Station Control

Some Fun to Keep Us Indoors

by Benjamin Carr

This summer has brought us the return of some favorite stories and one favorite storyteller. As the heat rises outside, quality dramas have brought a lot of fun to keep us indoors.

PREACHER (AMC)

Last year, the comic-inspired action-adventure ended with a literal bang. The Texas town that provided the show with its settings exploded, killing most of the regular cast. Also, the show revealed that God had left Heaven and wasn't available to help mankind. And a demon cowboy escaped from Hell to gun down all the other main characters.

The show centers around Jesse Custer, a minister who was granted the voice of God last season and now has the power to control people who hear that voice. Because he is also a former thief, criminal and tough guy, he's hard to defeat.

After the town detonated, Jesse went on a quest to find God with his badass girlfriend Tulip and vampire best friend Cassidy. And as the season begins, they're on the run - unaware that the town is gone - trying to find the path to God. But they don't seek enlightenment. They have a grudge to settle.

This show is filled with energy and creative verve. Dominic Cooper is excellent as the title character, and Oscar nominee Ruth Negga and Joe Gilgun continue to steal every scene they can. The opening episode featured a rather great chase scene, tinted in gold and set to Dexy's Midnight Runners' "Come on Eileen."

GAME OF THRONES (HBO)

The Queen of Dragons has finally arrived on the shores of Westeros, and war is coming along with winter. The George R.R. Martin-based phenomenon has returned for its penultimate season with an amped-up momentum. Its ending is in sight, and the show is pulling no punches as it heads right for it.

The characters are situated across the fantasy continent, like an elaborate game of Risk. The biggest power players are now in charge of specific kingdoms. Jon Snow (Kit Harington) has control of Winterfell in the North. Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) now has control of the Iron Throne at King's Landing. And Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) now have control of Dragonstone.

The quality of the show remains high. The opening scene of the season actually involved an act of vengeance that was years in the making and vastly satisfying. With hope, the rest of the show will provide as much thrill and satisfaction.

THE LAST TYCOON (Amazon)

F. Scott Fitzgerald died before completing his last novel, a Hollywood tale of movies and manipulation. The lead character Monroe Stahr is a producer on the rise, trying to make a biopic about his late wife, a 1930s movie star who helped make his studio successful.

Now a widower, Monroe has to juggle the advances of any number of women, including his boss's wife and daughter. As a period piece, this new show is lovely, and Matt Bomer is excellent as Monroe. Lily Collins and Kelsey Grammer also star, with Grammer being particularly oily as a studio exec.

The first season is full of promise, and it is great to have a new Fitzgerald project in production. Leave it to Amazon to use its programming to promote its books.

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