‘Blindspotting’ as a Series, Adult Swim Rescues ‘Tuca & Bertie,’ ‘Kevin Can Bleep Himself,’ ‘Fear’ Finale
2018’s cult indie film Blindspotting becomes a series on Starz, focusing on female rather than male protagonists in Oakland, CA. The cult animated dramedy Tuca & Bertie lands on Adult Swim after Netflix cut it loose after one season. (Even streamers can cancel shows stupidly. It’s not just a network thing.) AMC+ gives its experimental sitcom/drama Kevin Can F**k Himself an early launch, while Fear the Walking Dead brings its sixth season to a no-doubt-violent conclusion.
The cult 2018 film starring and written by Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal becomes a weekly series, still true to its urban Oakland, CA roots but shifting the focus to Ashley (the fine Jasmine Cephas Jones), who’s putting her life back together after her long-time boyfriend and baby daddy Miles (Casal) is arrested on New Year’s Eve 2018, several months after the film’s storyline ended. The series misses the kinetic energy of Diggs (whose character is mentioned as having moved to Montana) and Casal (who recurs), but Jones holds the show together with a mix of indignation and vulnerability as she moves in with Miles’ harried but supportive mom, Rainey (Helen Hunt), and his sex-working firebrand half-sister Trish (Jaylen Barron), who’s not an Ashley fan. As Ashley raises her son Sean (Atticus Woodward) in this chaotic environment, she and Trish will work each other’s emotional and cultural blind spots to learn how to co-exist without killing each other. (SUNDAY)
Tuca & Bertie
Inexplicably canceled after one season on Netflix, the critically adored animated comedy-with-drama has been granted a new lease on life by Adult Swim. Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong return as Tuca the freewheeling toucan and psychologically fragile songbird Bertie, who share an apartment building and are there for each other, no matter what crumbs life throws at these birds. Candy-colored but more serious in intent than you’d expect, the show also features Steven Yeun (Minari) as Bertie’s new roomie Speckle, an upbeat architect who lives upstairs from the irrepressible Tuca. (SUNDAY)
Kevin Can F… Himself
Getting a jump on next Sunday’s linear premiere on AMC—standard operating procedure for this streamer—Kevin is an audacious but not entirely successful collision of old-school sitcom (think Kevin Can Wait, only worse) and dark psychodrama. Schitt’s Creek’s wonderful Annie Murphy stars as Allison, the prototypical long-suffering sitcom TV wife who we follow offstage into a grim real world without bright lights or laugh tracks as she considers doing away with her grotesque lout of a man-child husband (Eric Petersen). Unfortunately for the viewer, once you catch on to the gimmick, you soon realize that poor Allison isn’t just stuck in a bad sitcom, she’s also living in a drab drama. (SUNDAY)
Kevin Can F... Himself where to stream
Fear the Walking Dead
Expect mayhem to the max as the group races to stop the worst from happening now that cult leader Teddy’s (John Glover) plan has been revealed. The episode is titled “The Beginning,” so don’t be surprised if there’s a reset once again going into the seventh season. (SUNDAY)
Inside Weekend TV:
- French Open Tennis (Saturday-Sunday, coverage starts at 9 am/8c, NBC): The women’s singles final is Saturday, the men’s Sunday, as the Grand Slam on clay courts at Roland-Garros in Paris comes to an end.
- 145th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (Saturday, 7:30/6:30c, FS1; Sunday, 7/6c, Fox): The fabled dog show moves from Madison Square Garden to Lyndhurst mansion in upstate New York for breed judging. And for the first time in more than 30 years, the Best in Show will be announced on broadcast network TV.
- Superstar Racing Experience (Saturday, 8/7c, CBS): Some of motor sports’ biggest names—including Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, Tony Stewart (a producer of the series), Bill Elliott and Michael Waltrip—take on local talent in a six-week series of short-track races, running on dirt or asphalt surfaces.
- The Chase (Sunday, 9/8c, ABC): Mark “The Beast” Labett, who ruled this quiz show on GSN, returns to intimidate the contestants with his trivia prowess as this week’s “Chaser,” giving the rotating Jeopardy! champs a rest.
- Murder Nation (Sunday, 9/8c, HLN): A new investigative docuseries, airing back-to-back episodes, specializes in regional true-crime stories, kicking off with four tales of “Blood on the Bayou,” starting with murder cases in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, LA.
- Gangs of London (Sunday, 10/9c, AMC): The violent gangster drama wraps its first season with Sean (Joe Cole) learning the identity of a traitor who’s been under his nose for quite some time.
At the (TV) Movies:
- Left for Dead: The Ashley Reeves Story (Saturday, 8/7c, Lifetime) is the survival story of 17-year-old Ashley (Anwen O’Driscoll), an Illinois teen who survives a brutal attack and 30 hours alone in the woods. 90210’s Jennie Garth co-stars.
- The Baker’s Son (Saturday, 9/8c, Hallmark): Brant Daugherty is Matt, a baker who’s lost his touch until his childhood friend and soulmate Annie (Eloise Mumford) shows up for inspiration, and suddenly his bread’s yeast has the will to rise.
- Secrets of a Gold Digger Killer (Sunday, 8/7, Lifetime): Dexter’s Julie Benz stars in the fact-based story of Celeste Beard, convicted of murdering her multimillionaire husband.
- Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: ’Til Death Do Us Part (Sunday, 8/7c, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries): On a lighter note, amateur sleuth Aurora (Candace Cameron Bure) is headed to the altar with Nick (Niall Matter), but first they have to clear her dad (Andrew Airlie) and his poker-playing buds of a murder charge.