Worth Watching: ‘Succession’ Returns, ‘Loudest Voice’ Finale, Oprah and Toni Morrison, Teen Choice 2019
A selective critical checklist of notable weekend TV:
Succession (Sunday, 9/8c, HBO): The outrageously entertaining Emmy-nominated drama is back for a second round of vicious sibling rivalries and high-stakes power plays, leaving no pawn unscathed. Brian Cox is magnificent as media potentate Logan Roy, a manipulative tyrant who delights in turning his business associates and grown children into squabbling minions, literally groveling for favor. The spectacle can be devastating but also horribly amusing, with pungent writing and cunning performances — by Alan Ruck, Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin and Sarah Snook as the next Roy generation — elevating familial bloodsport to a profane art form.
The Loudest Voice (Sunday, 10/9c, Showtime): One last chance to savor the tremendous performance of Russell Crowe as Fox News founder Roger Ailes, who in the series finale sees his power and influence threatened with a public lawsuit by Gretchen Carlson (Naomi Watts). Which leaves him little time, or appetite, to savor his ultimate political victory in the rise to the presidency of Donald Trump.
The Oprah Winfrey Show: Toni Morrison (Saturday, 8/7c, OWN): When Nobel Prize and Pulitzer-winning novelist Toni Morrison passes away this week, Oprah Winfrey published a tribute: “In the beginning was the Word. Toni Morrison took the word and turned it into a song… of Solomon, of Sula, Beloved, Mercy, Paradise Love, and more. She was our conscience. Our seer. Our truth-teller.” In remembrance, OWN rebroadcasts Winfrey’s 2000 interview with the author, focusing on her breakthrough novel, The Bluest Eye. The conversation deals with colorism, the concept of beauty and self-worth, and the power of books to open readers’ minds.
48 Hours: Peter Chadwick: Caught (Saturday, 10/9c, CBS): In an unusually timely installment of CBS News’s true-crime series, correspondent Tracy Smith follows the U.S. Marshals’ hunt for and recent capture of millionaire real estate investor Peter Chadwick, who has been a fugitive in hiding in Mexico since 2015, when he was charged with killing his wife and disappeared after jumping bail. Authorities credit 48 Hours in part for Chadwick’s capture, revealing that an earlier report on the show about the hunt for Chadwick made him feel pressure to change his routine, ultimately tripping him up.
Teen Choice 2019 (Sunday, 8/7c, Fox): Taylor Swift takes home the first-ever Icon Award at the annual celebration of youth culture, hosted by Lucy Hale from Hermosa Beach, CA. Performers include OneRepublic, Bazzi, TrailerTrap’s Blanco Brown, Mabel, and Jordan McGraw, who debuts “Met at a Party” with Modern Family‘s Sarah Hyland.
Youngsters also have the last word in Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Sports 2019 (Saturday, 8/7c), hosted by Michael Strahan and filmed last month in Santa Monica, with slime the order of the evening as athletic superstars including this year’s Legend Award winner Dwyane Wade are honored. And sometimes doused in green goop.
Fear the Walking Dead (Sunday, 9/8c, AMC): After a brief hiatus, the better of the current Dead zombie thrillers resumes with an engrossing episode filmed in verité-documentary style, in which each of the characters open up to the camera in confessionals as the Caravan of Hope proceeds on its missions of mercy. Things get dicey when they run across an agoraphobic mother who has an explosively good reason for not leaving her home.
Inside Weekend TV: Marking the 50th anniversary of the so-called “Helter Skelter” killings, Oxygen’s Manson: The Women (Saturday, 7/6c) interviews Charles Manson acolytes Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, Sandra “Blue” Good, Catherine “Gypsy” Share and Dianne “Snake” Lake in an attempt to understand what led these women to go down such a murderous path… HBO showcases one of its Los Espookys stars in the idiosyncratic comedy special My Favorite Shapes by Julio Torres (Saturday, 10:30/9:30c), a multimedia odyssey in which Torres creates fanciful backstories for geometric shapes and other objects… Ovation leads up to a new season of Inside the Actors Studio with replays of classic episodes, Sundays at 12 pm/11c, starting with James Lipton‘s 1994 interview with Paul Newman. New episodes will begin airing Oct. 13.… In the third-season finale of TNT’s Claws (Sunday, 9/8c), Desna (Niecy Nash) faces yet another impossible choice to keep her Queendom intact… Indie filmmaker Christopher Garetano investigates eerie urban legends in Travel Channel’s Strange World (Sunday, 10/9c), opening with a look into the “Montauk Project,” a rumored mind-control experiment beneath a Long Island military base, where young men were allegedly subjected to torturous testing in an effort to create super soldiers.