Critic’s picks: Television

Michael Tackett/cbs


Mad Men 10 p.m., AMC

You’ve got to love the secrecy that surrounds the plot developments on “Mad Men.” The official blurb for the season finale reads, “Don has a problem.” That could be a description for the entire season – hell, the entire series. I’ve enjoyed the way the sixth season has built slowly but surely, with Don’s life falling into serious disarray.


Under the Dome 10 p.m., CBS


More readers have expressed excitement about this Stephen King adaptation to me than about any other summer series. The story follows what happens when residents of a small town get cut off from the world by a clear but impenetrable barrier. Life in a fishbowl? Sounds like “Big Brother” gone sci-fi. The cast includes Dean Norris from “Breaking Bad,” Mike Vogel, Rachelle Lefevre, and Natalie Martinez.

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Frontline 10 p.m., Channel 2

The great PBS documentary series presents “Rape in the Fields,” a report about sexual assault of migrant workers in the United States. Reporter Lowell Bergman and his team spoke to dozens of women — from almond groves in California to packing plants in Iowa — many of whom are undocumented and don’t say anything out of fear of deportation.


Big Brother 8 p.m., CBS

Every summer, this reality TV series hits CBS like a case of scabies. This is the 15th season of houseguests living on a compound and acting like porn stars, with Julie Chen as their Hugh Hefner. It’s on the air three nights a week — Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday — but you know that’s not enough. So you can also pay for a subscription for the 24/7 live feed on



Independence Day-Saster

9 p.m., Syfy

Oh Syfy, I love you forever for this. Best movie title ever. In this particular exercise in the channel’s particular brand of sci-fi crazy, an alien invasion cripples our military and a pair of unlikely heroes must save the planet. Local native Tom Everett Scott and Ryan Merriman star.


Friends marathon

8 p.m.-midnight, TV Land

You can already watch it on Nick at Nite and TBS. But for some of you — you know who you are — that’s not enough. As of this month, TV Land is also airing repeats of the sitcom all over the place, including this little marathon.


Anna Nicole 8 p.m., Lifetime


Oddly, this Lifetime version of the life and death of Anna Nicole Smith could be interesting, since it was directed by Mary Harron. Harron’s credits include “American Psycho” and “I Shot Andy Warhol,” both of them ambitious in their takes on American culture. Agnes Brucker plays Smith, who went from small-town Texas youth to Playboy pinup, oil tycoon widow, and tabloid icon.