PopWatch Planner: 'At Any Price,' the 'Originals' arrive, and more

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Image Credit: Matt Dinerstein

It’s a bustle of premieres, returns, and hiatuses in the entertainment world this week — not to mention a new Zac Efron movie! Our advice after an emotionally draining week: for every dark piece of entertainment, balance it with two pieces of light.

MONDAY

Rectify series premiere, 9 p.m., Sundance Channel

Sundance is following in the footsteps of other cable compatriots such as AMC, FX, and A&E by making its first original scripted series distinctively high-concept — and heavy, man. Premiering with two episodes, Rectify follows Daniel Holden, who is released after 20 years on death row once new DNA evidence gets his conviction for rape and murder vacated. But is he guilty? And what happened to his soul after so much time locked up? The show has big ideas on its (contemplative, off-kilter) mind. Stick around long enough to chew on a few of them.

TUESDAY

Phoenix’s new album Bankrupt! hits stores

The French dance-poppers are back with a new album. It’s very rhythmic, at least judging by lead single, “Entertainment.” For an extended listen, you can just click over to the iTunes store, where Bankrupt! is streaming in full.

WEDNESDAY

Arrow, 8 p.m, The CW

Arrow returns from a three-week hiatus and in tonight’s “Home Invasion,” most of the major characters appear under some sort of strain — which doesn’t stop them from cracking wise. As Oliver Queen explains, “I wear a hood and put arrows into criminals.” Bonus: Roy looks to start on the path to sidekick-dom. Extra bonus: J. August Richards guest stars as someone who Arrow will probably beat up.

THURSDAY

The Vampire Diaries, 8 p.m., The CW

It’s finally arrived: The Vamipre Diaries’ Louisiana spin-off The Originals has its backdoor pilot tonight, which sees the genocidal vampire hybrid maniac (and sweetly damaged romantic) Klaus de-camp to New Orleans to meet up with some old friends. Power! Loyalty! Family! 

FRIDAY

At Any Price opens in theaters

The Zac Efron-starrer may sound corn-fed on paper — he’s a farmer’s son who really just wants to race cars while dad struggles and schemes to keep their land — but the word out of Tribeca is that Ramin Bahrani’s film is hiding a powerful kick.

SATURDAY

Read Brian Stelter’s new book, Top of the Morning 

Stelter, a New York Times media reporter, enters the morning show fray with his own tell-all (out this Tuesday), which is subtitled, “Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.” It’s pegged as a dishy, detail-full read. Best to read it with Today or Good Morning America in the background, for added context. 

SUNDAY

What Would Ryan Lochte Do?, 10 p.m., E!

Ryan Lochte goes to Washington, D.C. in the second episode of his self-titled — and deliciously flaky — reality series. How many times will he say, “Jeah”? How many times will he say he misses Gainesville? You’ll have to tune in.

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