Month: September 2016

What to Watch: 09/30/2016

Everyone is impressed by Luke Cage — from independent drug couriers to legendary filmmakers and part-time pe … ok, let’s just not go there. As Fridays go, if you ain’t got [stuff] to do,  you’ve got a lot of bingeworthy options.

Marvel’s Luke Cage [Netflix]
Marvel’s latest superhero installment takes us to Harlem, where we get the back story of a woke Black superhero who besides fighting crime reads Ralph Ellison and has an affinity for hip-hop. All this set to a score produced by Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge. It’s clear this is more than an action series, it’s a timely political statement.
Crisis in Six Scenes [Amazon]
Even with everything that’s we’ve seen from Woody between, oh, let’s say 1994 and now — whether you’re talking about his 5:1 ratio of useless films to classics or his personal life “antics” which probably would get most others shunned from society for life -I can’t not be excited about his first scripted TV series. That it’s the first Miley Cyrus/Elaine May collabo is even more hopeful, although the fact the AV Club dubs it “funny, creaky” is less so.

High Maintenance [HBO, 11p]
Tonight The Guy tries out virtual reality and helps a native Midwesterner stressed out by the trials and tribulations of city-living.



  • Netflix adds to the streaming goodness with the latest in the headline-rip’t, see-the-other-side documentaries with more-than-questionable protagonists with their simply titled Amanda Knox.
  • Can Lucas Till fill the shoes of the Bouvier Twins favorite gum-toting, explosives-devising B-TV icon MacGyver with half the, um, gumption(?) of Richard Dean Anderson? (or even Will Forte?) My Magic 8 Ball says doubtful, but stranger things have happened.
  • If your day could use a bit more liberal ‘tude of a sort that’ll put some people off (and given a certain candidate, who could blame ya), Real Time with Bill Maher is featuring BOTH Sean Penn and Sarah Silverman.

Weekend Box Office: September 30, 2016

The Magnificent Seven was this weekend biggest draw, bringing in $34.7 million. (BUT WHY THO.)

Amanda Knox finds Netflix joining the crowd in rubbernecking the Amanda Knox story. The documentary is a Netflix exclusive.

Do Not Resist is a documentary about America’s police militarization and frightening riot suppression. I won’t lie to you, I didn’t finish the trailer. (A reminder that Justin Carr was shot and killed last week during demonstrations in Charlotte.)

ClownTown is a horror film. A group of friends find themselves stranded in a deserted town and tormented by a group of psychopaths dressed like clowns. Everyone left because of a train wreck though, not the clowns!

Harry & Snowman is a documentary about a man and his $80 Amish plowhorse, which became a triple crown show-jumper.

Incarnate stars Aaron Eckhart as a scientist with an ability to enter the minds of the self-possessed. He finds a challenge in helping a little boy who is possessed by a demon.

Masterminds is a true crime comedy starring Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, and Kate McKinnon. Galifianakis is David Ghantt, a bank vault supervisor, who helps orchestrate the second-largest cash robbery in history. Jared Hess directs

American Honey is the much anticipated Andrea Arnold drama. It stars Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf, Arielle Holmes, Riley Keough, and McCaul Lombardi, who used to be Mike Lombardi, when he was going to pop-punk shows in Baltimore. (I feel very weird about seeing pictures of someone at Cannes that I last saw at the backdoor of a local All Time Low show, you know?) Lane is a young woman who skips town to join a band of ne’er-do-well party kings who sell magazine subscriptions. While you wait for your next showtime, Arnold’s Fish Tank is on Netflix.

Denial stars Rachel Weisz as Deborah E. Lipstadt, who was sued for libel by David Irving (Timothy Spall), a Holocause denier. The film is adapted from Lipstadt’s History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier

Danny Says is a documentary about Danny Fields, a manager and publicist who worked with the Doors, Cream, Lou Reed, the Stooges, and the Ramones.

Deepwater Horizon is a drama about the tragic, fatal, oil spill in 20TK. It stars Mark Wahlberg, because he has a lock on tragic dramatizations.

Maximum Ride is a teenage fantasy novels adapted from the James Patterson series. A group of teenagers escape the facility where they’ve been test subjects to experience freedom and rebel against their captors. Or something.

The Blackcoat’s Daughter (originally February) is a horror film starring Emma Roberts, Lucy Boynton, Kiernan Shipka. The girls are enrolled at a prestigious prep school where there are sinister spirits afoot.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is also a youth-novel adaptation, about children with fantastic powers, and people who seek to destroy them. Don’t worry, a boy will save them all! The film stars Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Samuel L. Jackson, and is directed by Tim Burton.

M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story is a biographical drama about cricketer M.S. Dhoni.

What to Watch: 09/29/2016

Pamela Adlon just wants to do her laundry; people really shouldn’t laugh. In any case, it’s sitcoms both conventional and nouveau dominating this week’s What to Watch.

Superstore [NBC, 8p]
The work walkout against Cloud 9 that has started the second season of the always promising Superstore, has been just the plot device needed to bring out the best in the characters, drawing that somewhat missing third dimension from the able collection of actors. Even Mark McKinney’s once-silly incompetent manager has found his (squeaky) voice.

The Good Place [NBC, 8:30p]
Eleanor is working with the man who designed the Good Place, making it harder to remain undetected as an accidental inclusion. Tahani is assigned to help a neighbor find her true purpose, and if we’ve learned anything, that means poor Tahani will face her first failure.

Better Things [FX, 10p]
Sam takes a trip to the plastic surgeon for a consultation which prob will not help her self esteem at all.

What to Watch: 09/27/2016

Welp, filmmaking provocateur Michael Moore has stepped in to provoke, with a contrary view as to just who won the debate, and it’s hard to tell whether he’s calling for attention or trying to rile people up to action. However, if you are on the left and want to revel in Trump’s breakdown, there’s a Sam Bee special, or you could just turn on any channel but Fox (or at this point, probably even Fox).

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee [TBS, 10:30p]
Samantha Bee surely knew the shameful horror (do Germans have a word for that?) which was set to unfold on Monday, and moved over to Wednesday so she can take some time to really dig into the satire lying everywhere from deep beneath to floating way above the surface in this most insane of elections. May God have mercy on our soul.

You’re the Worst [FX, 10p]
Is Jimmy ever going to face his dad’s death this season? And poor Edgar is going tot have another meltdown at the VA office isn’t he? I’m way too emotionally attached to the characters who coined the term “new phone, who dis?”

India: Nature’s Wonderland [PBS, 10p]
PBS’s blink-and-you-miss-it documentary about India’s natural world wraps up tonight with a look at Jadav Payeng, a man who planted a 1,360 acre rainforest over the course of 30 years, demoiselle cranes of Khichan, and sure-footed goats.



  • It’s a fine mess the Criminal Minds people have gotten themselves into. Season 11 ended on a Hotch-heavy cliffhanger — which might have seemed a good plan before actor Thomas Gibson decided to kick one of the writers and get thrown off the long-running show (think that writer might not to get to kill Hotch off slowly and painfully?). Anyway, in steps Adam Rodriguez as new agent Thomas Alvarez, along with the return of Paget Brewster’s Emily Prentiss (yay!), and we’ll see where tonight’s Season 12 debut lands. On CBS.
  • More familiar new faces arrive on CBS as Code Black literally adds Rob Lowe to the cast.
  • TV Land’s Younger is one of those shows which build up a critical fanfare and cult following while many of us aren’t looking. It’s got Sutton Foster, so we should know better, and we really need to check it out as it starts its third season tonight.
  • Impastor also quietly returns on the same channel, with the truth swirling around the titular character and threatening to upend his whole world.

Lifetime Whacks With Lizzie’s Ax

Over two years ago Lifetime looked at its Emmys hopes and dreams, threw caution to the wind, and told the tale of notorious murder suspect, Lizzie Borden, who may have killed her father and stepmother on a hot Massachusetts afternoon with an ax.

I’ve long felt, terror aside, that if Lizzie Borden did kill her father, I didn’t particularly blame her, and the film attempts make the case that Andrew Borden was an emotionally abusive in the ass. (He was so miserly that the very wealthy family didn’t have indoor plumbing, which is just the kind of thing you splurge on when its available to you.) It also suggests that Andrew was whacked because he wouldn’t let Lizzie go to a party, or loosen the purse strings.

Lizzie went to the party, because in Lifetime’s version of history, Lizzie is a young woman of loose morals. She lies, she drinks, she’s a lot of fun! But Lizzie may not have been so wild, and in Lifetime’s attempts to make the movie fun, the film feels forced and historically inaccurate. (Lizzie and her sister Emma do not seem to suffer enough from the day’s fashions or heatwave; the end credits state that Emma left town and never came back, but the sisters lived together in town until their deaths.) It is at least a little scary—the story of Borden was the  first murder story to keep me awake at night, and the film’s gruesome hacking scenes make my especially house (built in 1890!) eerie.

Lizzie is played by Christina Ricci, who seems more glamorous than the historical figure, and Clea Duvall, Generation X’s Kristen Stewart, is Emma. Gregg Henry is Hosea Bolton, the district attorney, and like his role in Victim of Love, Bolton is the only one around with any brains. Unfortunately, Henry is far less dynamic here than he was in Victim of Love, instead squiring around town with his trademark Huntzberger squint.

Of course, one Murderino‘s quibbles about a Lifetime movie does not speak for everyone. Lifetime steamrolled ahead with the tribulations of poor, insane, murderous Lizzie Borden, airing the eight-episode, limited series The Chronicles of Lizzie Borden. (Duvall returns, and we all pretend that Emma never left town forever.)

Lizzie Borden Took An Ax is one of the few Lifetime movies streaming on Netflix.

What to Watch: 09/26/2016

So, yeah, they’ll talk today. We’re not sure exactly what it is we can learn about these two at this point, but there you have it. It’s the first of three debates. There’s 43 days to the election and we are where we are. Two out of three of us are not recommending it, and we’re mostly political junkies. This just needs to end. It’s not funny anymore. It never really was. Racism rarely is.

First Presidential Debate [Multiple Channels, 9p]
I know I might immediately regret this decision but I feel like it’s my civic duty to watch and see just how bad it gets tonight. Wondering which Trump will show up and how Hillary will counter him.

Food Network Star Kids [Food, 8p]
It’s the finale of the first season, and the three junior finals will … film a sizzle reel before shopping for the final competition. The winner gets a show online, a Food Network Magazine, and a correspondence on The Kitchen (but not a shot of liquor to go with it — being a minor — which I would need for that last “honor”).

Loosely, Exactly Nicole [MTV, 10:30p]
It’s not the greatest show (although it’s had its moments), and MTV seems to be burning this show’s episodes off, but this sexually charged sitcom centered around ultra-charming comic Nicole Byer is leagues better than one more goddamn second wasted listening to that incompetent racist hack bully, and even worse the supposed left-wing press acting like he’s not the most monstrously unqualified candidates in history. I’m done. Out. FU everyone who’s kept his candidacy relevant.



  • Ham is delicious and always something you should have in your possession, unless you are a vegetarian. Also, Jada Pinkett Smith returns as Fish on Fox’s Gotham.
  • Remember way back when that jerkoff complained about one of the debates coming opposite football? That’s this one. There’s NFL Football as the Falcons and Saints face off.
  • ABC’s still got celebrities who you can watch boogie down on Dancing with the Stars. With any luck, he who shall not be named will have to beg to get on next year’s competition.


What to Watch: 09/25/2016

It’s animation dominating this Sunday, including our highlighted top show in the history of manKIIIIIIND! Yes, The Simpsons returns for its record-exploding 28th season, with Mr. Burns at the center. But we also have Family GuyBob’s Burgers, and the newest addition Son of Zorn.

The Simpsons [FOX, 8p]
In the season 28 premiere Springfield burns, causing Mr. Burns to put on a variety show as part of his repayment. We learned last season that Lisa was meant for the stage, nudge nudge, Fox.

Son of Zorn [Fox, 8:30p]
It’s the first “official” episode of the mixed-medium program, and with Bill Hader voicing our He-Man, and Cheryl Hines and Tim Meadows helming the human side, we should be alright.

Bob’s Burgers [Fox, 7:30p]
This may be the first time we’ve all chosen shows from the same network. In any case, I am a sucker for both a flu storyline and for anything involving Kristin Schaal’s Louise Belcher, and Bob’s Burgers has a combo of both in its seventh season premiere, so it’s golden.



  • Rounding out the night of animation, it’s the formidable Family Guy, starting its 15th season. We feel no reason to push it, you’ll watch it or you won’t.
  • Will Forte pulls double-duty tonight as the animated-in-spirit The Last Man on Earth returns for the beginning of its third season.
  • The dead are still walking and we’ll see what comes of Curtis’ observation of Madison’s sign reveal on Fear the Walking Dead.
  • And then on Food Network, Vinny & Ma Eat America and we’ll just let that title stand.




Weekend Box Office: September 23, 2016

Sully was No. 1 again last weekend, landing $21.6 million in the Hudson. The Blair Witch burst out of the woods into second, with $9.5 million, while Bridget Jones’s Baby delivered $8.5 million.

Audrey & Daisy is a documentary about the sexual assault and subsequent bullying (in the press, community, and on social media) of Daisy Coleman (whose house was burned down), Audrie Potts (who died). The documentary is exclusive to Netflix. Those grown ass men blaming these girls should be ashamed of themselves.

The Magnificent Seven is a remake of the 1960 classic, which was a remake of Seven Samurai, because we can’t have nice things. It stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Peter Sarsgaard and Haley Bennett. The film is directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Nic Pizzolatto, who unleashed True Detective on us. I asked an old lady last weekend to just watch The Seven Samurai on Hulu and she put her hand in my face with disgust. Enjoy this piece of garbage, windbag.

I.T. stars Pierce Brosnan as a “self-made” man married to Anna Friel who ends up in a “deadly game of cat-and-mouse” with his I.T. guy. (In America, the star of Marcella is The Wife.)

Storks is an animated comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Amdy Samberg. Storks have moved on from delivering babies to delivering packages for an Internet retail giant, until one accidentally generates a baby. Is that where surprise babies come from?

The Lovers and the Despot is a documentary about how film-obsessed Kim Jong-Il kidnapped divorced couple Shin Sang-ok and Choi Eun-hee in an effort to bring a powerhouse film industry to North Korea. Choi was the most popular actress in South Korea, and renowned throughout the world, at the time of her kidnapping. Shin had recently fallen from grace in South Korea, but was enormously successful. I’m going to watch the hell out of this. It will pair well with Paul Fischer’s A Kim Jong-Il Production (and maybe even The Orphan Master’s Son).

Queen of Katwe is a biographical drama, directed by Mira Nair, about chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi. The film is produced by ESPN and Disney, and comes with a heaping plate of God on the side. David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o also star.

Generation Startup is a documentary about six college grads trying to start their own business. But in Detroit, so that’s less miserable to take in than if they were on the Upper West Side and ruining my good time. Oh, cool, there’s a girl, too!

Beauty and the Beast is a French film telling the story of the classic fairy tale (which yes, Disney will release next year, too). Léa Seydoux and Vincent Cassel star.

Goat is a fraternity film starring Nick Jonas and James Franco.

Girl Asleep is an Australian coming-of-age-comedy about almost-fifteen Greta Driscoll. Shy and awkward, she finds herself in a parallel universe after her parents throw her a surprise birthday party.

What to Watch: 09/21/2016

If you see Kiefer Sutherland looking worried in either DC, LA, or NYC, run the other way in a mad dash (or run and hide behind him): either way, something terrorist is about to go down. We also recommend staying out of colonial Roanoke.

Designated Survivor [ABC, 10p]
While admittedly high concept and familiar territory for Sutherland, I can’t help but be intrigued by the promise of this reflective thriller debuting tonight.

Mr. Robot [USA, 10p]
I had theories, oh so many theories and alas I am completely stumped now. Can’t tell what is even real anymore. Kudos, Sam Esmail. Hopefully tonight we will figure out if Tyrell is really alive and what phase 2 is.

The Goldbergs [ABC, 8p]
In the season 4 premiere, the Goldberg kids end up in a Breakfast Club-style Saturday detention hall, overseen by substitute teacher Beverly.

American Horror Story [FX, 10p]
Now that we know that the new season of AHS is a pseudo documentary that deals with the mystery of the lost colony of Roanoke set against a back drop southern racism, it’s time to delve deeper into the horror as a biracial couple (Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding, Jr.) adjust to living in a haunted house surrounded by racist hillbillies.



  • A corrupt DA agent is the subject of this week’s second episode of the second season of CBS’ Blindspot.
  • So, who else has Fox’s Lethal Weapon in their Fall 2016 deadpool? The pilot based on the classic 1980s buddy cop flick debuts tonight.
  • Two titans return tonight: Modern Family on ABC and Empire on Fox.

What to Watch: 09/20/2016

This Is Us [NBC, 10p]
As a sucker for narrative tales of interlocking lives — not to mention Dan Fogelman’s particular brand of nonsense, there’s no way I’m missing the debut of This Is Us. Buzz has been solid, so far, and the cast includes newly minted Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown.

Scream Queens [Fox, 9p]
It’s hard to imagine how Scream Queens could return, and to our surprise, the series picks up a few years after the first season, with the Dean buying an abandoned hospital (WHY), and calling on Zayday, who is now a medical student. The disgraced Chanels are back, too, which makes sense, because a killer is now stalking the presumably barely-functional facility.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine [Fox, 8pm]
Peralta and Holt are still getting adjusted to life in FLorida under the witness protection program, but how long will they be able to keep their idetnities a secret??

New Girl[Fox, 8:30p]
CeCe and Schmidt are trying to navigate home buying while Jess is trying to keep her mind off Nick. When will these two just get back together already?!




  • While MadTV {The CW version} has been mostly frustrating, they have absolutely nailed the TV drama parody — the bread and/or butter of the original Fox sketch comedy juggernaut — with two takedowns of The Walking Dead.
  • So far, Donald Glover’s languid hip-hop period piece Atlanta has lived up to its long-tailed hype on FX, and there’s no reason to believe that an episode titled “The Streisand Effect” should end that run.
  • The promos are pretty uninspiring, but Bull could prove us wrong and join the journeymen slick CBS hourlongs — and speaking of which, two NCISs: the original one and the Los Angeles one return tonight.