Week in DVR: Week in DVR: Carmela is Back! Plus, a Woody Retrospective and a Top Chef for Top Chefs

woody1 Week in DVR: Week in DVR: Carmela is Back! Plus, a Woody Retrospective and a Top Chef for Top ChefsMonday: Nurse Jackie

Is Nurse Jackie television’s first half-hour drama? Paired with Weeds (which returns for its fifth season 30 minutes earlier at 10 p.m.), the new series is being positioned as another dark comedy with a strong female lead—the “Life is full of little pricks” tag line on the publicity campaign tells you all you need to know about what kind of audience Showtime is hoping to court. However, having seen the pilot, we can say that Nurse Jackie is no laughing matter. The first episode is absolutely Mad Men–ian in its structure (right down to the final “shocking” reveal that feels lifted from Matthew Weiner’s pilot), and we’re hopeful the remainder of the season follows suit. At the very least, if you’re a fan of Edie Falco, you won’t be disappointed. The woman formerly known as Carmela Soprano is fantastic. [Showtime, 10:30 p.m.]

Tuesday: True Lies
As if you needed more proof that a lot has changed in the last 15 years, we give you True Lies. When the film came out in 1994, Arnold Schwarzenegger was the biggest action star on earth; James Cameron hadn’t yet become King of the World; and, the now crazy/hot Eliza Dushku, here as Arnie’s daughter, was just a kid. True Lies is a classic summer blockbuster—it’s long, unruly and features enough explosions to make even Michael Bay happy. Plus, you get to see the Governator do the tango. What could be better? [AMC, 8 p.m.]

Wednesday: Top Chef Masters
If you can pull yourself away from Bravo’s parade of real housewives, here comes Top Chef Masters, a companion to the wildly successful series, Top Chef. In this go-around, professional chefs are subjected to the same sort of torturous cooking tasks that the regular schleps have had to accomplish on the mothership program. Basically, Top Chef Masters is for all those people who shake their fist when television cooks make everything look so easy. [Bravo, 10 p.m.]

Thursday: Tropic Thunder
Just so we’re clear: Robert Downey Jr. spends the length of this movie in blackface (and he received an Oscar nomination for his troubles), and yet, thanks to Tom Cruise’s uproarious portrayal of a Hollywood studio executive, he isn’t even the funniest part of the film. It’s officially safe to retire that worn-out copy of Zoolander; Tropic Thunder is the Ben Stiller comedy you’ll be watching over and over again for the next five years. [Action Max, 8 p.m.]

Friday: Woody Allen: A Life in Film
In preparation for Woody Allen’s latest film, Whatever Works (hitting theaters next week), Turner Classic Movies is nice enough to run this little-seen documentary about everyone’s favorite nebbish. Based on a rare interview conducted in October of 2001, A Life in Film looks back at all the classic Woody Allen movies you know and love. And! If that’s not enough, immediately following the documentary, TCM will air a mini-marathon of his classic films, including Broadway Danny Rose, Hannah and Her Sisters The Purple Rose of Cairo, Take the Money and Run and Interiors. If you’re wondering why fans like us keep coming back to Woody over and over again, the answer is simple: We need the eggs. [TCM, 8 p.m.]