What To Watch: 07/19/2020

Here we are for another Sunday of Quarantine TV, with still a surprising number of shows still going with shows taped before our new reality — with two significant returns: a woke comic is back on the road and the adaptation of Caleb Carr’s classic detective series gets a second series.

United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell [CNN, 10p]
Perhaps America’s most underappreciated political late night hosts in America, W. Kamau Bell is also its most intrepid as he travels across the country to do his deep dives. The fifth season of his second go at it quietly returns to CNN tonight.

I’ll Be Gone In The Dark [HBO, 10p]
Tonight’s episode, directed (again) by Myles Kane & Josh Koury (fine, I think we should have just let women-slash-Liz Garbus do all of it) is called “The Motherlode,” so I assume it’s about how Michelle McNamara was given just a trove of information while working on her (truly excellent) book.

Nos4a2 [BBC, 10p]
Who is the Hourglass Man? We will find out tonight on this grimly gritty show. Meanwhile, Vic rides into a trap when she returns to the lake house and Manx cashes in a favor.



  • The 1890s odd trio detective team of Howard, Kreizler & Moore returns to solve grisly crimes in the second chapter of the Caleb Carr adaptation The Alienist: Angel of Darkness on both BBC and AMC.
  • Ronnie’s her own worst enemy and Jada meets Tomas’ folks are just two of the many stories intertwined on Lena Waithe’s excellent The Chi on Showtime.
  • It’s time for that plan to come together — which means a half-hour of double-, triple-, and maybe even quadruple-crosses with a 1980s soundtrack as our greedy Black Monday “heroes” close off their second season on Showtime.


  • Nat Geo trots out its moneymaker — sharks — with a new special documenting some of the hugest swimming sea creatures with World’s Biggest Tiger Shark.
  • And we’ll close it up with the LHV (Lifetime-Hallmark Vortex) as we’ve got three over-the-top movies for you tonight: Coins For Christimas – part of a romance series starring Essence Adkins and Stephen Bishop (not to be confused with the “On & On” singer) is on TV One. Forever My Girl is not an answer to Paula Abdul’s #1 hit, but an Up original (well, technically it was supposed to be in series, but here we are) about an American country music star played by Alex Roe who pines after his first love. And over on our original G cheesy movie source, Lifetime, we’ve got a doozy that goes well beyond the bounds of our very, very dated pop hit references, Mile High Escorts which is either a gritty documentary about the nightlife of 1990s Denver Broncos seat ushers (by day they check tickets, by night they eat undercooked Hot Pockets at home) or… well, we so want that to be the case, so we’re stopping there, but you can click on the title to find out you surely guessed correctly when you read it.

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