Mike Hughes

Best-bets for Oct. 15: Reality shows offer togetherness

1) “Home Sweet Home” debut, 8 p.m., NBC. Each week, people with opposite lives will trade places. That’s been done before (“Wife Swap,” “30 Days”), but now Ava DuVernay (shown here, working on an upcoming episode) – the “Selma” director and “Queen Sugar” producer – is in charge, awash in good intentions. In the opener, a Greek Orthodox family swaps with a two-mom Black family. Both families are deeply evolved, so similar phrases – “we’re all the same,” etc. – persist. The intentions are sweet, but quite repetitious. Read more…

Best-bets for Oct. 14: Annaleigh is back; so is “Runway”

1) “B Positive” season-opener, 9:30 p.m., CBS. Lately, the world has been discovering the remarkable Annaleigh Ashford. Already a Tony-winner, she did this year’s Emmy and Tony shows; she sang in the “Wicked” concert, the “Broadway’s Back” special and the vibrant opening of CBS’ fall preview … and has been brilliant as Paula Jones in “Impeachment.” Now she’s back as Gina (shown here), the good (if daft) soul who donated a kidney to a guy she barely knew. Tonight, they adjust to post-surgery life; also, he tries a new romance and she learns about a friend’s death. Read more…

Best-bets for Oct. 13: blissful “Conners,” bitter “Dopesick”

1) “Dopesick” debut, any time, Hulu. On the national level, this epidemic is massive. Each year, studies say, two million people misused opioids; in a 20-year stretch, almost a half-million died of ovedoses. Danny Strong (“Game Change,” “Recount”) has written a brilliant eight-parter that does it all. We see the big picture, as Purdue Pharma mis-represents OxyContin. We also see moving stories about composite characters, with great work from Michael Keaton, Kaitlyn Dever and Rosario Dawson (shown here), as an earnest doctor, a pain-plagued miner and an investigator. Read more…

Mini-series tells the maxi-agony of opioid epidemic

There are some stories that seem too big even for Hollywood.
One is the opioid epidemic that overwhelmed the judicial and medical systems. Now Hulu, the streaming network, debuts “Dopesick” on Wednesday (Oct. 13).
The real-life story was “a shocker to me,” said Michael Keaton (shown here), who stars. “The ease with which it became epidemic kind of knocked me out.” Read more…

It’s tough when your dad is a killer doll

There are limits, it seems, to the “take your daughter to work” idea.
Just ask Brad Dourif about the time his daughter Fiona visited, when he was voicing Chucky (the killer doll) for a “Child’s Play” movie.
“When she was very young, she came to the studio,” he told the Television Critics Association. That day, he was “screaming and yelling as I was being burned to death. And you can’t do that halfway …. So I was screaming in agony. And she heard this and went white as a sheet and ran out of the studio.”
It was one of many strange moments in a horror tale that has persisted for 33 years, eight movies and now an eight-week “Chucky” series — 10 p.m. Tuesdays on cable’s USA and Syfy channels, starting Oct. 12 — with Fiona (shown here) in some of the episodes. Read more…

Best-bets for Oct.12: Monica & movie magic

1) “Impeachment,” 10 p.m., FX. The second half of this superb, 10-week series starts with an hour that’s simultaneously funny and tragic. Monica Lewinsky (wonderfully played by Beanie Feldstein, shown here) is suddenly detained by the FBI. She’s free to go, but advised not to. For 12 hours – some of them spent waiting for her mom – she and some bewildered FBI guys (one of them played by Colin Hanks) co-exist in a hotel room and wander a shopping mall. It’s a bizarre half-day in American political history. Read more…

Best-bets for Oct.11: angst for aliens, Earthlings and dancers

1) “Roswell” season-finale, 8 and 9 p.m., CW. “This is better than a soap opera,” one character says. And longer, too. In these two hours, we get way too many heart-to-heart talks. Individually, each is written and played well; combined, this feel like Dr. Phil has invaded the sci-fi universe. The story mixes aliens with special powers and mere Earthlings without. Most aliens are good, but Mr. Jones is pure evil … and looks like good-guy Max (shown here with Liz, the brainy scientist). That stirs science talk we can’t pretend to understand. Read more…

Best-bets for Oct. 10: “Equalizer” leads a packed night

1) “The Equalizer” season-opener, 8 p.m., CBS. After scoring big in the ratings last year, “Equalizer” has a high-octane return. A bank robbery turns lethal; then the cop who almost arrested Robyn needs her help. That comes at a tough time for Robyn (Queen Latifah): Her former CIA boss is angry; so is her daughter, who knows she’s been lying about her work. Also, her tech guy faked his death five years ago. She considers quitting … then plunges ahead in a strong hour, with a little girl (shown here) to rescue and bad guys to catch. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Oct. 11: a succession of debuts and openers

1) “Succession” season-opener, 9 p.m. Sunday, HBO. The first two seasons were deluged with praise, including one Emmy for best drama series and two for best drama writing. Then – right after Kendall Roy (shown here)had a blistering statement against his dad – came a two-year, COVID-prolonged pause. Now the show is back and going at full-speed. Kendall plots while his dad considers stepping back. But who would fill in? His three offspring lobby, in an hour filled with schemes plus some bursts of humor. Read more…

Best-bets for Oct. 9: Kardashian & Lewinsky & more

1) “Saturday Night Live,” 11:29 p.m., NBC. Kim Kardashian West (shown here) is someone the show usually likes to mock; now, instead, she’s the host. It will be her first time on “SNL,” but her estranged husband Kanye West has been the music guest seven times. He usually brings a visually ambitious number – as does Halsey, who tonight has her fourth turn as music guest. Read more…