A Streaming Bonanza (‘Never Have I Ever,’ ‘North Water,’ ‘Dr. Death’), ‘Horror Stories’ and ‘Walking Dead’ Origins, Magnolia Network’s Digital Launch
As usual, there’s something for everyone in the wide world of streaming on a very busy Thursday. Netflix’s charming Never Have I Ever is back for a second season, while AMC+ and Peacock deliver riveting limited series in The North Water and Dr. Death. FX on Hulu spins off one of its most successful franchises with an American Horror Stories anthology, while The Walking Dead prepares for its final season by retracing the origins of its most popular current characters. Two of HGTV’s biggest stars, Chip and Joanna Gaines, launch their own Magnolia Network, initially as a hub on discovery+.
Never Have I Ever
Mindy Kaling’s acclaimed and funky/funny teen romcom is back with double trouble in its second season, as Indian-American Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) can’t decide between Ben (Jaren Lewison), the sweet nerd who appeals to her brainy side, or Paxton (Darren Barnet), who inflamed her hornier instincts. While she’s fretting as high-schoolers do, Devi’s insecurities escalate when a prettier, cooler Indian student (Megan Suri) arrives at Sherman Oaks High.
The North Water
With episode titles like “We Men Are Wretched Things” and “To Live Is to Suffer,” there’s no doubting writer-director Andrew Haigh’s five-part adaptation of Ian McGuire’s celebrated novel will be a rough but gripping journey. Jack O’Connell stars as Patrick Sumner, a disgraced former Army surgeon in 1850s England who signs aboard a whaling vessel heading way North. Colin Farrell is his amoral, brutish nemesis, harpooner Henry Drax, whose animalistic appetites create murderous tension aboard the Volunteer. Before this arduous expedition is over, Sumner will confront his own most primitive nature—if that’s what it takes to survive this cruel world. Influences of Melville, Conrad and Cormac McCarthy factor into this brutal, bleak story, filmed with icy authenticity in Arctic locations.
Just when you thought it was safe to go under the knife … This alarming and bingeworthy eight-part docudrama, based on the Wondery podcast, stars Joshua Jackson as the charismatic, ego-driven and disastrously incompetent neurosurgeon Dr. Christopher Duntsch, who tends to leave his patients in much worse shape than when they met him. How has he been getting away with this malpractice, and why is he allowed to keep operating? That’s what two fellow doctors, the methodical neurosurgeon Robert Henderson (Alec Baldwin) and excitable vascular surgeon Randall Kirby (a hilarious Christian Slater), would like to know. Dr. Death track their efforts to stop the bad doctor, while going deep onto Duntsch’s backstory in an attempt to analyze his terrifying psychopathy.
American Horror Stories
Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s horrific anthology series mutates into short-form stand-alone stories guaranteed to spook and/or gross you out. The new series begins with the two-part “Rubber(wo)Man,” in which a teenager and her two dads move into a presumably haunted house, which affects all of their relationships in the most perverse and terrifying way possible.
The Walking Dead: Origins
As the long-running zombie thriller heads into its 11th and extended final season, here’s a chance to relive the apocalypse from the perspective of the show’s current core survivors. Clips from their most memorable and harrowing moments are enhanced by narration from the actors, who also offer insight in new interviews. First up is fan favorite Daryl (Norman Reedus), followed the next three Thursdays by Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Carol (Melissa McBride).
Magnolia Network (launching on discovery+):
- Renovation superstars Chip and Joanna Gaines officially launch their new network as a hub of Discovery’s streaming service before taking over DIY Network in January. The lineup of 150-plus hours of content include the first seasons of Fixer Upper: Welcome Home and Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines, joined by new series including Growing Floret, The Lost Kitchen, Homegrown, Family Dinner, Restoration Road with Clint Harp and the entire Fixer Upper library of episodes.
Inside Thursday TV:
- Making It (8/7c, NBC): It’s a jolly holiday episode of the endearing craft competition, when the makers are tasked to make a Halloween costume that features an optical illusion. In the Master Craft challenge, they get to pick their favorite holiday as inspiration for a fireplace mantel. Two stick with Halloween, but others range from Chrismukkah to the Fourth of July.
- The Outpost (9/8c, The CW): The fantasy drama is back for a fourth season with barmaid-turned-resistance leader Talon (Jessica Green) under pressure to assume the throne—while under threat from a mystery assassin.
- Shark Week: Celebrities joining the fun include Dr. Sandra Lee in Dr. Pimple Popper Pops Shark Week (8/7c, Discovery), in which the famed dermatologist travels to Turks and Caicos to see if the science of shark skin can translate to human skin problems; and Snoop Dogg getting his shark rap on for Sharkadelic Summer 2 (9/8c).
- Killer Shark vs. Killer Whale (10/9c, National Geographic): Over on SharkFest, a study of orca attacks on great white sharks (for their livers) that have been witnessed in California, South Africa and Australia.
- The Good Fight (streaming on Paramount+): The fallout from the Jan. 6 insurrection is dire for Kurt (Gary Cole) and Diane (Christine Baranski) when former The Good Wife nemesis Nancy Crozier (Mamie Gummer), now an Assistant U.S. Attorney, convenes a grand jury investigation into Kurt’s association with armed radical protestors.
- Why Women Kill (streaming on Paramount+): The body count rises and suspicion grows from all sides on the comic melodrama when Alma (Allison Tolman) faces a blackmail threat and daughter Dee (B.K. Cannon) becomes alarmed about the mysterious fate of their neighbor. (Better not look too closely at your mom’s garden.)