Worth Watching: Everyone’s a ‘Suspect,’ Back to ‘La Brea,’ Niecy Nash Is the New ‘Rookie,’ and More
The British crime drama Suspect sends a detective on a dark night of the soul as he seeks his daughter’s killer, with familiar TV faces among the suspect list. The NBC fantasy La Brea scatters its cast among several eras from 10,000 B.C. to the 1980s in its second season. Niecy Nash-Betts headlines The Rookie: Feds, a spinoff about the FBI’s oldest rookie. Hulu launches Reasonable Doubt, an overheated legal drama about a Black female defense lawyer with high-profile clients in L.A. Big Mouth’s Nick Kroll performs his first solo stand-up special for Netflix. A curated critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
James Nesbitt (The Missing), one of the more intense fixtures in British crime drama, keeps you glued to the bitter, berserk end of an eight-part crime drama that’s tightly constructed as a series of escalating confrontations in brisk half-hour episodes. (This is becoming my new favorite format; see also FX/Hulu’s The Patient.) Nesbitt is detective Danny Frater, who goes rogue in a dark night of the soul as he tries to prove that the daughter he barely knew didn’t commit suicide. Episode by episode, he follows one lead to the next, starting in the morgue, where he’s shattered to discover the Jane Doe on the slab is his once-beloved Christina. “Nothing about this is routine,” he snarls at the chilly pathologist (Joely Richardson) as he breaks protocol and goes to extremes to get to the truth. The nifty suspect list includes The Good Doctor’s Antonia Thomas, Outlander’s Sam Heughan, and Oscar nominee Richard E. Grant.
If there’s a sillier drama anywhere on TV, I think I’d prefer not to know. Kudos to this cast for keeping a straight face as the time-travel sinkhole fantasy (possibly a first?) piles up the complications in Season 2. New to prehistoric times, sinkhole jumpers Gavin (Eoin Macken), daughter Izzy (Zyra Gorecki) and Ella (Michelle Vergara Moore) — the grown-up version of Lilly (Chloe De Los Santos), don’t ask — try to find their way to the other survivors, only to realize they’re being hunted by a woolly rhino. It’s funnier than it sounds. Meanwhile, Eve (Natalie Zea, who deserves better) is distraught that her son Josh (Jack Martin) has been sucked into 1988, but he’s kind of cool with it after he discovers ALF on TV. (I understand.) Eve’s team stumbles upon another scary troop of warriors, reminiscent of how The Walking Dead had to keep finding new sets of antagonists. And so it goes in 10,000 B.C.
Niecy Nash-Betts puts away her Claws to prove her mettle as the ripest graduate to emerge from the FBI Academy in Quantico, joining a special L.A. unit in a spinoff introduced during two late-season episodes of The Rookie. The series opener introduces her team as they look into the murder of a federal engineer, while at home she clashes with her father (Frankie Faison) over their differing views of law enforcement.
Imagine HBO’s Insecure as a legal drama to capture the tone of this overheated potboiler from Onyx Collective. Emayatzy Corinealdi rocks the glam fashion and a variety of hairstyles as powerful Black L.A. defense attorney Jax Stewart, who lives large but oh-so-messy. Her clients are A-list, but she’s a train wreck on the home front, where her husband (McKinley Freeman) has moved out because of her devotion to work — though he keeps a close eye on her amorous extracurricular pursuits through home surveillance cameras (creepy). The tangled plot involves an almost-billionaire Black client caught up in sexual assault and murder, and the release on parole of a client from her past (Michael Ealy) when she was a public defender. “You’re built to win, Jax,” the latter tells her. If you sense some Olivia Pope in Jax’s DNA, it won’t surprise you that Scandal’s Kerry Washington, who directed the first episode, is an executive producer.
Nick Kroll, whose animated comedy Big Mouth releases its sixth season in late October, takes to the stand-up stage in his first solo special for Netflix. Filmed during his U.S. and world tour at Washington, D.C.’s Warner Theatre, Kroll riffs on heartbreak and fatherhood in his 30s, along with a few raunchier topics.
The true-crime network updates its 2016 special about Syed, whose murder conviction was vacated last week after he spent more than 20 years in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. The subject of the influential podcast Serial, Syad was released from prison after a judge ruled prosecutors had withheld evidence during the trial that could have exonerated him. (HBO is also producing a follow-up to its docuseries The Case Against Adnan Syed, expected in 2023.)
Inside Tuesday TV:
- 30 for 30: Deerfoot of the Diamond (8/7c, ESPN): A documentary uses the Cleveland baseball team’s name change to the Guardians to explore the largely forgotten history of Louis Sockalexis, a Penobscot Native American who played for Cleveland (then the Spiders) before the turn of the last century. Another ESPN documentary, Yankees-Dodgers: An Uncivil War (9/8c) explores the teams’ rivalry in back-to-back World Series in 1977 and 1978.
- Bachelor in Paradise (8/7c, ABC): What used to be a summer guilty pleasure takes up two nights of fall prime time when the eighth season of hot hookups gets underway on the beaches of Mexico. Paradise also airs on Mondays starting next week.
- Monarch (9/8, Fox): Country legend Tanya Tucker guests as the Romans prepare for the annual “Queens of Country” concert — but will it be Nicky (Anna Friel) or Lizzo wannabe Gigi (Beth Ditto) who’ll emerge with the crown?
- Bobby’s Triple Threat (9/8c, Food Network, streaming on discovery+): Bobby Flay hosts a six-episode competition inviting a talented chef each week to go up against three hand-picked masters: Tiffany Derry, Michael Voltaggio, and Brooke Williamson. Followed by the series premiere of Outchef’d (10/9c), where home cooks are ambushed by going head-to-head with a world-class chef.
- FBI: Most Wanted (10/9c, CBS): The Fugitive Task Force welcomes new rookie agent Ray Cannon (Edwin Hodge) as they pursue a killer going after IRS employees.
- American Greed (10/9c, CNBC): The 15th season of the series about bad guys in big business opens with “The Polygamist & The Bio-Fuel Baron,” profiling Jacob Kingston, a Utah biofuel CEO whose $1.1 billion fraud with another fuel king from L.A. is exposed by his polygamist group.
- The Patient (streaming on Hulu): After Sam’s (Domhnall Gleeson) latest horrific act, his trapped therapist Alan (Steve Carell) turns inward, having conversations with his own late therapist (David Alan Grier) and seeing visions of concentration camp victims.