Vamping in the ‘Shadows,’ CMA Summer Jam, ‘Q-Force’ Saves the Day

The hilarious vampires of FX’s What We Do in the Shadows are back, now with an after-show. Country-music stars take over Nashville for a CMA Summer Jam. Q-Force, an irreverent animated spy comedy, stars Sean Hayes as a gay agent gone rogue. Brooklyn Nine-Nine takes a road trip to Boyle’s family farm. A curated critical checklist of notable Thursday TV:

Harvey Guillén as Guillermo in What We Do in the Shadows
Russ Martin/FX

What We Do in the Shadows

Season Premiere

The vampire nest that couldn’t bite straight returns for a merry third season of supernatural spoofery. (Happily, Shadows is already renewed for a fourth year.) The ghouls of Staten Island—lovelorn Nandor (Kayvan Novak), vulgarian Laszlo (Matt Berry), self-absorbed Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) and deadly dull “energy vampire” Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch)—are burdened with the knowledge that their loyal human “familiar” Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) is descended from slayers. But how to keep this vampire killer under lock and key when he’s the smartest soul in the room? In happier news, the vamps get an unexpected promotion that allows them access to a treasure trove of forbidden artifacts, including a “cloak of duplication” that tempts Nandor’s undead buddies to play Cyrano to aid his woeful attempts at wooing a local health-club worker. (See the full review.) Still hungry after two back-to-back episodes? Guillén hosts After the Shadows (11/10c), a new after-show available on Shadows’ official social channels (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram), with behind-the-scenes lore and games with cast, crew and famous fans.

Dwight Yoakam, Carrie Underwood in CMA Summer Jam
Connie Chronuk/ABC

CMA Summer Jam

The Nashville concert event returns after a nearly two-year absence with many of country music’s biggest names performing in the outdoor setting of the open-air Ascend Amphitheater. Headliners include Carrie Underwood, Dwight Yoakam, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Thomas Rhett, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Brothers Osborne, Dierks Bentley, Jimmie Allen, Mickey Guyton and Florida Georgia Line. Among those singing from other locations: Eric Church from the center of the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge and Darius Rucker on the outdoor stage of the city’s new Fifth & Broadway downtown complex.

Sean Hayes, Wanda Sykes, David Harbour in Q-Force
Courtesy of Netflix

Q-Force

Series Premiere

The closet is no place for a strapping secret agent like Steve Maryweather—but when the rising star of the American Intelligence Agency (AIA) comes out as gay, he’s banished to the campy wilds of West Hollywood where he’s dubbed Agent Mary. That’s the set-up for an irreverent animated adult comedy in which Maryweather (voiced by Will & Grace’s Sean Hayes, also an executive producer) forms a misfit team of LGBTQ+ whizzes known as Q-Force, including an expert female mechanic, a drag master of disguise and the requisite hacker. Sidelined for a decade, they go rogue to prove themselves to the agency and world that earlier shunned them. The first-rate voice cast includes Gary Cole, Stranger Things’ David Harbour, The Conners’ Laurie Metcalf and comedian Wanda Sykes.

Q-Force - Netflix

Q-Force where to stream

Joe Lo Truglio as Charles Boyle, Terry Crews as Terry Jeffords, Andy Samberg as Jake Peralta in Brooklyn Nine-Nine
NBC

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

In the first of two-back-to-back episodes, Charles (Joe Lo Truglio) brings Jake (Andy Samberg) and Terry (Terry Crews) to the Boyle Family Farm for what could be a classic fish-out-of-urban-water scenario. Amy (Melissa Fumero) and Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) stay behind to be of assistance to Capt. Holt (Andre Braugher).

Inside Thursday TV:

  • grown-ish (8/7c, Freeform): The fourth season of the college-set black-ish spinoff ends at a luau party, where Zoey (Yara Shahidi) takes career advice from Luca (Luka Sabbat), which doesn’t sit well with Aaron (Trevor Jackson).
  • We Got Love Teyana & Iman (10/9c, E!): Power couple Teyana Taylor and athlete-rapper Iman Shumpert open up their happy family life to reality-TV cameras. Because … who doesn’t anymore?
  • The Other Two (streaming on HBO Max): In two more very funny episodes about siblings living on the fringes of fame, Cary (Drew Tarver) discovers the ups and downs of earning quick cash as a Cameo quasi-celeb, then freaks when he gets an up-close look at a domesticated future. For sister Brooke (Hélene Yorke), it’s time to learn that the life of a manager isn’t all glamour, although working on her mom Pat’s (Molly Shannon) show does give her the opportunity to book hunks that she can audition as potential boyfriends.
  • A. P. Bio (streaming on Peacock): Here’s a great reason to check out the fourth season of the former NBC sitcom starring Glenn Howerton as Jack Griffin, the most overqualified, yet all-wrong-for-the-job, high-school teacher ever: Bruce Campbell (Ash Vs. Evil Dead) shows up as Mr. Griffin’s dad.
  • Dead Mountain (streaming on Topic): A Russian drama series revisits the real-life Dyatlov Pass Incident, in which nine Soviet students vanished during a ski hiking trek in 1959, their frozen and mutilated bodies found a month later. A KGB major and WWII vet leads the hush-hush inquiry.