapted from Scott Aukerman’s much-beloved podcast of the same name, and features Aukerman as the host of a surreal talk show alongside his band leader Reggie Watts. “Bunk” (10:30pm), hosted by Kurt Braunohler, pits a panel of comedians against each other in inane challenges to win completely strange prizes, and is the first-ever comedy from the New York Television Festival to be greenlit to series.
Ovation, Saturday, June 9th at 10pm
The six-part UK mini-series kicks off on Saturday as part of Ovation’s “The Best You’ve Never Seen” programming block, an adaptation of novelist Martina Cole’s “tale of star-crossed lovers struggling for redemption against a background of crime and corruption” set in ’60s and ’70s London and starring Joanna Vanderham and Jack O’Connell, with Keith Allen, Ken Stott and Alan Cumming (playing colourful transvestite Desrae) filling out the cast. David Richards directs.
Also worth a look: The Travel Channel offers a bracketology-style approach to a classic bargument in “Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America,” premiering Wednesday, June 6th at 9pm; “The Man with the 200lb Tumor” airs on TLC on Wednesday, June 6th at 10pm — why pretend you can look away?; innocuous USA Network series “Royal Pains” and “Unnecessary Roughness” return Wednesday, June 6th at 9 and 10pm; “Tank Girl” helmer Rachel Talalay directs Hallmark Channel original Western “Hannah’s Law,” starring Sara Canning, Danny Glover and Billy Zane, on Saturday, June 9th at 8pm.