An All-Star ‘Watcher,’ Blacklist Classics on TCM, Get Your Kicks in ‘Atlanta,’ Fighting the ‘Good Fight’
Friday the 13th is on Thursday this October, occasion enough for The Watcher, a creepy Netflix limited series. Turner Classic Movies acknowledges the 75th anniversary of the Hollywood Blacklist with screenings of High Noon and On the Waterfront, plus a documentary short. FX’s Atlanta delivers one of its wildest episodes to date, with a hunt for limited-edition sneakers going sideways. Another series in its final season, The Good Fight, finds the Chicago lawyers fighting bureaucracy on their day off.
Riding high on the success of Dahmer, prolific producer Ryan Murphy delivers another chilling limited series, inspired by a true story, starring Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale as owners of a new dream home in suburban New Jersey that becomes a living nightmare. Emmy winner Jennifer Coolidge (The White Lotus) is a bizarre real-estate agent, and eccentric neighbors include such blue-chip character-acting talent as Margo Martindale, Mia Farrow, Richard Kind and Terry Kinney. So far so weird, but when the couple starts receiving letters from a mysterious “Watcher” who appears to be stalking their every move, things get much scarier.
High Noon On The Waterfront
To mark the 75th anniversary of the notorious Hollywood Blacklist, when many careers (actors, screenwriters, directors and more) were sidelined by suspicion of being a Communist or sympathizer during the Red Scare of the late 1940s and ’50s, TCM offers an impressionistic documentary short that imagines a dialogue between High Noon’s blacklisted screenwriter Carl Foreman (voiced by Edward Norton) and On the Waterfront’s director Elia Kazan (voiced by John Turturro), who was widely criticized for providing testimony and naming names to the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1952. The 14-minute film is followed by screenings of 1952’s High Noon (8:30/7:30c) and 1954’s On the Waterfront (10:30/9:30c).
The final season has been on a roll lately, alternating laugh-out-loud moments with shocking twists that might make you shout out loud. That’s certainly the case in this wild episode, written by Stephen Glover and directed by Hiro Murai, in which Earn (Donald Glover) and Darius (LaKeith Stanfield) go in search of new limited-edition sneakers and get more than they bargained for. How far are they willing to go for precious kicks? “Is it really worth our dignity?” Earn wonders. In an overlapping and more disturbing subplot, Paper Boi/Alfred (the terrific Brian Tyree Henry) begins to fear for his life after an old “Crank Dat” video surfaces. Turns out he has reason to watch his back.
The Good Fight
The Good Wife spinoff, also in its final weeks, takes a break from the surreal political chaos to show the Chicago lawyers reacting in high gear—on their Saturday day off—to support Ri’chard (Andre Braugher) in his desperate quest to save his 11-year-old nephew who’s dying from sickle cell disease. They navigate a bureaucratic labyrinth of complications when the boy’s bone-marrow donor suddenly backs out, and a cutting-edge gene-editing clinical trial won’t accept him because he’s a few months too young. Watching these legal eagles in action reminds me how much we’ll miss them when this season is over.
Inside Thursday TV:
- Station 19 (8/7c, ABC): Maya (Danielle Savre) faces the music when she admits to a misguided attempt to blackmail fire chief Ross (Merle Dandridge), while Travis (Jay Hayden) has his own challenges running for Seattle mayor against corrupt former chief Dixon (Pat Healy).
- Ghosts (8:30/7:30c, CBS): Another fun episode of the hit supernatural comedy features The Other Two’s Drew Tarver as a new friend of Jay’s (Utkarsh Ambudkar) who just might be a cult leader. In the spirit world, chirpy scout-leader Pete (Richie Moriarty) shows a darker side when master of irony Sasappis (Román Zaragoza) asks him to tone down his “relentless cheeriness.” Mistake!
- Dario Argento’s Dark Glasses (streaming on Shudder): The Italian horror director returns after a decade’s absence with a bloody new shocker about a woman (Ilenia Pastorelli) blinded in a car accident who’s pursued by a serial killer, with only a little boy (Andrea Zhang) to act as her eyes and protector.
- A Radical Life (streaming on discovery+): A former Islamic extremist tells her story in a documentary profile of Tania Joya, who grew up in a Bangladeshi family in the U.K. and was radicalized after 9/11, marrying extremist John Georgelas, who became the highest-ranking American in ISIS. Things changed when Tania started raising a family and John decided to move them to civil war-torn Syria.
- Finales: Among the streaming series calling it a season: the delightful Disney+ superhero romp She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, the animated AMC+ “Uploaded Intelligence” thriller Pantheon and the Paramount+ reboot of Beavis and Butt-Head, in which the idiots stay up all night lest one of them puts the other’s hand in a bowl of warm water (and you know what happens next).