Saturday TV: The Wolf Man and The Rest

Face it, Halloween just ain’t the same this year. Best to stay in and keep the horror films coming. On Turner Classic Movies, that means a day that begins with Ted Browning’s “Freaks” (6 a.m.) and continues with “House of Wax” (9 a.m.), “Children of the Damned” (10:45 a.m.), “The Bad Seed” (12:30 p.m.), “The Picture of Dorian Gray” (2:45 p.m.), “The Wolf Man” (4:45 p.m.), pictured above, and “The Haunting” (6 p.m.).

In prime time, they’ve got some nuclear terror with “Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (8 p.m.) and “Them!” (10 p.m.), followed by “The Seventh Victim” (midnight), “I Walked with a Zombie” (1:30 a.m.) and “The Body Snatcher” (3 a.m.). 

It’s the perfect night for “Eli Roth’s History of Horror” (AMC, 10 p.m.), which tonight studies witches. 

Or a better than usual night for a two hour “Ghost Nation” (Travel, 8 p.m.) or “Destination Fear” (Travel, 10 p.m.).

But some networks just don’t know how to celebrate a holiday. Can’t they think of even one Halloween romantic movie? Instead here’s the Christmas themed “One Royal Holiday” (Hallmark, 8 p.m.) and “Candy Cane Christmas” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.). 

Here’s an offering with elements of both days; The horror flick “Black Christmas” (HBO, 8 p.m.), making its premium cable debut. 

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Friday TV: ‘The Mandalorian’ Returns

For “Star Wars” fans, it was love at first sight. For me, Baby Yoda seemed a doll-like merchandising ploy. Either way, he’s back for season two of “The Mandalorian” (Disney +, streaming), the most popular of the streaming service’s original shows. Rosario Dawson joins the cast as Ahsoka Tano, and Timothy Olyphant is Cobb Vanth (And while I’m being cranky, I’ll say Olyphant’s name in the current run of “Fargo” is better: Deafy Wickware).

Genetic editing at home is one of the aspects examined in Trish Dolman’s documentary “Citizen Bio” (Showtime, 10 p.m.), about the world of alternative medicines and biohackers and the figure who ended up dead. 

In the fourth season of “Somebody Feed Phil” (Netflix, streaming), Phil Rosenthal tries the eats in Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, Singapore, the Mississippi Delta and Hawaii. 

In the new film “His House” (Netflix, streaming) a refugee couple from South Sudan find more struggles in a cursed English town. 

In the imported film “Kaali Khuhi” (Netflix, streaming), it’s up to a 10-year-old girl to save her family’s village in Punjab from restless ghosts. 

A third season begins for the Italian crime series “Suburra: The Series” (Netflix, streaming).

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Thursday TV: ‘Superstore’ Reopens

America Ferrara’s announced farewell from “Superstore” (NBC, 8 p.m.) was supposed to happen at the end of last season, but the coronavirus precluded production of the fifth season finale. Instead, she’s apt to go after tonight’s sixth season premiere, which deals with pandemic as well. 

“Hoop Dreams” filmmaker Steve James had already deftly chronicled the nuances of the Chicago school system in his series “America to Me.” He’s back with a five part documentary about the complexities of the city in the past year with all of its challenges and its changes in city politics. The new “City So Real” (National Geographic, 7 p.m.) begins its run tonight with a commercial free showing. It becomes available on Hulu tomorrow. 

Celebrities encourage you to get to the ballot box on “Every Vote Counts: A Celebration of Democracy” (CBS, 9 p.m.). 

The third and final installment of the German spy saga now called “Deutschland 89” (Sundance, 11 p.m.) is set around the fall of the Berlin Wall. Martin Rauch, Maria Schrader and Svenja Jung star. 

What better title for an Austin-based animal rescue show than “That Animal Rescue Show” (CBS All Access, streaming)? It starts tonight, with Richard Linklater as executive producer. 

It’s unusual to find Metallica on public television — unless, of course, they team with the San Francisco Symphony which they do in this concert “Metallica: S&M 2” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings). 

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Wednesday TV: ‘Big Brother’ Finale

“Big Brother” (CBS, 9 p.m.) finally comes to an end with a two-hour finale. Past winner Nicole has a step up in making it to the end against fellow all-stars Enzo and Cody. All seem to have a shot. In addition to a $500,000 winner, a favorite player voted by fan will bet $25,000.

It’s not exactly a Christmas movie, but it’s not not one either. In the new “Holidate” (Netflix, streaming) Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey play strangers who agree to meet for every red letter calendar day. 

The eleventh season of “Archer” (FXX, 10 p.m.) comes to an end; a 12th is coming. 

Taylor’s graduation is in jeopardy on the season premiere of “American Housewife” (ABC, 8:30 p.m.).

“The Conners” (ABC, 9 pm.) throws in COVID, Halloween and the election in its episode tonight. I wrote about how the pandemic has changed the production of the show here

A short documentary “Burining Ojai: Our Fire Story” (HBO, 7 p.m.) recounts the devastation of the 2017 Thomas Fire. 

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Tuesday TV: Sarah Cooper Gets a Special

Sarah Cooper’s star rose through mocking the President through pure pantomime on social media. So good was her clowning she’s been awarded her own special tonight. Like everything else about her approach, it’s got a bit of a sarcastic title, “Everything’s Fine” (Netflix, streaming).

Joe Biden seemed to have borrowed a theme from his campaign from his book of the same name, and now Jon Meacham asks for it back for a documentary, “The Soul of America” (HBO, 9 p.m.) that will try to calm you down a week before Election Day, with an historic overview that looked at other challenges in the nation’s history that we got out of, such as women getting the vote.

Not so fast, says the documentary “Not Done: Women Remaking America” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings), about the women’s movement in the past five years.  

Snoop Dogg, Monica and T.I. co-host the 2002 BET Hip Hop Awards (BET, 9 p.m.), with performances slated from Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Cordae, City Girls and Ty Dolla $ign. Lil Baby has the most nominations, 12.

The three siblings on “This is Us” (NBC, 9 p.m.) celebrate their 40th birthday on the two-hour fifth season premiere. And maybe they’ll learn a little something about themselves as well. 

Los Angeles can win it all tonight in Game 6 of Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay (Fox, 8 p.m.), with the Rays fighting to keep in live in order to force a decisive Game 7. 

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Monday TV: ‘A Momento Latino Event’

Eva Longoria, Gloria Estefan and Ricky Martin close Hispanic heritage Month by hosting “Essential Heroes: A Momento Latino Event” (CBS, 9 p.m.). celebration Latin culture in a special that also features George Lopez, John Leguizamo, Rita Moreno, Freddy Rodriguez and Wilmer Valderrama, as well as Kelsea ballerina and Luis Fonsi, pictured above, singing his Spanish-language hit “Girasoles.” The special is also to address the disproportionate impact COVID has had on the Latinx community.

Recalibrate your political focus with a look at three Midwestern women who ran for local offices in 2017 in Hillary Bachelder’s documentary “Represent,” making its debut on “Independent Lens” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings)

The British medical thriller “Temple” (Spectrum Originals) about a surgeon played by Mark Strong who runs an illegal clinic in the London Tube. It’s only available for Spectrum cable subscribers, but sometimes their shows become more widely available, such as, say, “L.A. Finest” (Fox, 8 p.m.). 

Is there a age gap in the country? The special “Generation Nation: A PBS American Portrait Story” (PBS, 9:30 p.m.) explores the possibility.

“Big Brother” (CBS, 8 p.m.) begins part one of its final Head of Household competition, leading in to Wednesday’s finale. 

Chairs keep spinning as the blind auditions continue on “The Voice” (NBC, 8 p.m.).

The Halloween episode of “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC, 8 p.m.) has the remaining contestants dressed as their favorite villain. Eliminated last week was former NFL star Vernon Davis. 

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Sunday TV: Another Nicole Kidman Drama

It’s practically a genre of TV now: The glossy lives of rich women who also fret about a murder, while usually involving Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon or David E. Kelly. What began with “Big Little Lies” and continued with “Little Fires Everywhere,” returns in force in the new “The Undoing” (HBO, 9 p.m.), (which they could have at least called “Little Undoing”).

It stars Kidman, looking great as an upper East Side therapist with a beautiful home. No Reese this time, but Hugh Grant as her husband adds some extra Hollywood gloss. And Kelly, who wrote it, keeps the pace going even though we’re so often put off by the characters, we care just a little less about what’s going on. But because HBO: nudity!

The presidential candidates and their wives traditionally sit down with “60 Minutes” (Fox, 7 p.m.). But the fact that one stormed out petulantly may make this one more interesting. 

A finale comes for the limited series “Flesh and Blood” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings). 

“The Good Lord Bird” (Showtime, 9 p.m.) travels to Canada for some fund-raising and meet Harriet Tubman. 

A pandemic and impending wildfires loom as season 10 begins for “Alaska: The Last Frontier” (Discovery, 8 p.m.).

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Saturday TV: Christmas Comes Too Soon

It’s still a week until Halloween but the onslaught of cable Christmas romance movies begins squarely tonight with the long running Yuletide movie maker Hallmark starting its run of original movies with “Jingle Bell Bride” (Hallmark, 8 p.m.) about a wedding planner in Alaska. Julie Gonzalo and Ronnie Rowe Jr. star.

Its sister network has one two with “Christmas Tree Lane” (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, 9 p.m.), starring Alicia Witt as a music store owner trying to save her block from Andrew Walker, who is also a love interest. 

Meanwhile over at the upstart cable that’s boasting even more original holiday movies there’s it’s second new film of the season, “Christmas Unwrapped” (Lifetime 8 p.m.). Produced by Tiffany Haddish, it stars Amber Stevens West as a reporter looking into a man who claims a connection to Santa. Marco Grazing and Cheryl Ladd also star. 

A replay of their first Christmas movie of the season precedes it, “Christmas on Ice” (Lifetime, 6 p.m.) 

Meanwhile, there is still cheerleader mayhem to be had with “The Pom Pom Murders” (Lifetime Movie Network, 8 p.m.) with Annie Marie Dobbins and Grace Patterson. 

The 2020 Jane Austen adaptation “Emma” (HBO, 8 p.m.), with Anya Taylor-Joy makes its premium cable debut. 

Prime time is dominated by the World Series Game 4 of Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay (Fox, 8 p.m.), with Los Angeles having a 2-1 lead.  

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Friday TV: A Whole Lot of Streaming

It may be the biggest movie streaming night ever – mostly because movie theaters aren’t opening.

So here’s Sofia Coppola’s latest low key comedy “On the Rocks” (Apple TV+. streaming) with Bill Murray and Rashida Jones as a father-daughter team on the road. It also stars Marlon Wayans. 

Making a big political splash amid its many rude jokes is “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” (Amazon Prime, streaming), which proves there are enough Americans who have forgotten all about the mustachioed foreign journalist. Sacha Baron Cohen maintains his sharp skewer of a culture that would say, sell a cage for a girl without asking questions or cheerfully decorate an anti-semetic cake. While he breaks into a Mike Pence speech at CPAC, it turns out that the troubling Giuliani ambush is the climactic event in the film.  

The Boss won’t release a new album without an accompanying Thom Zimny film, and like the last one, “Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You” (Apple TV+, streaming) has great music but terribly pretentious narration. He’s so much more natural in concert. 

The horror satire “Bad Hair” (Hulu, streaming) has to do with a 1989 hair weave that suddenly has a life of its own.

On the new limited series “The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix, streaming), Anya Taylor-Joy portrays a woman in the 1950s who becomes a whiz at chess while becoming addicted to tranquilizers, based on the novel by Walter Tevis.

An amusing new series to seek out is “How to with John Wilson” (HBO, 11 p.m.), in which a nebbish from New York inquires into a number of different topics, starting with how to make friends. Mostly manning a handheld camera and capturing amusing scenes as he goes along, it has the same deadpan humor of “Nathan for You,” whose Nathan Felder happens to be a producer. 

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Thursday TV: A New Swing at ‘The Witches’

Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, Kristin Chenoweth and Chris Rock are all part of a remake of “Roald Dahl’s The Witches” (HBO Max, streaming). The remake of the 1990 Angelica Huston feature is from Robert Zemeckis, working with Guillermo del Toro and Kenya Barris among others. The boy at the center of the coven is played by Jahzir Bruno. 

More scary, perhaps is the final Presidential Debate (ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, CSPAN, Fox News, 9 p.m.) where the MVP will likely be the mute button instated by the Debate Commission after the disastrous first debate. Naturally, Trump has complained about it, just as he’s unfairly criticized the moderator, Kristen Welker of NBC News, possibly because she is a woman of color. It all happens live at Belmont University in Nashville.

Instant analysis, or rapid ridicule is available on a live edition of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” (CBS, 11:35 p.m.). 

The Norwegian import “Cadaver” (Netflix, streaming) is a thriller about a family tries to survive following a nuclear disaster. 

The new four-episode dramatic series that looks at early leaders in the gay rights movement, “Equal” (HBO Max, streaming) actually begins tonight, with a cast that includes Cheyenne Jackson as Dale Jennings and Anthony Rapp as Harry Hay. 

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