It should have been an epic battle.
Two of the most buzzed-about series of the past decade, the newly crowned Emmy winner for best drama and the series it defeated for the title just seven days earlier, are going head to head.
Instead, the bout — Walter “Heisenberg” White vs. Carrie “Crazy Eyes” Mathison — looks to be a lopsided one.
“Breaking Bad” (9 p.m. Sunday, AMC) is sprinting toward its finish line as fast as the wheezing, cancer-riddled Walt (Bryan Cranston) can carry it. These breakneck final episodes have been gut-wrenching, all but guaranteeing the drama a spot in the pantheon of all-time greats. Seriously, AMC should have been distributing oxygen tanks leading up to Sunday’s series finale.
“Homeland” (9 p.m. Sunday, Showtime), meanwhile, returns after having stumbled in its second season. Carrie (Claire Danes) putting national security issues aside for a little nooky with Brody (Damian Lewis)? Brody’s daughter (Morgan Saylor) and the hit-and-run? And how much time can a congressman really spend wrestling in the woods with Abu Nazir’s bomb maker without attracting attention?
Showtime couldn’t have known when it scheduled the “Homeland” premiere that “Breaking Bad” would finally have broken into the zeitgeist, with its ratings having more than doubled for its final season.
Still, it’s too bad the premium channel couldn’t have delayed things a week, both to give “Homeland” the spotlight all to itself and to let viewers get over the taste of that dreadful “Dexter” finale before tuning back in.
But, then, that’s why God made DVRs. And on-demand. And iTunes. And, well, you get the idea.
On the move: It’s usually a sign of trouble when a series gets a new night and time this early in its run. But for “Bad Ink,” the ongoing adventures of local tattoo cover-up artist Dirk Vermin and his bandmate/sidekick Rob Ruckus, the new home is a show of support from A&E. This week, new episodes of the reality hit move to 10:30 p.m. Wednesdays behind new episodes of the reality-comedy hybrid “Duck Dynasty,” aka the biggest show on the planet. It’s just one more chance for viewers to discover “Bad Ink,” not that they necessarily need it judging by the number of comically misspelled emails I get every week from people pleading with me to fix their bad tattoos just because I’ve written about the show.
The knives come out: Las Vegas chefs are as much a staple of reality TV as brawls and bad decisions. And this season of “Top Chef” (10 p.m. Wednesday, Bravo) is no exception. Shirley Chung, formerly the executive chef at China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, is among the “cheftestants” competing for $125,000 and the title of “Top Chef.”
In theaters: Maybe you had to baby-sit the grandkids. Or your bad hip wouldn’t let you stand up that long. For whatever reason, you missed Def Leppard’s nine-night residency at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel this spring. (We kid, but the Sheffield songsmiths have been around for quite a while.) Thankfully, a compilation of those concerts, the awkwardly punctuated “Def Leppard Viva! Hysteria,” arrives in movie theaters at 8 p.m. Wednesday. See it at the Colonnade, Orleans, Sam’s Town, Santa Fe, South Point and Village Square.
Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@ reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567.