1 At first glance, the FX drama “The Bridge” looks to be just another serial-killer whodunit. Diane Kruger and Demián Bichir play detectives on opposite sides of the bridge between El Paso and Juárez, teaming up to discover who is slaughtering not only young Mexican women, but now prominent American white women. Its gripping story line would be enough to boost it to the top of this well-worn subgenre, but it’s commendable for more: giving a lot of play to the lives of Latino characters, and not being overt about the probability that Kruger’s socially awkward character has Asperger’s. Premieres 9 p.m. Wed. FX
2 There’s a fizzy silliness to “Despicable Me 2” that will make it a huge word-of-mouth hit among key demographics. That would be 2- to 6-year-olds, and parents who enjoy seeing their kids curled into balls of uncontrollable laughter. You need to have seen the original 2010 comedy, Universal Studios’ first venture into computer animated cartooning, to get the most out of this sequel. The voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove and Russell Brand star.
3 The genius of Mavis Staples’ new “One True Vine” is how it strips away the often powerful instrumentation that has previously surrounded the Rock Hall of Fame soul/gospel queen to favor the most powerful instrument: her voice. Produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, some of the tracks are so raw they sound like acoustic demos, which somehow makes Staples’ raspy, inelegant alto sound like it’s coming from deeper down in such religiously cemented tracks as “Holy Ghost” (originally recorded by Duluth’s Low) and Tweedy’s new original, “Jesus Wept.”
4 Any one of the five stories of J. Courtney Sullivan’s “The Engagements” could have been a novel in itself. Taken together, though, they rather brilliantly represent different facets of marriage — and not always the bright and shiny ones. Sullivan’s captivating novel weaves together four narratives that are bound by a fifth: the true story of Frances Gerety, an advertising writer who came up with the phrase “A diamond is forever” in the 1940s and then continued to recut the ad campaign as times changed. With Sullivan’s smooth writing and a clever blend of fact and faction, you understand that marriages can come and go and it’s only the diamond that lasts.
5 L.A. rock photographer Jimmy Steinfeldt got his start in his native Minneapolis. In fact, most of the photos in his 30-year retrospective, “Rock ’n’ Roll Lens,” were taken at concerts in Minnesota. There are classic expressions on the faces of Tina Turner, Paul McCartney and Keith Richards in performance. Steinfeldt tells cool stories about James Brown, Johnny Cash and George Clinton. But he must be saving his offstage portraits for the next book. Steinfeldt will be signing books at 5 p.m. July 15 at Bud’s Music Center, Hopkins, and 7 p.m. July 16 at the Depot Tavern, Minneapolis.
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