Worth Watching: Halloween Treats in ‘Behind the Monsters’ and ABC Comedies, ‘Wonder Years’ Goes Camping
The Halloween countdown continues on TV and streaming, with Shudder inaugurating the six-part docuseries Behind the Monsters with a close-up look at the omnipresent Halloween boogeyman Michael Myers. Most of ABC’s comedies are Halloween-themed, including The Conners carrying on a Roseanne tradition. The Wonder Years, however, sends its father and son on a camping trip. Survivor shakes things up by merging what’s left of the three tribes.
With Halloween Kills a box-office (if not critical) hit, the franchise’s unstoppable boogeyman Michael Myers is the logical opening act for a six-part docuseries exploring the origins and longevity of modern cinema’s most iconic bad guys. Each episode features interviews with horror experts and the writers, directors, actors, stunt performers and others who helped create these memorable fiends. Subjects in upcoming weeks include Jason Vorhees from Friday the 13th, The Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger, Hellraiser’s Pinhead, Candyman and Child’s Play Chucky, who’s currently starring in his own series on Syfy and USA.
Visiting the Conner home at Halloween has been a favorite TV tradition since the glory days of Roseanne. The reboot/spinoff keeps the tricks and treats coming as the Conners deck out the house for the holiday, despite a nagging leak that keeps newlyweds Dan (John Goodman) and Louise (Katey Sagal) from enjoying their honeymoon. The family loves welcoming new victims to their house of horrors, so Harris (Emma Kenney) may be putting her new relationship at risk when she introduces her older tattoo-artist boyfriend Aldo’s (Tony Cavalero) sons to her mischievous relatives. Halloween is a running theme through most of ABC’s Wednesday comedies, including The Goldbergs (8/7c), where Adam (Sean Giambrone) isn’t feeling the spirit now that his Pops (the late George Segal) is no longer around. So Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey) enlists Pop Pop (Judd Hirsch) to cheer him up. On Home Economics (9:30/8:30c), Connor (Jimmy Tatro) negotiates with ex-wife Emily (Succession’s Justine Lupe) about how to share their daughter for the best possible Halloween.
Taking a different tack, the 1960s-set comedy sends its young hero Dean (Elisha “EJ” Williams) camping with his dad (Dulé Hill) and coach (Allen Moldonado) as chaperones of a newly formed scout group. At first Dean wonders if his dad isn’t suited for the great outdoors, until Bill uses his own unique skill set to save the day during a terrifying thunderstorm.
Of the three original tribes this season, only Luvu never went to tribal council. Now that the merge is upon them, how long will they be able to maintain their advantage? And how will the two remaining members of the poor depleted Ua tribe fare? All good questions, but as usual, the game throws the players another twist at the merge.
Expanding on the 2019 series The Planets, this immersive five-part Nova sequel aims high to tell the story of our 13.8-billion-year-old universe, starting with the “Age of Stars.” See how those glittery stars were born, with animation based on Hubble Space Telescope photos illustrating how stars of all shapes and colors populated space. Future installments address the Milky Way, alien worlds, black holes and the Big Bang.
Inside Wednesday TV:
- New to Netflix: The thriller Hypnotic stars Jason O’Mara as a sinister shrink whose hypnotherapy treatments cause an anxious woman (Kate Siegel) to have terrifying visions and blackouts. Plus: The eighth season of popular Australian prison drama Wentworth is now available.
- DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (8/7c, The CW): In the fantasy series’ 100th episode, Gideon (Amy Pemberton) goes into a catatonic state, sending Astra (Olivia Swann) and Spooner (Lisseth Chavez) into her mindscape where they discover a virus is trying to erase Gideon’s memories.
- Protect or Neglect (8/7c, Bounce): A new documentary addresses the long history of tension between the Black community and the police, with experts including political activist Stacey Abrams and retired LAPD sergeant Cheryl Dorsey. Cedric the Entertainer appears in a segment in which he has a frank conversation with his daughter Lucky Kyles about these volatile issues.
- Chicago Fire (9/8c, NBC): Firehouse 51 doesn’t have much time to process Casey’s departure when a major security breach in ChiTown’s computer networks forces the senior staff to deal with the problem.