What’s On: ‘The Chi’ on Showtime, Netflix’s ‘End of the F***ing World,’ ‘Crazy Ex,’ Golden Globes
A critical checklist of notable weekend TV:
The Chi (Sunday, 10/9c, Showtime): Emmy-winning writer Lena Waithe (Master of None) infuses the mean streets of Chicago’s South Side with warm compassion and flashes of humor amid the tragedy and danger. With an authenticity recalling masterworks like The Wire and Treme, Waithe’s The Chi spins a tangled tale of how senseless crime affects a community of neighbors, young and old. Even when the plot goes down familiar dark roads, the characters are determined not to end up as clichés—or statistics.
The End of the F***ing World (Friday, Netflix): Teen angst veers into bloody Bonnie-and-Clyde territory in a brisk, brutal, profanely and painfully comedic road-trip caper from England. It goes like this: Psycho boy (an affecting Alex Lawther) meets rebel girl (Jessica Barden), fantasizes about killing girl until he realizes he would kill for her. This riveting eight-episode binge is made in adolescent hell.
Also streaming: Netflix’s Rotten (Friday), which could challenge your appetite for true-crime exposés as the production team behind Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown reveals corruption within the food-production industry. Targets include the global honey business, overfishing in New England, U.S.-China dealings in the garlic scene, and dangers involving peanut and other food allergies, the boom in organic milk, and the vast network of chicken-growing.
British mystery alert: The BritBox streaming service acquires the eighth season of hit ITV drama Vera (Sunday), starring Brenda Blethyn as cranky Inspector Vera Stanhope, who solves crimes amid the Northeast England moors. For the first time, U.S. fans will get to view episodes on the same day as the U.K. premiere.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Friday, 8/7c, The CW): Could Rebecca (Rachel Bloom) be going crazy all over again—this time for Nathaniel (Scott Michael Foster)? That’s one cause for concern as the brilliantly bold musical-comedy returns from holiday hiatus. Another reason to worry is Paula (Donna Lynne Champlin) up to her old meddling and scheming tricks, this time on behalf of Darryl (Pete Gardener), who’s seeking the perfect egg donor in his quest for fatherhood. Darryl carries the musical load this week, and Josh Chan’s mother (Amy Hill) gets a number to urge the lovelorn boy to get out of the house.
The 75th Annual Golden Globes (Sunday, 8/7c, NBC): The awards season officially kicks off with Seth Meyers hosting before what promises to be a vastly changed Beverly Hilton ballroom in the wake of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. While the movie wins often are seen as Oscar precursors, Globes voters don’t always follow Emmys’ lead when it comes to TV. (Example: Veep was completely shut out of the comedy categories). One of the biggest stars in any room, Oprah Winfrey will take the stage to accept the Cecil B. DeMille award. Check out my predictions.
Movie lovers might also want to check out Turner Classic Movies’ Sunday prime-time lineup, devoted to the great Gloria Grahame, who’s the subject of the new movie Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, starring Annette Bening as the Oscar-winning legend. Bening joins host Eddie Muller to introduce two of Grahame’s best: 1950’s In a Lonely Place (8/7c) and 1952’s The Bad and the Beautiful (10/9c), a personal favorite that won Grahame her Oscar.
Twice in a Lifetime: Is there a more Lifetime-sounding movie than A Tale of Two Coreys (Saturday, 8/7c)? Corey Feldman produces this biopic about his turbulent rise to child stardom alongside his pal, the late Corey Haim. … And if your taste is for the twisted, Adult Swim parodies the classic Lifetime woman-in-peril movie in Mother May I Dance With Mary Jane’s Fist? (Sunday, midnight), starring It’s Always Funny in Philadelphia vets Mary Elizabeth Ellis and Artemis Pebdani. They adapt their stage spoof about an aspiring ballerina escaping her abusive parents only to fall into the clutches of an aspiring Svengali instructor.
Inside Weekend TV: Fred Savage hosts ABC’s new comedic game show Child Support (Friday, 8/7c), with an assist from Ricky Gervais, who jokes around with a panel of five kids. … ABC’s Ten Days in the Valley (Saturday, 9/8c) wraps its season-long kidnapping mystery with back-to-back episodes. … A second season of USA’s mystifying Falling Water (Saturday, 10/9c) continues exploring the puzzles within three disparate people’s dreams. … In a report from correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi, CBS’s 60 Minutes (Sunday, 7/6c) reveals that many combat veterans suffer from the same degenerative brain disease (chronic trauma encephalopathy) as athletes who suffer repeated blows to the head, such as pro football players. … Ed Sheeran guests on Fox’s The Simpsons (Sunday, 8/7c) as a jazz pianist who sweeps a smitten Lisa (Yeardley Smith) off her feet. … It was only a matter of time before this state secret would come out. In Sunday’s Madam Secretary (Sunday, 10/9c, CBS), Elizabeth (Téa Leoni) and Henry (Tim Daly) discover daughter Stevie (Wallis Currie-Wood) is dating Henry’s spy protégé Dmitri (Chris Petrovski).