The Knick (Cinemax, Friday 10 p.m.) — The medical drama set in New York’s Knickerbocker Hospital during the early part of the twentieth century stars Clive Owen and comes from Steven Soderbergh, and so far, most of the reviews have been positive to outright effusive. But by airing it on Friday nights on Cinemax in August, Soderbergh really is trusting that viewers will seek out great television no matter when or where it’s on.
Outlander (Starz, Saturday 9 p.m.) — Despite some iffy source material, Outlander is also getting some great reviews, and also some weird comparisons as the feminist 50 Shades or the anti-Game of Thrones. I haven’t watched the pilot yet (it’s online), but I will remain dubious until I see the results for myself, although it does at least come from Battlestar Galactica’s Ronald D. Moore.
The Leftovers (HBO, Sunday 10 p.m.) — I could feel a gentle breeze as the general consensus from the Internet gradually moved in favor of Lindelof’s show after last week’s Nora episode.
Manhattan (WGN, Sunday 10 p.m.) — That said, Manhattan is narrowly my favorite Sunday night show of the moment, as its second episode improved on an already excellent pilot episode.
Masters of Sex (Showtime, Sunday 10 p.m.) — I need to do a little more research, but the second season is really beginning to veer off the real-life track of these characters, which is precisely what happens when Showtime demands five seasons for a show that only warrants three.
The Strain (FX, Sunday 10 p.m.) — Obligatory.