DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

GERALD JORDAN

ROGER CATLIN

GARY EDGERTON

CANDACE KELLEY

TOM BRINKMOELLER

MONIQUE NAZARETH

DAVID SICILIA

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
 
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FRIDAY
JUNE 22
2018

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

Netflix, 3:00 a.m. ET

MOVIE PREMIERE: This new Netflix premiere of a 2016 fact-based movie is based on the memoir by Susannah Cahalan, a young reporter for The New York Post who began to suffer symptoms – seizures, blackouts, memory loss – that baffled doctors and disrupted her work and home life. Chloe Grace Moretz stars as Susannah – and since I worked at the Post for six years a long, long time ago, I can say they at least got the general newsroom atmosphere right.

 
  
 
 

Netflix, 3:00 a.m. ET

SEASON PREMIERE: The expansive universe of Marvel Comics TV series on Netflix is an ambitious but mixed bag: Daredevil is quite good, Iron Fist is quite bad, and Luke Cage, which returns today with a new season, is somewhere in between.  The best of all these shows is Marvel’s Jessica Jones, which transcends the genre with its character study of an emotionally scarred and wounded woman (played so well by Krysten Ritter) with enhanced abilities she doesn’t even want.  Jessica Jones and Daredevil both take place in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen; Luke Cage, starring Mike Colter in the title role, is set farther uptown, in Harlem. All these characters, along with Luke Cage and others, met for The Defenders, and displayed their relative strengths, as characters and actors, in that temporary team-up. At the end of it, Luke had embraced his identity as a local hero – and his sidekick Misty, played by Simone Messick, was severely wounded but not killed. For Season 2 of Luke Cage, they’re both back – as is Alfre Woodward, one of my long-time favorite actresses, playing the show’s very formidable primary villain. For a full review, see David Hinckley's All Along the Watchtower.

 
  
 
 

Various Networks, 8:00 a.m. ET

The first game televised today is shown on Fox Sports 1, and is between two Group E teams still looking for their first wins: Brazil and Costa Rica (Costa Rica lost to Serbia, while the heavily favored Brazil tied with Switzerland). At 11 a.m. ET, the action switches to the Fox broadcast network, with Group D teams Nigeria and Iceland battling. Iceland, one of the surprise Davids in a tournament of Goliaths, managed a tie in its first game against the powerful Argentina (pictured), and hopes to advance with a win today. Then, at 2 p.m. ET, it’s another Group E game, with group leader Serbia facing Switzerland.

 
  
 
 

Syfy, 8:00 p.m. ET

Season 4 of 12 Monkeys continues to roll out in generous fashion, with episodes four through six of its final season premiering tonight in a mini-marathon. And while last week’s three episodes set the stage for the various Splinter time travelers to divide and (hope to) conquer, this week’s episode have them charging bravely into the past – including, among other locations, to the wild wild West.

 
  
 
 

PBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

SEASON PREMIERE: This is both an old and a new season of The Great British Baking Show on PBS, which is confusing but wonderful news. And now, an explanation: In England, when this delightful, oddly soothing baking competition show premiered on the BBC, it was televised under the title The Great British Bake Off, with its secret weapon being effusive and oh-so-British judge Mary Berry. After a handful of seasons, the increasingly popular series transferred to Britain’s Channel 4, dumping the original hosts – and Berry as well. PBS is billing the new season of Baking Show as “Season 5,” but it actually predates any of the ones shown thus far by PBS (or, for that matter, on Netflix, where curated episodes begin with the 2013 season). In fact, it’s actually the third, 2012 season shown on Bake Off, so Berry is back, which is Berry, Berry good news. Check local listings. For a full review, see David Hinckley's All Along the Watchtower.

 
  
 
 

HBO, 10:00 p.m. ET

Among Maher’s guests this week: TV host Colion Noir and radio host and author Michael Smerconish. The latter, by the way, has impeccable and impressively obscure tastes in TV: I’ve been a guest on his show, and his questions and opinions regarding television were way, way above the norm.

 
  
 
 

BBC America, 11:00 p.m. ET

Among tonight’s guests: Ocean’s 8 stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, and (pictured) Sarah Paulson and Rhianna.

 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

  
   Visit our TV We're Watching page for these and other shows on our DVRs right now...



The Affair
Showtime
Sundays
9 PM ET

Archer
FXX
Wednesdays
10 PM ET

Brockmire
IFC
Wednesdays
10 PM ET

Condor
Audience Network
Wednesdays
10 PM ET

Dietland
AMC
Mondays
9 PM ET

The Handmaid's Tale
Hulu
Wednesdays
12 AM ET

HUMANS
AMC
Tuesdays
10 PM ET

Real Time with Bill Maher
HBO
Fridays
10 PM ET

Strange Angel
CBS All Access
Streaming


Westworld
HBO
Sundays
9 PM ET
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

Let James Take You Down – Paul McCartney has had a long history of notable surprise public performances – from The Beatles' worldwide live broadcast of “All You Need is Love” in 1967, to their impromptu rooftop concert of the “Let It Be” album in London (1969) and McCartney’s live worldwide performance of “Let it Be” at the Live Aid concert from Wembley Stadium (1985). This new edition of James Corden’s recurring “Carpool Karaoke” segment from The Late, Late Show will join the others as another milestone in McCartney’s public chapter. Along with singing McCartney’s hits, Corden makes stops along the way in Liverpool, visiting Paul’s own neighborhood monuments – his childhood home, and the barbershop mentioned in “Penny Lane." (To the glee of his fans). At 23 minutes, this is truly a new Magical Mystery Tour—Eric Gould

 
 

BUT WAIT... THERE'S MORE!


FRESH AIR FAVES

Audio of Bianculli's favorite 'Fresh Air' reports, and the stories behind them...


FAVES FROM
"THE MORGUE"

Bianculli's favorite newspaper articles, and the stories behind them...


EXTRAS & FEEDBACK

Share your favorite TV in-jokes and first TV loves...
 
 
 
Good news TVWW readers: David’s book, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available in paperback for under $13. Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and Bianculli's has to do with quality television: what it is and how it got that way." The Washington Post adds, The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era... interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer are high points. Bianculli has written a highly readable history."
 
AT&T
 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
TV WWorth Buying
CURRENT SPECIAL DEAL$$
The Crown: Season One Box Set

It’s the royal wedding season after all, so grab your top hat or fascinator and join in this popular Netflix original chronicling the life of Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy) from her ascension to the throne at the age of 25 to modern times. With her reign at 66 years and counting, there’s a lot of territory to cover, and four seasons are planned. On sale at Amazon for $17. Remember, no smiling and wave only with the wrist. –Eric Gould