A New Female ‘Doogie,’ 9/11 from Comedians’ and Women’s Perspectives, Netflix Circles Back, More of the Wu-Tang Saga
The Doogie Howser spirit lives on in a new Disney+ coming-of-age dramedy set in Hawaii, starring Andi Mack’s Peyton Elizabeth Lee. A provocative documentary explores the return of comedy as a healing force after 9/11, while ABC News relives the events from the perspective of women affected by the tragedy. A new season begins of Netflix’s guilty-pleasure reality show The Circle. Hulu launches a second season of Wu-Tang: An American Saga.
Doogie Kamealoha M.D.
Could pop-culture lightning strike twice? It’s hard to believe that 30 years have passed since Doogie Howser, M.D. made Neil Patrick Harris a child star as the medical prodigy. The “Doogie” moniker has since become such a cultural touchstone that it’s now being applied to bright 16-year-old Lahela Kamealoha, a precocious medical student in Hawaii whose coming-of-age as a physician and an adolescent is the basis of this not-quite-remake. Lahela “Doogie” is played by Andi Mack star Peyton Elizabeth Lee, securing her status among the Disney child-star firmament, and her parents are played by Kathleen Rose Perkins (Big Shot), as a mom who’s also a doctor and Doogie’s hospital supervisor, and Jason Scott Lee (Mowgli in the live-action The Jungle Book) as her doting dad.
The social-media reality/game show is back with eight new players trying to figure out each other’s true identities while outlasting the competition in pursuit of a $100,000 prize. Comedian Michelle Buteau returns as host, and once again, the episodes are doled out weekly, with the first four followed by four more on Sept. 15 and 22, and the finale set for Sept. 29.
Wu-Tang: An American Saga
The docudrama about the formative years of the influential hip-hop Clan returns for a second season. Group leader Bobby/RZA (Ashton Sanders) keeps his focus on music as the way out, steering the rest of his fractured posse in a creative new direction as they struggle with disillusion about their lives in the projects.
Too Soon: Comedy After 9/11
In one of the more unusual retrospectives of the 2001 tragedy, this documentary explores the tricky business of making comedy in the wake of a cataclysmic event that many feared had made humor impossible if not dangerous to attempt. How soon is too soon? Comedians look back at how they navigated this potentially career-threatening tightrope while edging toward a time when late-night comics and Saturday Night Live would help show that laughter can be a healing tonic. Among the outspoken talents interviewed: David Cross, Janeane Garofalo, Marc Maron, Aasif Mandvi, Nathan Lane, Gilbert Gottfried, Cedric the Entertainer, Lewis Black, Chris Kattan and more.
More on 9/11:
- Women of 9/11: A Special Edition of 20/20 with Robin Roberts (9/8c, ABC): The Good Morning America host presents a two-hour special reliving the events of Sept. 11 and its aftermath from the points of view of women, including female first responders and such notable survivors as Genelle Guzman-McMillan, the last person rescued from the World Trade Center rubble after 27 hours. Other subjects reflect on their overwhelming personal loss that brought them together in grief but sustained them over time with resilience and remembrance.
- Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11 (10/9c, MSNBC and streaming on Peacock): Survivors tell their stories so the world will never forget. This documentary special is mostly confined to a small plywood recording booth where witnesses and survivors gave testimony in the months following the 9/11 attacks. They return 20 years later to reflect on these and more current events.
Inside Wednesday TV:
- Curb Appeal Xtreme (8/7c, HGTV): A spinoff of Curb Appeal ups the ante on lavish upgrades of home exteriors, both in the front lawn and backyard, with architect John Gidding joined by landscape designer Jamie Durie and master carpenter Rachel Taylor.
- Riverdale (8/7c, The CW): Recurring guest star Robin Givens directs an episode that welcomes back musical superstar Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray), who’ll only confide in former Pussycats Valerie (Hayley Law) and Melody (Asha Bromfield) about the real reason behind her return.
- Good Trouble (9:30/8:30c, Freeform): Many tough choices are debated in the supersized 90-minute finale of the Fosters spin-off, with Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) interviewing for a new job and Malika (Zuri Adele) considering her own new offer.
- Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens (10:30/9:30c, Comedy Central): Lori Tan Chinn is this raucous sitcom’s not-so-secret weapon as Nora’s (Awkwafina) outrageous Grandma, who once again proves she’s a force to be reckoned with when she rallies her circle of ladies to take down a scammer who’s targeting the elderly. The episode is titled “Don’t F*uck with Grandmas,” and they mean it.