What To Watch: 09/12/2021

Jeff Daniels returns to TV. Last time he had a new series, he captivated the world with the liberal speech for the ages. He’s back, and this time it’s for a gritty, gloomy crime drama. We also have a remake of one of cinema’s great auteur’s classic films (which actually started as a mini-series itself) and Janet tries to decide what is true and what is not true (hopefully all the contestants are either girls or robots–or both).

JASON’S PICK:
American Rust [Showtime, 10p]
If in the last year you’ve wondered what if Mare of Easttown was set in the outskirts of Pennsylvania’s other big city and starred Jeff Daniels instead of Kate Winslet… well, that’s a weirdly specific thing to think and that’s not exactly what this is. However, it is a brooding drama with Jeff Daniels (and Maura Tierney), beaucoup characters with central flaws, rolling rural landscape, and a murder to solve. I’m so there!

BRAD’S PICK:
The Walking Dead [AMC, 9p]
Daryl is going to face some serious challenges and ghosts from his past when he is captured by the Reapers. And who meets there could join the ranks of the iconic villains in this world’s mythos. Viewership of the zombie phenomenon has fallen, but the show has returned to form. It’s time to rediscover.

KATHERINE’S PICK:
To Tell the Truth [ABC, 10p]
Our fave D’arcy Carden is among the panelists on tonight’s efforts to identify a Hollywood sign caretaker and a NASCAR tire changer. She’s joined by J.B. Smoove and Brad Garrett.

BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

  • If Scenes From a Marriage seems eerily reminiscent of a certain Oscar-nominated Netflix film from a couple years ago, that’s not too surprising as it is a remake of a 1973 Ingmar Bergman movie that was assuredly on Noel Baumbach’s mind when he made Marriage Story. This version pairs Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain as a struggling couple in desperate need of a red carpet arm kiss.
  • So, we became less excited about the spectacle that is the annual MTV Video Music Awards when we found out that host Doja Cat was not an actual cat. We wrote that, yet there is not an actual dad on our staff. We’re mortified. We can’t go on. We’ll go on!
  • We also read the new History Channel special Desert One as “Dessert One” which sounds like a much more rewarding show. This one is actually a bit of a coup for the network as it’s a Barbara Kopple war documentary that’s also playing in theaters. However, it does not offer a single hot fudge sundae, just a lot of helicopters and explosions and sadness.
  • This one still sounds like a fake program created by Jack Donaghy to tank fictional NBC (and there’s still time to vote for 30 Rock in our Final Four of the Comedy TV tourney we’ve put together). However, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake CIty is a real Bravo spinoff, so if you ever wondered if Mormons were spiritually allowed to throw wine, well, now you do!
  • With the return of football, so comes backs one of the longest running shows, and one famous for being pushed back by the end of long-running games. We’re talking about 60 Minutes and it comes back for its 54th season on CBS.
  • Over in the LHV (Lifetime-Hallmark Vortex), we’ve got a pair of great titles that just kind of sum up the mystique of each channel. Lifetime’s movie of the night is the perfectly titled Psycho Intern and while we love to create our own speculations about what’s going on with these movies before checking out the network page, nothing we could make up about it could match that awesome title. Over on Hallmark, it’s Redemption in Cherry Springs… you know the deal: busy businesswoman, small town, ruggedly handsome guy.

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