‘Y: The Last Man,’ Remembering Sandra Day O’Connor, ‘Finding Alice,’ ‘Jeopardy!’ Returns
A dystopian sci-fi thriller depicts a world where all the men have suddenly died. American Experience profiles Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court 40 years ago. British favorite Keeley Hawes stars in a dramedy about a widow discovering unpleasant truths about her late partner. Jeopardy! is back for a new season, still minus a permanent host but showcasing one of its most successful champs.
Y: The Last Man
If the nightmare scenario of this sci-fi thriller were actually to occur, I wouldn’t be here to tell you about it. Based on a comic-book series, Last Man opens on an alarming note when all of the world’s males with a Y chromosome—humans and other mammals—suddenly collapse and die, bloodily, leaving the world’s women once again to pick up not just their socks but all of society. This includes newly promoted Congresswoman-turned-President Jennifer Brown (the elegant Diane Lane), who doesn’t instantly realize there is just one male survivor: her own son Yorick (Ben Schnetzer), hardly a paragon of the species. This shaggy-dog would-be magician and escape artist struggles to survive in a ravaged New York City with his sidekick, the capuchin monkey Ampersand, who’s also male. Y—that should be why—is he apparently the last man standing? That and many other questions lurk in this provocative action allegory. The first three episodes are available for a mini-binge, with the remainder of the 10-episode season dropping weekly.
The greatest quiz show ever returns under a cloud for its 38th season, marred by a scandalously botched recruitment process for a permanent host to replace the iconic Alex Trebek. The show is trumpeting the return of 18-game champion Matt Amodio—who has polarized some viewers with his tendency to use “what” for every answer—a Ph.D. student whose $574,801 bank places him third behind only Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer in regular-season winnings and currently ranks fifth for consecutive games won. Missing in Jeopardy!’s announcement is any mention of Mike Richards, the disgraced and ousted executive producer who was initially chosen to host the show and taped the first week before being fired. All of which makes Amodio a godsend for Jeopardy! for as long as he holds on, attracting some positive attention during one of the show’s darkest periods.
Sandra Day O’Connor: The First
American Experience explores the life and judicial career of the Supreme Court’s first female justice, appointed by President Ronald Reagan 40 years ago. Based on Evan Thomas’ book First: Sandra Day O’Connor, the two-hour biographical documentary follows O’Connor from her upbringing in Arizona to her history-making arrival on the highest court, where she became a crucial swing vote during a volatile time.
One of Britain’s busiest and most popular TV stars, Keeley Hawes (MI-5, Line of Duty, Bodyguard), takes the title role in a six-episode dramedy about a woman who loses her partner, Harry, shortly after they move into the too-smart high-tech home he designed. Her grief is further complicated when Alice soon discovers that Harry might not be who she thought he was.
On the Stream:
- Little Ellen (streaming on HBO Max): Reminiscent of Lily Tomlin’s Edith Ann, this animated children’s show looks at life through the eyes of a 7-year-old Ellen DeGeneres, bouncing around her New Orleans hometown.
- Southlake: Racial Reckoning in a Texas Suburb (streaming on Peacock, also at 8/7c and 11/10c on NBC News NOW): A timely documentary looks at the dark side of a Dallas suburb whose high-performing school district faced charges of racism and discrimination after a racial slur went viral, with more cultural fault lines emerging after the death of George Floyd.
- Celebrity IOU Joyride (streaming on discovery+): Danny Trejo seems like such a tough guy, but he has a soft spot for his pal Mario, who’s seen the actor through the best and worst of times. In gratitude, Trejo assists Ant Anstead and Cristy Lee in the renovation of a vintage 1958 Chevrolet Impala as a surprise for his friend.
Inside Monday TV:
- The Price Is Right (11 am/10c, 10 am/PT, check local listings): The legendary game show is celebrating its milestone 50th season all week, with a game every day giving contestants a chance to win up to $1 million.
- The Talk (2 pm/1c and 1 pm/PT, CBS, check local listings): Akbar Gbajabiamila joins hosts Amanda Kloots, Jerry O’Connell and Sheryl Underwood for a 12th season of the afternoon talker, opening with a “Rock the Block” party on CBS Studio Center’s Residential Street, with Lil Rel Howery, Daughtry and celebrity chef Carla Hall as guests.
- Hell’s Kitchen (8/7c, Fox): In a two-hour finale, the remaining chefs prepare their last dinner service, with the winner of the 20th season becoming Head Chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas.
- American Ninja Warrior (8/7c, NBC): The National Finals wrap in Las Vegas for the 13th-season finale, where the remaining contestants go above and beyond in hopes of claiming that $1 million prize.
- Halloween Baking Championship (9/8c, Food Network): The seventh season of the seasonal baking contest pays homage to 1980s slasher-movie classics, when host John Henson welcomes the bakers to Camp Devil’s Food Lake.
- Back to Life (10/9c, Showtime): The second season of the dark comedy starring and created by Breeders’ Daisy Haggard picks up three weeks after the Season 1 finale, with Miri (Haggard) still adjusting to being home after 18 years in prison.
- The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (11/10c, Comedy Central): Promising a “brand new look and feel” for the show, Noah returns from summer hiatus with more topical satire.
- Ultra City Smiths (11/10c, AMC): Having streamed earlier this summer on AMC+, this bizarre stop-motion-animated series uses baby-doll figurines to enact a moody film-noir saga punctuated by musical numbers. It’s one of the weirdest shows of 2021, but it might play well as a trippy nightcap.