More Anarchy in 'Mayans,' a TV 'Purge,' 'Making It' Finale
A critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
Mayans M.C. (10/9c, FX): Sons of Anarchy fans will rev their engines over this brutal spinoff, which picks up several years later with a focus on the motorcycle-club charter occupying the busy and corrupt California/Mexico border. Newly out of prison, Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes (JD Pardo) aims to prove his worth as a new prospect, following in brother Angel’s (Clayton Cardenes) tracks, but the ride is bumpy from the start. (Look for occasional callbacks to those good/bad old SAMCRO days.)
The Purge (10/9c, USA): If ever you needed evidence that USA’s “blue sky” days are behind them, subject yourself to this 10-part limited-series expansion of the lucrative big-screen thriller franchise. As before, the action takes place in a totalitarian future society where the “New Founding Fathers” have instituted a Make America Bleed Again policy, in which for 12 hours of one night a year, crime (including murder) is encouraged, and law enforcement takes the night off. The premiere introduces a new set of characters while the countdown to grisly mayhem commences, and one young Marine (Gabriel Chavarria) is aghast to discover his sister (Jessica Garza) has joined a suicide cult offering themselves up as willing victims to the marauders. There’s an underlying social critique in the premise, as the haves use the yearly Purge to keep a bloody upper hand on the have-nots. But as with the movies, this is pretty much mindless violence for violence’s sake.
Making It (10/9c, NBC): Isn’t there anything cheery on? Why yes, glad I asked. This delightful competition series, co-hosted by those Parks and Rec cut-ups Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, closes its first season on a celebratory note: naming a winner among the three remaining contestants while also making a couple’s wedding into something truly special. The final challenges involve creating a wedding backdrop for the lucky couple as well as crafting an heirloom-quality handmade gift that could be handed down for generations. As an added treat, Offerman officiates at the wedding service. And for one lucky maker, a $100,000 prize will make for a happily ever after.
Inside Tuesday TV: Turner Classic Movies begins a month-long series on “The Black Experience in Film,” with movies airing Tuesdays and Thursdays through September. The first topic: “Exploring Black Identity,” with African American Film Critics Association co-founder and president Gil Robertson and critic Ronda Racha Penrice introducing movies including Oscar Micheaux’s pioneering, and once thought lost, 1920 Within Our Gates (8/7c), about efforts to combat prejudice while seeking to raise money for an all-black school… In a spinoff of its New Edition miniseries of 2017, BET’s two-part The Bobby Brown Story (9/8c, concludes Wednesday) follows the controversial R&B star (once again played by Woody McClain) as he pursues a solo career and then meets, and marries, Whitney Houston (Gabrielle Dennis)… As college football season kicks into high gear, SEC Network airs the documentary Scramblin’ Fran (9/8c), part of the SEC Storied series, profiling NFL legend Fran Tarkenton as he reflects on his breakthrough years at the University of Georgia, where he returns in 2018 for “G-Day.”