Sunday TV: Frankie Shaw’s New ‘SMILF’

smilfWe will refrain from using the fake word “dramedy” to describes comedy with pathos, but the new , unfortunately named “SMILF” (Showtime, 10 p.m.) falls into that category. It stars, written by and directed by Frankie Shaw, who herself is a single mom. The series is about a woman on the verge of poverty in Boston, struggling to be an actor and having more problems than she should be raising a biracial son. The comedy comes from her shambling, poorly thought out decisions (and in the pilot, her needless worries about her body). There are very good performances in the corners of the show, with Rosie O’Donnell as her depressed mom and Connie Britton as a privileged, distracted mother who relies on Frankie’s character as a tutor and kind of all around domestic helper.

A likely factor in its appearance is to make “Shameless” (Showtime, 9 p.m.), which revels in its poverty and poor choices, less of an orphan on Sunday nights. It returns tonight for its eighth season with William H. Macy’s Frank trying to sober up and Emmy Rossum’s Fiona trying to become a landlord.

Following the glossy, alluring first season that featured Riley Keogh in a breakout performance, “The Girlfriend Experience” (Starz, 9 p.m.) for its second season follows two different stories for the series, based on the original movie by Stephen Soderbergh, who remains an executive producer. One, stars Louisa Krause, as escort to the head of a powerful D.C. super PAC operator, played by Anna Freil, for a story that covers the underbelly of financing and politics more than sex.

The other has Carmen Ejogo as a former crime lord mistress now in protective custody in New Mexico and under the eye of U.S. Marshals. Each show runner, Amy Sieimetz and Lodge Kerrigan, tackles their own story; neither intersect. It’s a new way of telling stories anyway.

On the new “Xscape: Still Kickin’ It” (Bravo, 9 p.m.), the Atlanta girl group behind the 1993 hit “Just Kickin’ It” gets the act back together, with a few bumps. It’s part of an all-Atlanta night that begins with the 10th season of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” (Bravo, 8 p.m.) and includes the fifth season of “Married to Medicine” (Bravo, 10 p.m.).

A second season starts for “Ride with Norman Reedus” (AMC, 11 p.m.), coming immediately after the show that made him famous, “The Walking Dead” (AMC, 9 p.m.) and “Talking Dead” (AMC, 10 p.m.).

On “Outlander” (Starz, 8 p.m.), Claire returns to Lallybroch with Jamie.

Aunt Agatha and George cross swords on the sixth episode of “Poldark” on “Masterpiece” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings).

“Ghosted” (Fox, 8:30 p.m.) investigates an incident at a country club.

Jeremy Piven’s pre-taped appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” was canceled Friday after allegations emerged of sexual misconduct earlier in the week. His series “Wisdom of the Crowd” (CBS, 8:30 p.m.) is still scheduled to appear.

Paul kicks out unwelcome guests on “The Collection” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings).

Tina starts a babysitting service on “Bob’s Burgers” (Fox, 7:30 p.m.).

Grampa gets a hearing aid on “The Simpsons” (Fox, 8 p.m.).

Larry upsets Funkhouser’s new girlfriend on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO, 10 p.m.).

Sunday Night Football has Oakland at Miami (NBC, 8:30 p.m.). Earlier games include Baltimore at Tennessee (CBS, 1 .m.), Washington at Seattle (Fox, 4:05 p.m.) and Kansas City at Dallas (CBS, 4:25 p.m.).

Steve Kroft updates the situation in Puerto Rico on “60 Minutes” (CBS, 7:30 p.m.). But the “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” (CNN, 9 p.m.) was taped just before the hurricane.

Christmas movies are premiering on Sundays, now, too, with “Miss Christmas” (Hallmark, 8 p.m.).

“Get Out” (HBO, 8:10 p.m.) gets a rare, second-day replay on HBO.

The gang on “The Last Man on Earth” (Fox, 9:30 p.m.) settle into a mansion previously owned by a cartel leader.

Buffalo are relocated on “Alaska: The Last Frontier” (Discovery, 9 p.m.).

“Food Paradise” (Travel, 9 p.m.) goes to Detroit and Milwaukee.

“Madam Secretary” (CBS, 10:30 p.m.) still wants to hold a human trafficking conference in Kyrgyzstan despite inappropriate actions by a U.S. ambassador.

Tensions escalate between Gamby and Russell on the second to last episode of “Vice Principals” (HBO, 10:40 p.m.).

We’ve seen quite enough of the guy, but Guy Fieri’s latest show “Guy’s Big Project” (Food, 9 p.m.) has him looking for the best concept and host for a food road show. Someone other than him. It follows a Thanksgiving-themed “Guy’s Grocery Games” (Food, 8 p.m.).

Bethenny Frankel sits in on “Shark Tank” (ABC, 9 p.m.).

Larry recovers from the mumps on “The Durrells in Corfu” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings).

Deeks’ former partner goes rogue on “NCIS: Los Angeles” (CBS, 9:30 p.m.).

“This is Life with Lisa Ling” (CNN, 10 p.m.) looks at polygamy.

Letty and Javier try to find a way out of their prison sentence on “Good Behavior” (TNT, 10 p.m.).

Pets removal is the idea of the new “Intruders” (Animal Planet, 10 p.m.).

“Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant Garde Film 1894-1941” (8 p.m.) looks at experimental filmmaking from the dawn of cinema and including work by Joseph Cornell, Edward Everett Horton and Fernand Léger, followed by “Unseen Cinema 2:The Mechanized Eye” (10:45 p.m.). Then comes the silent Harold Lloyd comedy “The Kid Brother” (12:45 a.m.) and Luchino Visconti’s epic “Rocco and His Brothers” (2:45 a.m.).

Hockey includes Montreal at Chicago (NHL, 7 p.m.).

And there’s coverage this morning of the New York City Marathon (ESPN2, 9 p.m.).

Sunday Talk

ABC: Former interim DNC head Donna Brazile, Reps. Mark Meadows and Peter King. CBS: Sen. Mark Warner, Rep. Kevin McCarthy. NBC: DNC Chairman Tom Perez, Warner, Sen. James Lankford. CNN: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Reps. Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Lee and Charlie Dent. Fox News: Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Lindsey Graham.

 

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