Friday TV: Yet Another Alien ‘Invasion’

Another big, expensive sci-fi series begins tonight with “Invasion” (Apple TV+, streaming) about a big alien invasion hitting all points of the globe at once (which is also a good way for the company to ignite its global streaming plans). The 10-episode drama stars Sam Neill, Shamier Anderson (pictured above), Golshifteh Farhani, Firas Nassar and Shioli Kutsuna. 

The animated “Inside Job” (Netflix, streaming) is all about a conspiracy led shadow government, which isn’t the funniest subject to begin with. The jokes don’t make it much more than a workplace “American Dad.” Lizzy Caplan and Christian Slater are among the voices. 

The new computer-animated limited series “Maya and the Three” (Netflix, streaming), an adventure/comedy, incorporates a Mesoamerican look and mythology from the Aztec, Maya and Inca cultures, with voices contributed by Zoe Saldana, Gabriel Iglesias, Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal, Alfred Molina, Danny Trejo, Cheech Marin, Rosie Perez, Queen Latifah and Wyclef Jean, among others. 

A second season begins for “Locke & Key” (Netflix, streaming), the supernatural drama developed in part by Carlton Cuse, about a mysterious house in Massachusetts. A third season has already been ordered. 

From South Africa comes the romantic comedy “Little Big Mouth” (Netflix, streaming) about a musician who is kicked out of his band and his flat, only to find a woman who could help him. Not to be confused with Netflix’s animated “Big Mouth,” returning for its fifth season Nov. 5.

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Thursday TV: ‘Introducing, Selma Blair’

The actress Selma Blair takes up her most vulnerable role in Rachel Fleit’s documentary “Introducing, Selma Blair” (Discovery+, streaming) in which the actress from “Cruel Intentions” and “Legally Blonde” shares her experiences since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and all that it’s meant to her life.

One of the most anticipated movies of the year is being released a day early. The day before it opens in theaters and at IMAX, “Dune” (HBO Max, streaming) will begin running, at 6 p.m., coinciding with theatrical midnight previews. The latest adaptation of the 1965 Frank Herbert sci-fi classic, which only covers the first half of the book, stars Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgård, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, Charlotte Rampling and Zendaya. 

The charm of Gwenyth Paltrow at this point is how cheerfully self-unaware she continues to be, especially in regards to her company Goop, previously best known for vagina-scented candles. The television equivalent of that item is her new show “Sex, Love & Goop” (Netflix, streaming), in which she tries to spice up the sex lives of some volunteer couples by introducing them to some self-declared experts and their array of chains, claws and techniques. It’s a slow-moving version of the kind of touchy feely approaches that used to be on HBO’s “Real Sex,” but so far no candle sales.  

Stefanie Scott stars in the new series “The Girl in the Woods” (Peacock, streaming), about a woman who escapes a cult only to find monsters outside its doors. Actress Krysten Ritter directs the first few episodes. 

President Joe Biden participates in a CNN Town Hall (CNN, 8 p.m.) in Baltimore about his legislative agenda. Anderson Cooper hosts. 

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Wednesday TV: Reliving the Insurgency

As right wing gaslighters increasingly pretend the attempted insurrection of Jan. 6 didn’t happen, wasn’t as bad as the media says, or isn’t worth Steve Bannon’s time to testify about, it’s helpful to see the full fury of the day in the new documentary “Four Hours at the Capitol” (HBO, 8 p.m.). The footage you know is maddening and tough to see again, but the footage you haven’t heard may be more eye-opening at how close things came to being much, much worse than the deadly event it was. Jamie Roberts’ film even has some uplift to it — following the efforts of outnumbered D.C. police holding the line at one crucial entry. Having it on HBO means no bleeping, but cussing is the least of the obscenity of the insurrectionists, who in interviews are still as dopily deluded.

Another documentary premiering today, Amanda Lipitz’s “Found” (Netflix, streamings) tells the story of three adopted teens who discover they are blood-related cousins, so they travel to China together to find answers. 

The new horror film “Night Teeth” (Netflix, streaming) concerns a chauffeur who makes the mistake of picking up a pair of vampire women during the L.A. uprising. Lucy Fry, Debby Ryan and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. star, and Megan Fox makes a cameo. 

In the imported new French comedy from Dany Boon, “Stuck Together” (Netflix, streaming), an apartment building full of residents get to know each other during the COVID lockdowns. 

The season 40 premiere of “Nature” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings) is also about COVID lockdowns, when a man in England decided to film the bees in his urban garden and identified more than 60 species. 

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Tuesday TV: Familiar Looking ‘Queens’

“Queens” (ABC, 10 p.m.), a new series about a 90s girl group who decide to reunite actually has a couple of one-named stars from the 90s in the cast — Eve and Brandy. But it doesn’t look like it has the fun or self-awareness of “Girls5Eva,” the Peacock comedy that preceded it, or even “The Salt-N-Pepa Show.” Nature Naughton and Nadine Velaquez also star in the series from Zahir McGhee, formerly of “Scandal.” Tim Story of “Barbershop” fame, directed tonight’s debut.

It gets a big boost by the two-hour debut of “The Bachelorette” (ABC, 8 p.m.), which stars Michelle Young, who seemed too smart to be involved (and too good a catch to be dropped) in season 25 of “The Bachelor.” At least now the odds are better for her, though it seems a lot of the suitors get more involved in bickering with one another.

The career and advocacy of Helen Keller is retold on “American Masters” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings).

The NBA season officially begins with Milwaukee at Brooklyn (TNT, 7:30 p.m.) and Golden State at the Lakers (TNT, 10 p.m.).

The comedian and podcaster’s latest comedy special “Theo Von: Regular People” (Netflix, streaming) was shot in Nashville. 

“The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula” (Shudder, streaming) begins its fourth season, proving that RuPaul doesn’t own the patent on such a competition. 

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Monday TV: ‘Wakefield’ on Showtime

From Australia comes the limited series “Wakefield” (Showtime, 9 p.m.), a psychological drama about doings at a psychiatric hospital in New South Wales and a nurse (Rudi Dharmalingam) who suddenly finds himself a patient as well. Geraldine Hakewill and Mandy McElhinney also star.

It follows a timely premium cable premiere of “Senior Moment” (Showtime, 7:15 p.m.) starring William Shatner as a retired NASA test pilot who meets Jean Smart on public transportation. Christopher Lloyd, Esai Morales and Kaye Ballard also star. Makes you think Shatner’s space trip last week was all a publicity connection.

“The Real Queens of Hip-Hop: The Women Who Changed the Game” (ABC, 10 p.m.) is a tie-in special to the series “Queen” that begins tomorrow.

A second season starts for “Manhunt: The Night Stalker” (Acorn TV, streaming), the popular series starring Martin Clunes.

On “POV” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings) is a story about a woman who returns home to Colombia after moving to the United States decades earlier to help her daughter. It’s titled “La Casa de Mama Icha.”

Sherri Shepherd, Ryan Hamilton, Dulce Sloan, Preacher Lawson, Natasha Leggero and Patton Oswalt join the host on the comedy special “Howie Mandel & Friends: Don’t Sneeze on Me” (CW, 8 p.m.).

“NCIS” (CBS, 9 p.m.) will be busy explaining to viewers what happened to Mark Harmon.

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Sunday TV: ‘Succession’ Season Three

It’s one of the best shows on TV, yet the third season of “Succession” (HBO, 9 p.m.) shows us that things haven’t changed one bit in the Roy family saga, where the central question is the same one as when it started: Who will succeed the garrulous head of the media conglomerate, played by the ever-fuming Brian Cox. It would almost be a shame if they ever decide — the bickering is so entertaining. The strong cast of Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, Alan Ruck, Kieran Culkin and Matthew Macfayden all have an offhanded way of delivering their barbs that is as naturalistic as it is rollicking. 

A second season begins for “Batiste” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings), the spinoff of “The Missing” starring Tchéky Karyo. 

“The Circus” (Showtime, 8 p.m.) looks into the Trump presidency.

Sunday Night Football has Seattle at Pittsburgh (NBC, 8:20 p.m.). Earlier games include Miami vs. Jacksonville (CBS, 9:30 a.m.), Chargers at Giants (Fox, 1 p.m.), Kansas City at Washington (CBS, 1 p.m.), Arizona at Cleveland (Fox, 4 p.m.) and Dallas at New England (CBS, 4:25 p.m.). 

Instances of bribery are investigated in the documentary “The Men Who Stole the World Cup” (Discovery+, streaming).

“Hightown” (Starz, 8:55 p.m.), the drug drama set in Cape Cod, returns for a second season. 

A sixth season begins for the zombie spinoff “Fear the Walking Dead” (AMC, 9 p.m.) in a post nuclear world. On “The Walking Dead: World Beyond” (AMC, 10 p.m.), Huck gets an ultimatum. It all makes for a lot to talk about on “Talking Dead” (AMC, 11:11 p.m.). 

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Saturday TV: Heather Locklear Returns

Heather Locklear stars as the co-author of the best-seller “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.) in the film of the same name, about the writer whose life is changed after her husband dies. Candace Cameron Bure and her daughter Natasha Bure also star. Meghan McCain, formerly of “The View,” is executive producer. 

From the UK comes “Misfit: The Series” (Netflix, streaming) about a school that attracts students who want to create musicals, except that a new headmaster wants to stop all that and become a boarding school. 

Primetime college football has TCU at Oklahoma (ABC, 7:30 p.m.) and UCLA at Washington (Fox, 8:30 p.m.).

The National League Championship Series begins with the Dodgers at Atlanta (TBS, 8 p.m.). There is also Game 2 of the American League series, Boston at Houston (Fox, Fox Sports 1, 4:20 p.m.).

Life at a Cambridgeshire farm is chronicled in the new series “Born Mucky: Life on the Farm” (Animal Planet, 10 pn.).

The action film “Those Who Wish Me Dead” (HBO, 8 p.m.) with Angelina Jolie and Jon Bernthal, makes its premium cable premiere after first getting a simultaneous premiere on HBO Max last May, and a return to its roster late last month. 

A love advice author and a dating columnist spark a relationship on the made-for-TV romance “Advice to Love By” (Hallmark, 9 p.m.). 

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Friday TV: Here’s ‘The Velvet Underground’

Todd Haynes, whose previous rock movies include.”Velvet Goldmine” and “I’m Not There,” now makes his first documentary on the seminal New York band “The Velvet Underground” (Apple TV+, streaming). Drawing from the wealth of films made in Andy Warhol’s Factory, from which they sprang, and with contemporary interviews from surviving members John Cale, Sterling Morrison and Moe Tucker as well as superfans like Jonathan Richman, it may help cause a whole new groundswell for the arty band, which would also be its first.  

Classic horror films are being turned into TV series at a rapid pace. After the premiere of “Chucky” earlier this week, here’s a modern version of the 1997 “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (Amazon Prime, streaming) as well as the ten-episode “Day of the Dead” (Syfy, 10 p.m.), based on George Romero’s sequel. 

And “Halloween Kills” (Peacock Premium, streaming) with Jamie Lee Curtis, gets a streaming platform as well as opening in theaters. 

The third season of “You” (Netflix, streaming) begins, with Penn Badgley’s Joe now married with Love (Victoria Pedretti) and living in Northern California, where bad things can also happen. 

From Ava DuVernay comes “Home Sweet Home” (NBC, 8 p.m.), a new reality series in which families switch places with ones from a different walk of life, sounding like a more socially minded “Wife Swap.”

The fourth season of the dating series “Ready to Love” (OWN, 8 p.m.) is set in Washington, D.C.

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Thursday TV: Beckinsale in ‘Guilty Party’

Kate Beckinsale plays a discredited journalist who concentrates on an imprisoned young mother (Jules Latimer) who she is convinced is innocent in the new series “Guilty Party” (Paramount+, streaming), a new dark comedy from the creator of “Dead to Me.” 

Jimmy Fallon can be pretty childish on his own late night show; he spent a lot of the pandemic doing shows in his house, going down slides with his own children.

Tonight, though, he presents a whole show of kids putting on “The Kids Tonight Show” (Peacock, streaming), hosted by a team of four urchins age 9 to 12, shooting across the hall from the grownup show. Two new shows will be available each Thursday – even before bedtime.

On the new series “America’s Big Deal” (USA, 9 p.m.), inventor Joy Mangano invites entrepreneurs to sell their products directly to home viewers — who will do so using QR codes, in a variation of “Shark Tank” that may make the inventors instantly rich. 

Comedy writer Jena Friedman may add a welcome twist to the new documentary series “True Crime: Indefensible” (Sundance, 11 p.m.). 

“Aquaman: King of Atlantis” (HBO Max, streaming) returns, this time in animated form in a series in which Cooper Andrews provides the her’s voice. Thomas Lennon, Gillian Jacobs and Dana Snyder also take part. 

The new documentary “Crutch” (Discovery+, streaming) tells the story of Bill Shannon, the artist, break-dancer and skate punk who also invented crutch dancing following a medical malady.

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‘Dopesick’ Chronicles the Opioid Disaster

The shocking story of how the opioid crisis — the cause of 96,000 deaths in the past 12 months alone — was started (and encouraged) by a single family looking for maximum profits has been told in some strong documentaries, from Alex Gibney’s 2020 “The Crime of the Century” to the 2016 “Frontline” report “Chasing Heroin.” But screenwriter Danny Strong, who has excelled in dramatizing recent history in films like “Recount” and “Game Change,” may have succeeded in creating the most compelling use of the material in the new limited series “Dopesick” (Hulu, streaming).

Based on Beth Macy’s bestseller of the same name, it follows several threads of the story of Purdue Pharma, from the calculations of Richard Sackler (presented in a chilling performance by Michael Stulhbarg), to Peter Sarsgaard and John Hoosenakker as federal prosecutors who doggedly pursue troubling cases of rural death and crime caused by the OxyContin so fiercely sold. Will Poulter portrays a salesman who did what he could to sell as much of the drug, at increasingly higher doses, as he could. But also there’s the teen who never meant to become an addict (the terrific Kaitlyn Dever) and the country doctor who eschews pressure to freely prescribe it, until he needs it himself (Michael Keaton in one of his strongest roles).

The eight episode mini-series not only explains well the intricacies of the crime and its many effects, it’s a gripping modern tale of capitalism over all else, presented in a way that a wide audience can appreciate. 

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