‘You’ in the Suburbs, Heartwarming ‘Home’ Swapping, Invasion of the Horror Franchises (‘Halloween,’ ‘Day of the Dead,’ ‘Summer’), ‘Velvet Underground’
In its third season (just renewed for a fourth), the erotic psychological thriller You relocates its obsessive antihero, his equally twisted wife and newborn son into the suburbs. NBC’s “social experiment” Home Sweet Home sends two families of different backgrounds and cultures into each other’s homes to see life from a different angle. Famous horror franchises are revived with Halloween Kills, Syfy’s Day of the Dead and Amazon Prime Video’s I Know What You Did Last Summer. Director Todd Haymes explores the musical legacy of The Velvet Underground in an Apple TV+ documentary.
This intensely creepy but strangely enjoyable series, which caused nary a ripple on Lifetime before becoming a bingeworthy hit on Netflix, moves from the city to the “white picket purgatory” of the suburbs for its addictive third season. Romantic obsessive/stalker extraordinaire Joe (Penn Badgley) is now married to his psychotically impulsive not-quite-soulmate Love (Haunting of Bly Manor’s Victoria Pedretti), and they take to new parenthood about as easily as they adjust to their privileged neighborhood of smug mommy bloggers and tech whizzes. The bloody fun begins when Joe finds his latest target of sensual obsession: sexy realtor neighbor Natalie (Michaela McManus), whose marriage to tech mogul Matthew (new Grey’s Anatomy love interest Scott Speedman) may or may not be a complication. You already know if You is your thing, so dig in.
Home Sweet Home
Think of this as Family (as opposed to Wife) Swap. From executive producer Ava DuVernay (Selma), this uplifting reality show bills itself as a “social experiment” where two very different families of diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds move into each other’s homes for several days, meeting friends and family members while being schooled on their specific familial routines and customs. The opener introduces the Wixx family (Black and proudly queer, with two moms, adorable twins and grounded in spiritual though not traditionally religious practices) and the Vasilious (traditional Greek Orthodox Christian family of six) as they open their hearts and minds to new perspectives, especially father Nick Vasiliou, once he realizes this new home lacks a conventional male role model. “They don’t need a dad? That’s a tough pill to swallow.” They all meet at the end with a friendly group dinner, and it couldn’t be sweeter.
The Velvet Underground
Director Todd Haynes (I’m Not There) presents an artful tribute to the seminal avant-garde band from the 1960s, fronted by Lou Reed, in a documentary that often lets their psychedelic music speak for itself. Surviving members including drummer Moe Tucker are interviewed, with commentary often presented in split-screen with iconic ’60s imagery.
I Know What You Did Last Summer
Extending the premise of the 1997 teen slasher flick (and 1973 source novel) into an eight-part series, Summer uses a Hawaii backdrop to tell the story of a group of friends whose bad karma stems from a car accident on graduation night a year earlier. Someone’s targeting them for death, but it seems that a few of them may not be entirely innocent victims.
- Halloween Kills (streaming on Peacock): Like the movie series, Michael Myers refuses to die. In this sequel (also in movie theaters) to the 2018 Halloween reboot, the masked killer continues to terrorize Haddonfield while an injured and hospitalized Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) rallies the town to form a vigilante mob to take the fiend down.
- Day of the Dead (10/9c, Syfy): Inspired by the influential George A. Romero zombie thriller, this fast-paced but witless series makes The Walking Dead look like Shakespeare. Tracking the first 24 hours of the awakening of the hungry undead in a small Massachusetts town, Day earns most of its early scares in the appropriate setting of a funeral home and adjoining cemetery.
Inside Friday TV:
- Shark Tank (8/7c) British tycoon Peter Jones from BBC’s Dragon’s Den (Tank’s U.K. forerunner) joins the panel to assess pitches from Chattanooga, Sacramento, Austin and New Hampshire.
- S.W.A.T. (8/7c, CBS): It’s a different kind of ambush when the team suddenly gets a new leader, Rodrigo Sanchez (David DeSantos), a former S.W.A.T. and longtime LAPD veteran.
- Blue Bloods (10/9c, CBS): How much change can crime fans endure? Just a few days after NCIS’ Gibbs (Mark Harmon) walked away from the job, Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) considers leaving his post as police commissioner, when old pal Lenny Ross (Treat Williams) tempts him with a job offer.
- La Frontera (9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): Mexican-born U.S. chef Pati Jinich, a James Beard Award winner, leads a two-part trip down the Texas-Mexico border in a culinary travelogue from El Paso to the Gulf, exploring the region’s cuisines and cultures-and natural wonders like Big Bend National Park.
- Passion Play: Russell Westbrook (9/8c, Showtime): A documentary profile of the record-setting star NBA point guard, currently with the Los Angeles Lakers, captures his fiery personality on and off court as he pursues his first NBA championship. Co-directed by Religion of Sports’ Gotham Chopra and Erik LeDrew.
- True Crime Watch: Following a story that will reportedly also be the basis of an upcoming HBO documentary, Dateline NBC (9/8c) reports on the macabre case of spiritual cult leader Amy “Mother God” Carlson, whose mummified body was discovered in Colorado in April, covered in Christmas lights. On ABC’s 20/20 (9/8c), co-anchor Amy Robach conducts the first broadcast TV interview with Joe Bryan, who spent more than 30 years in prison for the murder in Texas of his wife. Now paroled, he’s still trying to clear his name. The two-hour report suggests a murder four months earlier in 1985 could be linked to this crime. Novelist John Grisham, who wrote a novel inspired by the case, is also interviewed.
- Good Timing with Jo Firestone (streaming on Peacock): In a special reminding us you’re only as old as you feel, comedian Jo Firestone conducts a comedy workshop for 16 senior citizens, preparing them for their first live stand-up show.
- House of Cards (streaming on BritBox): Forget the Netflix remake. All three seasons of the British original (1990-95), starring the deliciously devious Ian Richardson in the rise and fall of a ruthless Prime Minister, are now exclusive to BritBox, still shockingly funnier and sharper than the bloated series that helped put Netflix on the map.