Worth Watching: A Weekend With ‘Fosse/Verdon,’ ‘Intervention’ Returns, Docs on Foster Care (HBO) and Trade War with China (‘Frontline’)
A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
Fosse/Verdon (10/9c, FX): The biographical series hits a dramatic high in an episode with very little music — Gwen Verdon singing the plaintive “Where Am I Going?” from Sweet Charity at the piano pretty much says it all — but layers upon layers of dramatic and domestic tension. The scene: a house in the Hamptons on a rainy weekend in the 1970s, where Bob Fosse (Sam Rockwell) has gathered his nearest and dearest to try to cheer up newly widowed Neil Simon (Nate Corddry). On hand are his best bud Paddy Chayefsky (Norbert Leo Butz), his estranged wife Gwen (Michelle Williams) — and, awkwardly, his current girlfriend, Broadway hoofer Ann Reinking (Margaret Qualley). So much walking on eggshells as those who care about Fosse try in vain to get him to slow down for his own health, while Gwen makes a pitch for him to direct the musical Chicago, though he’s already committed to making the movie Lenny with Dustin Hoffman. Despite the weather, the interpersonal fireworks are explosive.
Intervention (8/7c, A&E): The Emmy-winning docuseries returns for a three-week run of back-to-back episodes of emotional confrontation, starting with a theme of “Addicted Moms.” The subjects include Sandra, a soccer mom who turns to opioids and heroin after abusing prescription pills; and Mallory, who at 29 becomes addicted to drugs after fleeing an abusive marriage. Their families want their mom back. Hence: the intervention.
Foster (8/7c, HBO): With more than 400,000 children estimated to be in foster care in the U.S., this documentary from producer Deborah Oppenheimer and writer-director Mark Jonathan Harris (Oscar winners for Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport) takes a deep dive into the often-misunderstood system, with visits to courtrooms, foster homes, juvenile centers and hospitals to tell very personal stories.
Frontline (10/9c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): With the situation changing on what seems a daily basis, the documentary Trump’s Trade War, a collaboration with NPR, could hardly be timelier. Producer Rick Young and NPR correspondent Laura Sullivan look beyond the controversial tussle over tariffs to examine China’s economic system, how the U.S. business community has historically dealt with the rival nation’s trade and business practices, as well as the government’s slow response to China’s cyberhacking of U.S. companies.
Inside Tuesday TV: Discovery’s Deadliest Catch (9/8c) finds the Bering Sea crab fleet facing the season’s biggest storm yet, causing chaos among the Northwestern and Saga crews… OWN’s sudsy The Haves and the Have Nots (9/8c) is back for a sixth season of scandalous melodrama… Bravo’s Texicanas (10/9c) is just another word for The Real Housewives of San Antonio. The new reality series follows a stylish group of San Antonio Mexican-Americans in their often volatile social interactions… Rites of passage on TBS’s The Last O.G. (10/9c) as Tray (Tracy Morgan) takes son Shahzad (Dante Hoagland) to a bona fide neighborhood barbershop for the first time, while Shay (Tiffany Haddish) escorts Amira (Taylor Mosby) to a beauty parlor.