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5 Best Bets on TV This Week: ‘Gideon’s Army,’ ‘NBC’s Faux Reality Show and a Taste of BET’s First Original Drama

5 Best Bets on TV This Week: 'Gideon's Army,' 'NBC's Faux Reality Show and a Taste of BET's First Original Drama

Sure, Sunday tends to be overcrowded with high-end TV, including “True Blood,” “Family Tree,” “Copper,” “Dexter,” “Ray Donovan” and more, but what to watch the rest of the time? Every Monday, we bring you five noteworthy highlights from the other six days of the week.

“Gideon’s Army”: Broadcast Premiere
Monday, July 1 at 9pm on HBO

Another doc making a quick jump from Sundance to HBO, “Gideon’s Army” is the directorial debut of attorney Dawn Porter, and follows a group of three idealistic public defenders working in the deep South, dealing with low pay, long hours and difficult challenges in the name of public service. Through their experiences, the film examines the realities of indigent defense and a system built to encourage a guilty plea.

“POV”: “Special Flight”
Monday, July 1 at 10pm on PBS

Fernand Melgar’s 2011 Locarno prize-winning doc is focused on the harsh deportation system of Switzerland’s Frambois detention center, where detainees who’ve been discovered to be undocumented or who’ve applied for asylum are kept as they face their final appeals. The film looks at the divide between the genuinely humane actions of the workers at the center and the rough exit from the country many of the men they’re guarding will receive.

“Siberia”: Season Premiere
Monday, July 1 at 10pm on NBC

NBC’s 13-episode summer series is a faux reality show that sends 16 contestants out to the wilds of Russia for what’s meant to be an endurance competition, but which turns out to include some unplanned and unpleasant encounters with the supernatural — shades of “Chernobyl Diaries.” The series was created by Matthew Arnold (“Shadow People”).

“Being Mary Jane”: Series Premiere
Tuesday, July 2 at 10:30pm on BET

BET’s first original scripted drama “Being Mary Jane” won’t air until 2014, but BET is airing the pilot as an “original movie” this week. Gabrielle Union stars as the title character, a TV anchor trying to juggle her professional and personal lives. Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil (“Sparkle”) are behind the project, which also stars Omari Hardwick, Richard Roundtree and Lisa Vidal.

“Inside Amy Schumer”: Season Finale
Tuesday, July 2 at 10:30pm on Comedy Central

The first season of Amy Schumer’s bracingly bawdy sketch series comes to a close this week, but the show’s already gotten a second season renewal from Comedy Central, so look forward to more of the stand-up’s uncomfortably funny dirty humor in 2014.

Also worth a look: HBO wraps up its Warwick Davis comedy series “Life’s Too Short” with a special airing Friday, July 5 at 10pm.

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