What to Watch: 09/09/2018

Even in the age of streaming and cutting cords and year-around programming, the Fall TV line-up still harbors significant excitement to those of us who love the small screen. We’re back with this feature as 2018’s September sweep-in is in full effect (watch this spot for our Fall recs and wrap-ups) with pay cable’s defining twosome HBO and Showtime unveiling their Sunday line-ups, while comedian Lil Rel Howery, just a year removed from his scene-stealing comic relief role in Get Out, grabs that stand-up ring: a half-hour sitcom bearing his name. Side note: Lil Rel also shined on the short-lived TruTV show Friends of the People — perhaps the best predominantly African-American sketch shows since a certain classic program whose breakout star also has a new show featured here.

JASON’S PICK:
Kidding [Showtime, 10p]
Last time elastic-faced actor Jim Carrey was on weekly television, O.J. Simpson was a month removed from his fateful Bronco ride, comedian and denture-wearer Martha Raye was still alive, and we still had two years of being blissfully unaware of the Macarena. The breakout star of the Wayans Brothers’ In Living Color and wackiest fly spitting in Trump’s Orangina, returns to the small screen after two decades-plus of box office boffo-ness and Oscar near-misses as a popular children’s show host working overtime to separate himself from that peculiar brand of stardom. If that sounds a bit similar to 2002’s Death To Smoochy (and kudos to you for remembering), the trailer promises an even darker, moodier vibe, and besides, that movie was way underrated.

NAVANI’S PICK:
Rel [Fox, 8p]
Our favorite Get Out sidekick is moving to the small screen this fall as the star and executive-producer of Rel. The comedy is based on his own life as a newly separated dad trying to relearn dating and relating and hilarity ensues. Extra points for casting comedic veteran Sinbad as his dad. Anyone looking for a new spin on the classic sitcom should def tune in.

BRAD’S PICK:
The Deuce [HBO, 9p]
The grimy-as-the-70s show returns for a second season. Though the story my time jump to 1977, the same seedy underbelly of the time square that was will still be on full display. Those of you bemoaning the Disney-fication of Times Square May have found your favorite new show.

ALSO ON TAP TONIGHT:

180909shameless

  • The Gallagher Chronicles continue unabated on HBO, as the lovingly debauched clan return to form for a ninth season of Shameless as TV’s second-most depraved Frank runs afoul of the PTA (what are the odds?!).
  • BET and ABC air two drastically different “awards” shows featuring women. BET’s got the empowering Black Girls Rock! 2018 festival, while (speaking of shameless) ABC rolls out the 51st edition of the “scholarship” pageant Miss America Competition, although to its credit, those tuning in hoping to gaze at girls in swimsuits will be sorely disappointed.
  • Meanwhile, over on TNT, The Last Ship sets sail for a fifth voyage (and why are we sure we’re about the 11th tv site to use that idiom for it).
  • Oh, yes, also John Legend might EGOT tonight in the Creatives part of the Emmys as prelude to next week’s television awards abbondanza.

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