The coming weekend, in your hail of bullets:
* A confession: I am not a big fan of the Terminator movies. I’m not sure whether that would have made me more or less likely to enjoy Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, but if a series is worthwhile, it should stand on its own. (I was a fan of the original Battlestar: Galactica when I was a kid, but gods knows that in no way enhances my appreciation of the much different BSG today.) As I wrote in TIME, it doesn’t stand up. I agree with Alan Sepinwall that it has some of the same problems as Bionic Woman (though I found it at least slightly better so far): it’s turgid and grim, and the most interesting character is not the title one. That would be Summer Glau as the robotic protector assigned to protect Sarah (Lena Headey) and her son / future resistance leader John (Thomas Dekker); her scary-eyed intensity carries over well from Firefly and Serenity. Dekker in particular is a dud, while Headey was more of a non-presence, owing more to the flat writing than her performance. I did find the second episode better, and Headey and Glau began to show some chemistry, but I wouldn’t blame you for not sticking around that long.
* On PBS, a new adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, which I reviewed more favorably in that same TIME Downtime page. Gillian Anderson hosts the Jane Austen series on Masterpiece (it’s not Masterpiece Theatre any more, and don’t ask me why) which this film kicks off. It’s not the stylistic departure that Anderson’s superior version of Bleak House was, but it’s a solid (and sprightly, at a mere 90 minutes) costume drama.
* I didn’t review CBS’s Comanche Moon, but I watched enough of CBS’s final, and probably weakest, Lonesome Dove follow-up not to recommend it, unless you’re interested in seeing Rachel Griffiths in a really campy turn as a rich lady with a fondness for taking lovers and then shooting at them. (Sadly, I think I just persuaded you to watch the show, didn’t I?)
* And for those of you who can’t resist a good train wreck, NBC will air whatever limping Frankenstein of the Golden Globes they can still manage to sew together, in the form of a “press conference.” It’s nooz!