Acorn’s ‘Manhunt,’ ‘NCIS’ Without Gibbs, Aussie’s ‘Wakefield’ Cuckoo’s Nest, ‘Joe’s Halloween
Acorn TV’s Manhunt, based on the exploits of a real-life detective, takes on a disturbing new case in its second season. CBS’ NCIS moves on without its leading man. From Australia, the offbeat drama Wakefield looks at life within a psychiatric hospital. Ordinary Joe goes all in on Halloween as a metaphor.
Doc Martin’s Martin Clunes is all business in this absorbing crime drama based on the real-life memoirs of former London Metropolitan Police detective DCI Colin Sutton. A hit in the UK, Manhunt devotes its second season of four episodes (through Nov. 8) to the disturbing rape-and-burglary spree of an unidentified criminal who targeted the elderly in Southeast London from 1992 to 2009. That’s when DCI Sutton is brought in to bring his perspective to the investigation, though his new ideas aren’t always welcomed by the understaffed and underfunded squad. “Something’s got to change,” he resolves as the first episode ends. From there, it’s a race for Sutton to once again get his man.
How will the NCIS team get on without Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon)? That’s the question hovering around the hit procedural as it continues minus the presence of its longtime leading man, last seen merrily fly-fishing in Alaska. As if the star’s departure weren’t explosive enough, this week’s case involves the death of a Navy commander whose body suddenly combusts before medical examiner Jimmy (Brian Dietzen) can even get a look at it. This is what’s known as picking up the pieces.
“You’re the sanest person in this place,” a co-worker assures Nik Katira (Rudi Dharmalingam), a caring, competent and compassionate nurse in an Australian psychiatric ward. If only they could hear the cacophonous tap-dancing and earworms in his head, triggering traumatic memories from his cloudy past. Poignant, sometimes darkly funny and occasionally surreal, this Aussie import uses shifting points of view among the overworked staff and their clients to portray life within this volatile cuckoo’s nest.
Metaphor alert! It’s Halloween in Joe’s (James Wolk) disparate worlds, and while it can be a treat comparing his situations in these parallel storylines, this week’s storytelling trick employs masks as a symbol for either hiding from reality or, once removed, for facing the choices of the past.
Inside Monday TV:
- Out of the Shadows: The Man Behind the Steele Dossier (streaming on Hulu): In the first documentary from George Stephanopoulos’ newly formed production company, the GMA anchor conducts a world exclusive interview with controversial former MI6 spy Christopher Steele.
- Walker, Texas Ranger (6 pm/5c, Heroes & Icons): Chuck Norris’ iconic lawman fits right into the retro H&I brand, as his series (1993-2001) takes up residence seven days a week: three hours in prime time Monday-Friday, two hours on Saturday mornings, and two more on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
- Howie Mandel & Friends: Don’t Sneeze on Me (8/7c, The CW): The America’s Got Talent judge returns to his stand-up roots in an L.A. comedy gala with performances by Sherri Shepherd, Natasha Leggero, Patton Oswalt and many other comics.
- Hoarders (8/7c, A&E): A new season of the docuseries opens with a live-in caregiver seeking help when a second home is in danger of being overtaken by clutter. Followed by a new season of Intervention (10/9c), with episodes from across the U.S. followed by a five-week November arc dealing with the Fentanyl crisis in California.
- The Big Leap (9/8c, Fox): Breakout star Simone Recasner as Gabby is the focus of an episode that reveals much about her past—including, perhaps, the identity of her son’s father—when she and BFF Justin (Ray Cham) are sent back to their old high school by manipulative producer Nick (Scott Foley).
- The Real Queens of Hip-Hop: The Women Who Changed the Game—An ABC News Special (10/9c, ABC): On the eve of the premiere of ABC’s female-driven hip-hop drama Queens, Salt (of Salt-N-Pepa) narrates a survey of the female rappers and emcees who helped establish the hip-hop industry and continue to keep the beat alive. The special features spoken-word performances by MC Lyte and a score by WondaGurl.
- The Late Late Show with James Corden (12:37/11:37c, CBS): Coldplay sits in with the playful late-night host for a weeklong music residency, performing the global TV debut of the new song “Let Somebody Go” with Selena Gomez among other highlights from their new album “Music of the Spheres.”