Worth Watching: ‘Big Little Lies’ Finale, ‘Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted,’ Space Specials Are Over the Moon
A selective critical checklist of notable weekend TV:
Big Little Lies (Sunday, 9/8c, HBO): Here’s the clash of the acting titans we’ve been waiting for. In the second-season finale of the addictive domestic drama, it’s Kidman vs. Streep as Celeste (Nicole Kidman) puts her lawyer’s cap back on during her custody hearing, interrogating her calculating mother-in-law Mary Louise (Meryl Streep) about Perry’s childhood. What sort of secrets could this tactic expose? And will the Monterey Five be able to keep a lid on the lie they’ve been sharing about Perry’s death?
Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted (Sunday, 10/9c, National Geographic Channel): TV’s most ubiquitous, and often combative, chef steps out of the kitchen to embark on a global culinary travelogue, meeting with indigenous people to discover exotic ingredients that inspire new recipes from scratch alongside local food legends. First stop: Peru, where Ramsay travels through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, scaling cliffs and sampling delicacies like (gulp) fried worms.
Apollo: The Forgotten Films (Saturday, 8/7c, Discovery): As the world continues to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing, this special culls from thousands of reels of film from NASA Research Centers, the National Archives and news reports to present a behind-the-scenes look at the preparations by scientists, engineers and astronauts to make it to the moon. Followed by Confessions From Space: Apollo (10/9c), which covers an event hosted by The Explorers Club in which Apollo heroes Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, Charlie Duke and others share memories of their adventures in space.
Other space-related specials include BBC America’s Moon Landing Live (Saturday, 8/7c), which features live news footage from around the globe to remind us what a global event the Apollo 11 mission was; Smithsonian Channel’s The Day We Walked on the Moon (Saturday, 9/8c), in which American reminisce about how they felt in the first 24 hours following the moon landing; and a daylong replay of the Emmy-winning 1998 miniseries From the Earth to the Moon on HBO2 (Saturday, starts at 8:45 am/7:45c). Starring the likes of Mark Harmon, Bryan Cranston, Ted Levine, Gary Cole, Tim Daly and more as the astronauts, with Tom Hanks as host, the series is also currently available on HBO GO, HBO NOW and HBO On Demand. In prime time, HBO premieres 2018’s emotionally charged First Man, starring Ryan Gosling as pioneering moonwalker Neil Armstrong.
World’s Biggest Great White? (Sunday, 8/7c, National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD): SharkFest tosses the chum baton to Nat Geo WILD for a second week of shark-related programming. The channels overlap with a simulcast special in which three experienced diver/photographers set off in Hawaii to capture on camera the largest great whites anywhere, including the giant shark known worldwide as Deep Blue.
Grantchester (Sunday, 9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): With Sidney gone and Will Davenport (Tom Brittney) not yet ensconced as the town’s new vicar, it’s up to closeted curate Leonard (Al Weaver) to nervously take the pulpit — and help Geordie (Robson Green) look into the murder of a scientist who may also have been keeping his sexual orientation a deeply held secret. (It’s the mid-1950s, after all.) Before the episode is over, Leonard will have some explaining to do to Mrs. C (Tessa Peake-Jones), and Geordie’s wife Cathy (Kacey Ainsworth) experiences a troubling #MeToo moment at her department store workplace.
Inside Weekend TV: Olivia d’Abo is Lifetime’s The Madam of Purity Falls (Saturday, 8/7c) in a movie about a teenager (Riverdale‘s Trevor Stines) who moves with his widowed mom to an idyllic burg where he inadvertently becomes caught up in his neighbor’s escort service. He thought he’d be doing landscaping… Dancing with the Stars pros Jenna Johnson and Val Chmerkovskiy appear in the season opener of TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress (Saturday, 9/8c), when Jenna is desperate to find the perferct reception dress, two months before the big day… In the season finale of The CW’s Burden of Truth (Sunday, 8/7c), Joanna (Kristin Kreuk) and Billy (Peter Mooney) take a big risk in their murder trial when Joanna decides to put an unexpected witness on the stand… First-time This Is Us Emmy nominee Chris Sullivan faces off against co-star Susan Kelechi Watson on ABC’s The $100,000 Pyramid (Sunday, 9/8c), with Sopranos co-stars Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Steve Schirripa (Blue Bloods) appearing in the second round.