On the Big Screen
Premiere and Series Returns Alerts
Shows I keep forgetting to mention
Instinct – I am not sure I like this show on CBS Sundays which premiered last week; a former CIA operative (Alan Cumming from The Good Wife), who has since built a “normal” life as a gifted professor and writer, is pulled back into his old life when the NYPD needs his help to stop a serial killer on the loose; the pilot episode was appallingly lame
Counterpart – on STARZ Sundays; mysterious miniseries set in a parallel universe Berlin
Homeland – on Showtime Sundays; we’re in Washington now and the President sees enemies everywhere; just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that everyone isn’t out to get you
Here and Now – on HBO Sundays; a less maudlin version of This is Us
The Walking Dead – now in its 8th season on AMC Sundays; the survivors still face a harrowing world where everyone is out to get them
The Chi – on Showtime Sundays; this series explores life on the south side of Chicago; if you were a fan of The Wire, you will love this series which completed its first season last week and will continue to be available on demand
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – on HBO Sundays; Oliver gives his sardonic twist to today’s events
IZombie – on The CW Mondays; a comedic series where zombies are generally the good guys
The Resident – on Fox Mondays; a medical procedural with a great cast
The Alienist – on TNT Mondays; olde time police procedural with a great cast
The Good Doctor – on ABC Mondays; a medical procedural with a twist – our lead character is an autistic doctor!
Unreal – on Lifetime Mondays; although I’ve never watched a single episode of The Bachelor, this parody does explore the machinations behind reality TV; I do enjoy its rather venal take on Hollywood
Rise – very sweet show on NBC Tuesdays; watch it if you love musical series set in a high school; it is extraordinarily reminiscent of Friday Night Lights, the show about high school football in a small Texas town which I absolutely loved and still miss; full disclosure: I started life as a high school theatre arts teacher, and there couldn’t be a show I would be more naturally inclined to admire, so I will give this new series my full attention
The X-Files – on Fox Wednesdays; last week’s episode was the last of the season; very sweet and affectionate considering it dealt with the pursuit of their child William; do Mulder and Scully have a happily ever after?
Riverdale – on the CW Wednesdays; not your granny’s Archie Comics as sex, violence and intrigue abounds
9-1-1 – on Fox Wednesdays; medical/legal/firefighter procedural all rolled into one show about LA’s emergency services operations; very entertaining and superb cast including Angela Bassett, Peter Krause, Connie Britton; this series completed its debut season last week but episodes will continue to be available on demand
Designated Survivor – on ABC Wednesdays; ludicrous political suspense series featuring a totally unqualified man suddenly elevated to the position of President of the US; like that could actually happen?
The Assassination of Gianni Versace – on FX Wednesdays; dark and sad exploration of the events around this murder; finished its season last week but will continue to be available on demand
Corporate – on Comedy Central Wednesdays; hilarious parody of corporate life
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee – on TBS Wednesdays; Bee’s comedic take on current events
Gotham – on Fox Thursdays; now in its 4th season, this very gothic series explores the beginnings of the Batman story; I am a huge fan of Ben McKenzie since his breakout role on The O.C. and then Southland, so I take real pleasure in this campy show which shows the back stories of all the DC characters in the Batman comics
Real Time with Bill Maher – on HBO Fridays; great panels discuss current events
Strike Back – airs new episodes on Cinemax Fridays; mayhem abounds as a special ops team from British military intelligence completes high risk missions around the globe
Saturday Night Live – on NBC Saturdays; now in its 43rd season, this venerable comedy/variety series still keeps chugging along capturing the zeitgeist of our times; there was a very clever CBC satire on last week’s episode hosted by Bill Hader (the word “sorry” was overused to hilarious effect)
Shows that keep me sane
CBS Sunday Morning – on CBS Sundays; the news show that does personal interest pieces and has done since 1979; anything from interviews with actors political figures, athletes, musicians, etc. This show continually informs and inspires. Very soothing in these turbulent times.
The Comedians (Stephen Colbert on CBS nightly; Trevor Noah on Comedy Central M-Th; Jimmy Kimmel on ABC nightly; Seth Meyers on NBC nightly; James Corden on CBS nightly; Samantha Bee on TBS Wednesdays, Bill Maher on HBO Fridays). Some times you just have to laugh at the madness around us as these satirists poke fun at current events.