Worth Watching: Grief on ‘Pose,’ Aziz Ansari on Netflix, True Crime on HBO, ‘Bring the Funny,’ ‘Love Island’
A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
Pose (10/9c, FX): The realness is off the charts in an extravagantly emotional episode in which the ballroom world is rocked when one of its most colorful members suffers a brutal fate. Co-written and directed by Ryan Murphy, the episode illuminates the violence and prejudice the trans community facet then (and still faces), but as usual, Pose finds a way to celebrate life amid tragedy. The category is: Survival. And that includes Pray Tell (the fabulous Billy Porter) coming to terms with his own HIV treatment.
Aziz Ansari: Right Now (streaming on Netflix): We’re still waiting for a third season of the comic actor’s wonderful Master of None series, but we’ll settle for a new stand-up set, filmed during his Brooklyn performances from his international “Road to Nowhere” comedy tour. Spike Jonze is the director for the filming of what is expected to be an unusually introspective act, following allegations of sexual misconduct that Ansari has addressed in other forums.
I Love You, Now Die (8/7c, HBO): Launching a trilogy of two-part crime documentaries airing through July, this compellingly twisted film recounts the 2017 Massachusetts trial of Michelle Carter, charged with involuntary manslaughter for her alleged role in the suicide of 18-year-old Conrad Roy three years earlier. She was 17 when texts on his phone, found after his death from carbon monoxide intoxication in his car, showed that Michelle had urged him on to take his life, including ordering him back in the car. Neither Michelle nor her family consented to interviews, making it a challenge for the filmmakers to discern whether Michelle, as prosecutors charged, was a narcissistic teen stage-managing the suicide to bolster her own popularity, or if this was “a perfect storm of a tragedy” (as a doctor and expert witness maintained) involving two mentally troubled youths on meds.
Reality Premieres: In the tradition of Last Comic Standing, NBC hopes to Bring the Funny (10/9c) in a competition series where comedy hopefuls in the arenas of stand-up, sketch and variety acts have just a few minutes to impress a judging panel including Saturday Night Live‘s Kenan Thompson, Jeff Foxworthy and Chrissy Tiegen. The eventual winner among 40 acts gets $250,000 and a slot at the 2020 Just for Laughs Festival. Comedian Amanda Seales hosts.
This sounds like guilty-pleasure overkill, but it’s a hit in the U.K. and other countries, so CBS is giving Love Island (8/7c) a massive launch, with episodes airing Mondays through Fridays up to the August 7 finale. The format is simple: Hot singles hook up at a villa on a Fiji island, and anyone who doesn’t find a mate is booted off the island. But new “islanders” will subsequently arrive and test the newly formed relationships, so it’s anyone’s game — if they have game.
Inside Tuesday TV: Batter up! The 90thMajor League Baseball All-Star Game (7:30/6:30c, Fox) takes place at Cleveland’s Progressive Field, with the AL hoping to make it seven in a row… New to WGN America: the 2017 psychological mystery drama The Disappearance (10/9c), about the fallout within a family after a boy (Michael Riendeau) goes missing on his 10th birthday during a treasure hunt organized by his grandfather (Peter Coyote). Rectify‘s Aden Young and Camille Sullivan play the distraught parents… The great British character Timothy Spall (Harry Potter) leads the cast of the Britbox import The Heist at Hatton Garden, a limited series about a group of senior-citizen career criminals who pull off a daring caper at a safe depository.