Year: 2021

Best-bets fcr Oct. 21: Ghosts are fun; people are scary

1) “The Blacklist” season-opener, 8 p.m., NBC. This intense drama peaked as its eighth season ended: Red (James Spader, shown here in a previous episode) told Liz (Megan Boone, who was leaving the show) to shoot him and then read a letter revealing his secrets. Instead, a gunman killed her; Red killed him and fled. Now we jump ahead two years. Red vanished, the task force folded, but a new threat brings them back together. Read more…

Best-bets for Oct. 20: great bees, troubled humans

1) “Nature” season-opener (shown here), 8 p.m., PBS. Martin Dohrn had been traveling the world, filming lions and leopards and even mass migrations. Then the pandemic confined him to his home and yard in Bristol, England. He fashioned special cameras and found more than 60 species of bees. Some carefully crafted homes, scooting across town to find the right sticks; others just stole homes. He even named some and followed one’s adventures. It’s a charming start to this show’s 40th season. Read more…

Best-bets for Oct. 19: strong dramas, true or (very) fictional

1) “Impeachment,” 10 p.m., FX. Last week, this superb mini-series hit a peak: Monica Lewinsky learned that her “friend” Linda Tripp had taped their conversations for the FBI. Now come the aftershocks, as life closes in on both women. It’s another strong episode, boosted again by great work from Beanie Feldstein (shown here) and Annaleigh Ashford as Lewinsky and Paula Jones. Read more…

Best-bets for Oct. 18: a dramatic leap and a departed star

1) “The Big Leap.” 9 p.m., Fox. “Leap” tries to do everything. It has light comedy, dark drama and bits of romance, all while adding zesty dance numbers and satirizing a manipulative reality show. Tonight has two drama twists. One – Mike learns that his new love, Paula, was the executive who eliminated his job – is fairly good; the other is quietly powerful. Gabby finally reveals (and confronts) her son’s biologic father; with subtle perfection, Nicole Recasner (shown here in a previous episode) projects deep pain and rage. Read more…

Best-bets for Oct. 17: “Succession” (at last) and “Baptiste” return

1) “Succession” season-opener, 9 p.m., HBO. We’re back – at last – to the story of a media mogul and his offspring and minions … each hoping to take over the empire. When the second season ended, his son Kendall (shown here) had publicly said he’s corrupt. The show won seven Emmys (including best drama), then had a long COVID pause. After a two-year absence, it’s back, simultaneously rippling with humor and intense drama. Kendall fidgets, then plans his next move; his siblings and others jockey for position. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Oct. 18: bees, bachelors, “Blacklist”

1) “The Blacklist” season-opener, 8 p.m. Thursday, NBC. As the eighth season ended, Red (James Spader, shown here) told Liz (Megan Boone, who was leaving the show) she shoot him an then read a letter revealing his secrets. Instead, a gunman killed her; Red killed him and fled. Now, on a new night, we jump ahead two years. Red vanished, the task force folded, but a new threat brings them back together. It’s the 175th episode; then again, at 9 p.m., NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” has its 500th. Read more…

Real-life police hero: no guns or quips or lollipops

By now, we’ve seen lots of TV cops.
We’ve met cops with attitudes, cops with quips, cops with guns or lollipops. Now meet Colin Sutton – the real-life Englishman at the core of two “Manhunt” stories (shown here with Martin Clunes as Sutton), the second arriving on www.acorn.tv.
Calm and quiet, Sutton is like no TV cop, with one exception: “There’s a faint element of Columbo,” said Ed Whitmore, the series’ writer and producer. He “invites people to underestimate him.” Read more…

Best-bets for Oct. 16: second chance to see “Diana,” “Ghosts,” more

1) “Diana,” 9 p.m. ET, CNN. If you missed the opener last Sunday (a crowded night), here’s a second chance. This starts a six-week documentary that mixes old film, new commentary and the audio tapes Diana (shown here) made for Andrew Morton’s biography. Tonight, we meet near-opposites: As a nanny, her first employer says, Diana was “very tactile,” warm and loving. And Prince Charles? “There was never anything tactile about him,” Diana said. On Sunday, we’ll see the wedding and some ominous signs. Read more…