Let's face it. You all have lost your loving feeling for episodic television that goes week to week. At least, given the dismal numbers that we're seeing on the few shows that ARE airing weekly.
So, you should be pleased with many things this week, even as some networks still desperately try to get your attention for weekly viewing.
There are binge-watches dropping across multiple platforms and some great new weekly series. There are movies and horror-adjacent and teen dramas galore, with a timely docuseries dropped into the mix, too. Check it out!
Saturday, September 12
8/7c Coastal Elites (HBO)
If you're of a liberal mind and a Trump hater, you should find something to love in HBO's adaptation of Paul Rudnick's play, which was expected to go into production this year, but, well, COVID.
If Bette Midler has the appearance of a screaming shrew on Twitter, she's the perfect person to embody the show's version of Trump Derangement Syndrome, screaming her monologue from state to finish.
Others starring in the movie filmed during the COVID era include Dan Levy, Issa Rae, Sarah Paulson, and Kaitlyn Dever. Topics include COVID, Ivanka Trump, and gay superheroes.
8/7c Deranged Granny (Lifetime)
This title is so delicious, but it will make you salivate when you realize that Wendy Malick is playing the titular role. OMG.
Barbara (Malick) finds her last hope to be a grandmother when her son, Ethan (Josh Ventura), falls for Kendall (Amanda Righetti), a divorcee with children. At first kept at arm’s length, Barbara quickly infiltrates the family by using devious tactics to win over Kendall’s kids.
Unannounced visits escalate to murder as Barbara will do anything to protect her relationship with her grandchildren. With her life in danger, Kendall must outsmart her mother-in-law to save her children and expose Barbara for who she really is.
Dave Baez also stars in this movie that is sure to be nominated for awards, any awards, based on the title alone.
Monday, September 14
9/8c The Third Day (HBO)
Created by Dennis Kelly and Felix Barrett, The Third Day is told over the first three episodes. “Summer” follows Sam, a man drawn to a mysterious island off the British coast, who encounters a group of islanders set on preserving their traditions at any cost.
“Winter” unfolds over the latter three episodes as Helen, a strong-willed outsider who comes to the island seeking answers, but whose arrival precipitates a fractious battle to decide its fate.
The limited series stars Jude Law, Naomie Harris, Katherine Waterston, Emily Watson, and Paddy Considine.
I've seen the first three episodes of the series that some say is reminiscent of The Wicker Man. It delivers a truly unsettling experience through imagery and quirky characters, who are difficult to trust. Pain is the undercurrent people carry with them on the island of Osea, and characters try to uncover their connection to various degrees of it.
10/9c We Are Who We Are (HBO)
Luca Guadagnino delivers another visually stunning work with We Are Who We Are
It's a brand new drama that centers on two fourteen-year-old kids as they get to grips with the pitfalls of being a teenager. But, they’re not your usual teenagers.
They are living on an Army base in Italy due to their parents being enlisted.
The cast is enough reason to watch alone, but this show will be the awards circuit next. Mark my words.
10/9c Enslaved (Epix)
Using new diving technology – such as advanced 3D mapping and ground-penetrating radar – to locate and examine sunken slave ships on three continents, the series reveals an entirely new perspective on the history of the transatlantic slave trade.
The series also tracks the efforts of Diving With a Purpose (DWP), a collaborating organization with The National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS), as they search for and locate six slave ships that sank, drowning the enslaved humans aboard.
Featuring the most dives ever made on sunken slave ships, Enslaved also chronicles the first positive identification of a “Freedom Ship,” an American schooner that ferried African American runaways to Canada.
Each episode follows three separate storylines: the quest for a sunken slave ship, a personal journey by Samuel L. Jackson, and a historical investigation led by investigative journalists Simcha Jacobovici and Afua Hirsch.
Wednesday, September 16
Criminal: UK (Netflix)
It's the second season of this Netflix Original that previously focused on cases in France. This one, we won't have to read. Woo hoo!
It's described as a cat-and-mouse drama taking place entirely inside of the interrogation rooms of a police station.
It focuses on the mental conflict between detectives and suspects, which we've seen enough of in various places to imagine it's brutal. Criminal: UK sounds a lot like what we witnessed in Interrogation, even if that left the suite quite often.
The cast looks fantastic, including Nicholas Pinnock, Sharon Horgan, David Tennant, and Kit Harrington. Hell yes, sign me up!
Thursday, September 17
Am I the only person infatuated with entertainment that takes the thrills high into the sky? For those likewise inclined comes another Canadian import (code for I will love it).
When passenger plane Flight 716 shockingly vanishes over the Atlantic Ocean, brilliant investigator Kendra Malley (Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife) is brought in – alongside her mentor Howard Lawson (Christopher Plummer, Knives Out) – to find the truth and stop it from happening again.
Still reeling from the recent death of her husband and struggling to parent her troubled stepson, Kendra isn’t sure she’s up to the task — especially when the whole world is watching. At every turn, new discoveries only deepen the mystery surrounding the disaster, revealing a host of motives and suspects.
Departure's six episodes feature an all-star international cast, including Kris Holden-Reid (Umbrella Academy), Rebecca Liddiard (Run This Town), Tamara Duarte (Longmire), Mark Rendall (Versailles), Peter Mensah (Midnight, Texas), and Sasha Roiz (Suits).
Friday, September 18
We'll have a full review of this later in the week, but here's the gist of this video-on-demand movie.
Susan Sarandon stars as a terminally ill woman who gathers her extended family for one last visit before she ends her own life in a remake of the 2014 Danish film Silent Heart from Notting Hill director Roger Michell.
Kate Winslet, Sam Neill, Rainn Wilson, and Mia Wasikowska also star.
Note that this film wasn't well-received when it debuted at TIFF last fall, but if you're like me, then you're used to liking what the film critics dislike. Yep, I, a critic, said it.
We won’t be getting a season of American Horror Story this year, but Ratched is the next best thing.
The thriller comes from AHS creator Ryan Murphy and features a string of cast members from the FX horror hit.
In essence, it feels like a season of AHS, and that’s a good thing.
It’s only eight episodes, too, so it’s an easy binge!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.