Your TV GPS, Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert’s look at the week ahead in television, appears every Monday morning on BostonGlobe.com. Today’s column covers Sept.12-18.
It’s a fairly quiet week, premiere-wise, before the networks start rolling out new and returning shows next week. The “Law & Order” shows, the Chicago shows, the “FBI” shows, the CBS comedies, and more are coming soon.
In the meantime, I’m going to take this opportunity to mention a pair of shows I’m enjoying right now. Each is mid-release, and each is a somewhat under-the-radar pleasure. Both are genre hybrids — black comedy and whodunit — as they track both the suspects and the folks investigating them.
“Bad Sisters” on Apple TV+ is like a funny version of “Big Little Lies,” with Claes Bang as the dead brother-in-law, John Paul — who, we see in the many flashbacks — is psychologically abusive to his wife, Grace (Anne-Marie Duff). He also harasses all of Grace’s sisters: Becka (Eve Hewson), Bibi (Sarah Greene), Ursula (Eva Birthistle), and Eva (show creator Sharon Horgan). Who done him in? One of the sisters? All of the sisters?
Some of the laughs on the 10-episode Irish series come from witnessing just how awful and toxic John Paul is and wondering if the world is indeed better off without him. It was wrong to kill him, wasn’t it? Wasn’t it?
“Wedding Season” on Hulu gives us Katie (Rosa Salazar), who goes on the run after her fiancé and his family are murdered at her wedding. Fueling suspicions that she is responsible for the murders is the fact that she’s on the run with Stefan (Gavin Drea), the man she was having an affair with before the wedding. The eight-episode British series is light-hearted, and it’s also a bit of a rom-com, as the two suspects try to determine whether they belong together while evading the cops.
WHAT I’M WATCHING THIS WEEK
1. “The U.S. and the Holocaust” is a three-part documentary about what was happening here while Jews were being systematically rounded up and murdered in Europe during World War II. Directed by Ken Burns and his longtime collaborators, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein, the series will premiere Sunday at 8 p.m. on GBH 2. According to Burns’s production company, the series will dispel “the competing myths that Americans either were ignorant of what was happening to Jews in Europe, or that they merely looked on with callous indifference.” It will look closely at immigration, and what a country does when faced with the fact that the worst massacre in human history is underway in another country. What is our role as a nation of immigrants? Do we intervene in international humanitarian crises? How do we contend with white nationalism? In a promo, Burns calls the documentary “one of the most important we’ve ever worked on.”
2. The dystopian series that anticipated the current rollback of civil rights and rise of theocracy returns for a fifth season of misery on Wednesday. The theme of Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” continues to be vengeance, as Elisabeth Moss’s June copes with her primal need to get even after leading a gang murder of Fred in the season four finale. By the way, show creator Bruce Miller has announced that the series will end after the sixth season. He also said that he is developing a sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” called “The Testaments” after writer Margaret Atwood’s sequel novel set 15 years after the events of “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
3. Two other significant returns. On Thursday at 10 p.m., FX is bringing back “Atlanta” for its fourth and final season. The show returns to its titular city for its last run. And Friday at 11 p.m., HBO is bringing back the Spanish-language comedy “Los Espookys” for a second season after a long COVID delay. Guests this season include Isabella Rossellini and Yalitza Aparicio.
4. The Emmy Awards are on NBC and Peacock Monday night at 8 p.m. This year, Kenan Thompson is hosting. I’ve taken the opportunity to make some predictions and complaints, with “Succession” — which got 25 nominations, the most of any series — and “The White Lotus” at the top of my wish list.
5. This one sounds tough but necessary. On Tuesday at 9 p.m., GBH 2 is premiering the documentary “Facing Suicide,” narrated by Josh Charles. It will combine personal stories from people impacted by suicide and profiles of scientists who have new insights into it.
“The Come Up” A reality show about young professionals in New York. Freeform. Monday, 10 p.m.
“Vampire Academy” An adaptation of the YA vampire series by Richelle Mead. Peacock, Thursday
“The Serpent Queen” Samantha Morton is outstanding as Catherine de Medici. Starz
“Wedding Season” An entertaining rom-com whodunit comedy. Hulu
“House of the Dragon” A worthy heir to the throne. HBO and HBO Max
“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” Here’s hoping it improves. Amazon
“Never Have I Ever” The coming-of-age comedy is as sweet as ever in season three. Netflix
“Uncoupled” An entertaining but shallow comedy starring Neil Patrick Harris as a newly single New Yorker. Netflix
“Surface” The twists in this amnesia thriller are fun, until they get tedious and silly. Apple TV+
“Black Bird” Dennis Lehane’s chilling prison drama stars Taron Egerton. Apple TV+
Matthew Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.
#weeks #undertheradar #shows #U.S #Holocaust #Emmys
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