Today’s TV: Beavis and Butt-Head Are Back, A Hollywood Con, ‘Alone’ Skills Challenge, Preseason Football
Mike Judge’s eternal idiots Beavis and Butt-Head graduate from MTV to streaming, but they’re just as clueless as ever. ABC’s The Con reveals a Hollywood Ponzi scheme. A spinoff of History’s Alone brings back past participants to engage in special build challenges. The Jacksonville Jaguars takes on the Las Vegas Raiders in the NFL pre-season Hall of Fame Game.
Those who take comfort in knowing that some things never change may delight in the sniggering antics of those perpetually delinquent adolescents, Beavis and Butt-Head, who came to fame (if not of age) in the 1990s on MTV. Mike Judge, creator and voice of these eternal idiots, revives the animated series for a streaming audience, and whether the boys get trapped in a bathroom they’ve mistaken for an escape room or get trapped in a cardboard box they’re hiding in at school, the idiocy is so pronounced it’s almost brilliant. (Though I wish if Judge were in revival mode, he’d bring back King of the Hill instead.) Between scenes, B&B revert to their old tricks, mocking music videos, adding TikTok and whispery ASMR YouTube videos to their repertoire. The best short on opening night features Beavis in thrall to a talking dumpster fire that’s urging him toward self-improvement. Fat chance.
Back for a summer run, the ABC News Studios anthology presents “The Hollywood Mogul Con,” telling of a Ponzi scam perpetrated in 2018 by actor Zach Horowitz (stage name Avery), who raised more than $690 million from deep-pocketed investors with the lure of phony distribution deals and rights agreements. By the time the FBI and SEC nailed him on securities fraud, Zach was cooling his heels in a $5.7 million mansion.
The popular survival reality show spins off with a new competition series in which three former Alone participants return each week to tackle a special survival-oriented build challenge conceived by one of their peers. Like in the original series, the players film themselves as they use basic tools and whatever natural resources they can find to create such items as shelters and hand-crafted ovens and watercraft.
Are you ready for some … like NFL fans have to be asked. The National Football League’s 103rd season kicks off with a pre-season matchup of the Las Vegas Raiders and the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio—birthplace of the league. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence and second-year running back Travis Etienne (who missed his rookie season with an injury) will be sitting out the game.
Inside Thursday TV:
- Wild West Chronicles (8/7c, INSP): The Western docudrama anthology spotlights two Pinkerton detectives on the trail of the notorious Missouri Kid.
- Impractical Jokers (10/9c, truTV): Glad to see Sal Vulcano survived his encounter earlier this week with the What We Do in the Shadows vampires. He and fellow Jokers Brian Quinn and James Murray welcome guest Brooke Shields for the prank show’s season finale, taping a show based on Celebrity Dating Game.
- Streaming highlights include new seasons of Sweet Life: Los Angeles on HBO Max, the New Zealand funeral-home comedy Good Grief on Sundance Now (coming Aug. 17 to IFC) and the Prime Video sports docuseries All or Nothing: Arsenal, now covering the Arsenal Football Club, plus the finale of the sci-fi drama Moonhaven on AMC+, renewed for a second season. Topic’s Murder at the Cottage: The Search for Justice for Sophie is a five-part true-crime series from director Jim Sheridan about the 20-plus-year investigation of a Frenchwoman’s murder at her Irish holiday home.
- New streaming movies include the Netflix rom-com Wedding Season, in which Asha (Pallavi Sharda) and Ravi (Suraj Sharma) pretend to be dating to get their hovering parents off their back during wedding season, and guess what happens next. Shudder’s What Josiah Saw stars Robert Patrick and Nick Stahl in a Southern Gothic horror story about a family in a creepy farmhouse who must reckon with sins from the past.