Worth Watching: A Harrowing Episode of 'Years and Years,' Norah O'Donnell Takes 'CBS Evening News' Anchor Seat, 'London Kills' on Acorn
A selective critical checklist of notable Monday TV:
Years and Years (9/8c, HBO): Jumping ahead to 2027, the cautionary near-future drama reaches a harrowing apex in a world where democracy is in near-total disarray all over Europe and abroad, making life ever more challenging for the Lyons family. This is especially so for Daniel (the terrific Russell Tovey), who goes to increasingly desperate measures to bring home Viktor (Maxim Baldry), currently in exile in a revolution-torn Spain. This is not a good time to be a man, gay or otherwise, without a country. Their treacherous odyssey plays out against the more pathetic dilemma of Daniel's brother Stephen (Rory Kinnear), whose misadventures in a gig economy include becoming a guinea pig for money in drug tests. Among the side effects: being unable to cope when a domestic scandal blows up.
You won't always know whether to laugh or cry at HBO's tragicomic blend of sci-fi and speculative social commentary.
The CBS Evening News with Norah O'Donnell (6:30/5:30c, CBS): Following a successful run on CBS This Morning, the veteran reporter, anchor and contributing correspondent for 60 Minutes inherits the Evening News hot seat. In the fall, O'Donnell will move with the show to a new permanent location in Washington, D.C. — just in time for the next presidential race to heat up.
Norah O'Donnell and John Dickerson are leaving 'CBS This Morning.'
London Kills (streaming on Acorn TV): Fans of police procedurals will want to check out the second season of Acorn's first straight-to-series commission, a gritty and no-nonsense crime drama following the cases of an elite murder squad. While the team goes about its job over five new episodes, Detective Inspector David Bradford (Hugo Speer) obsesses on a larger mystery: the unsolved disappearance of his wife. Suspicious by nature, his colleagues — Detective Sergeant Vivienne Cole (Sharon Small) and Detective Constable Rob Brady (Bailey Patrick) — discover enough discrepancies in the boss's story to begin to wonder if he might be a murderer himself.
The series also features the first Native Alaskan lead character in a national kids program.
Inside Monday TV: Once again breaking new ground for children's TV, PBS presents the first nationally distributed animated show for children to feature a Native American lead character. Molly of Denali (check local listings at pbs.org) is all about 10-year-old Molly Mabray, an Alaska Native who opens a window on her culture and family values while emphasizing literacy skills… Streaming on BroadwayHD: the Tony-winning Kinky Boots, filmed during its run on London's West End, starring Olivier Award-winning Killian Donnelly as the flamboyant Lola (a role that won Pose's Billy Porter a Tony)… CNBC examines the controversial phenomenon of vaping in Vaporized: America's E-Cigarette Addiction (10/9c), reported by Carl Quintanilla.