First Monday: Coming up in July

Monday: President Bush makes his last appearance at a summit of the Group of Eight industrial countries, held this year in Tokyo.

July 14-20: Boeing and Airbus will be among more than 1,500 exhibitors at Farnborough International Airshow near London, but as airlines struggle to pay jet-fuel bills, the rivals may not match past new-order announcements.

July 23: The Federal Reserve releases its Beige Book survey of regional economic conditions.

July 30: Walt Disney reports quarterly earnings.


By Michelle Archer, special for USA TODAY


Mad Men

AMC; Season two makes its debut at 10 p.m. ET on July 27; a first-season marathon begins at noon E.T. on July 20.

When we left the wily, spiffy and troubled characters of Madison Avenue ad agency Sterling Cooper, it was nearly Thanksgiving in 1960. The true identity of junior partner Don Draper (Golden Globe winner Jon Hamm) was revealed, and newly promoted Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) just had a surprise baby fathered by married blackmailer Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser).

Fast forward to season two, where it's Valentine's Day, 1962, a holiday ripe with the potential for the sexist and promiscuous behavior we've come to expect from this critically adored drama. Everyone has moved on, but the first episode gives few clues as to what's happened in the past year.

"We're going to take you into the next chapter of these people's lives," show creator Matthew Weiner promised viewers in a recent recap special.

"They will continue to surprise you," he adds, "because they will continue to behave like real people."

AMC will rerun all 13 episodes from the first season on July 20, or viewers can catch up with Lionsgate's new four-disc DVD set, encased in the shape of a retro Zippo lighter case.

Click & Clack's As The Wrench Turns

PBS, 8 p.m. ET Thursday (check local listings or

The garrulous Tom and Ray Magliozzi, Public Radio's Car Talk guys, give voice to their garage-running alter egos, Click and Clack, in PBS' first foray into animation. Ah, but it's not just a car toon. Public-service themes such as distracted driving and seat-belt usage are mixed in with the silliness. Two back-to-back episodes air weekly through Aug. 13.

The Recruiter

HBO, 9 p.m. ET July 28

This illuminating documentary revolves around Sgt. 1st Class Clay Usie, a verbally gifted soldier who's doing his darndest to enlist recruits for the Army in his hometown of Houma, La. It's a difficult task, one a fellow recruiter describes as "filling foxholes in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Usie's superior relates military recruiting to civilian sales jobs: "We do the prospecting. We solicit leads. We do all of that stuff that a commercial company would do." But if Usie fails to meet a sales goal, the stakes are incredibly different. "If we fall short, then we're selling our brothers in arms short in Iraq and Afghanistan," he says.



Friday (New York); R; First Look Pictures

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...