Worth Watching: ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Returns, a ‘Terror’ Revealed, Lilly Singh in Late Night
A selective critical checklist of notable Monday TV:
Dancing with the Stars (8/7c, ABC): Learn which celebrities will be dancing with which pros when the 28th season kicks off with teams performing the cha cha, foxtrot, salsa and tango. The diverse cast includes a supermodel (Christie Brinkley), athletes (Super Bowl MVP Ray Lewis, NBA champ Lamar Odom), a Supreme (Mary Wilson), a country crooner (Lauren Alaina) and a pop star (Fifth Harmony’s Ally Brooke), a Dawson (James Van Der Beek), a Queer Eye favorite (Karamo Brown), two comic actors (The Office lush Kate Flannery and All That alum Kel Mithchell), a polarizing figure from the world of politics (former White House press secretary Sean Spicer) and, inevitably, a Bachelorette (Hannah Brown). Viewers won’t be able to cast votes until next Monday, so sit back to see who falls flat on the dance floor and who shows promise.
Dance fans can also check out which of the final four will be named America’s Favorite Dancers, as Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance (8/7c) wraps its season with a two-hour live finale.
The Terror: Infamy (9/8c, AMC): Any self-respecting ghost has a reason for their haunting, so what’s the story with the yurei, or restless spirit, known as Yuko (Kiki Sukezane)? She’s so hauntingly beautiful except when she’s wreaking unholy havoc, revealing the ghoul beneath the geisha. Now that we’re halfway through the season of this period chiller about Japanese-Americans interned in camps during WWII and terrorized by supernatural forces from the old country, we finally learn why Yuko is so obsessed with possessing her victims, and what it has to do with Chester (Derek Mio). The young hero has has just returned from the Pacific war with a medical discharge, only to be greeted by sorrow and mystery. Yuko’s surreal history is one of abandonment and trauma, and the question remains whether she can be set free and truly exorcised.
A Little Late with Lilly Singh (1:35 am/12:35c, NBC): Even if you can’t stay up super late to catch the premiere of NBC’s latest late-night personality (taking over the late-late slot from Carson Daly), you can see the YouTube star on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers as the established hosts welcome their new neighbor, who’s bringing diversity to the format as a South Asian woman. Otherwise, A Little Late appears to be hitting the late-night sweet spot as a half-hour showcase for celebrity interviews and comedy sketches.
Inside Monday TV: Joining the crowded daytime talk arena, The Mel Robbins Show (check local listings) brings the motivational speaker’s brand of self-improvement uplift into viewers’ homes, starting with a demonstration of her signature mantra “The 5 Second Rule.” … Streaming on Acorn TV: the topical six-part Irish crime drama Taken Down, starring Lynn Rafferty as a Dublin detective who, while investigating the murder of a Nigerian refugee, uncovers a sex-trafficking plot involving a center for asylum seekers. Finalists attempt to climb Mt. Midoriyama in 30 seconds or less to win a $1 million prize in the season finale of NBC’s American Ninja Warrior (8/7c)… As HBO’s The Deuce continues its final season, now set in the mid-1980s, Frankie (James Franco) clashes with gangster Rudy (Michael Rispoli) while trying to take his amateur porn business to the next level… For something more wholesome, HGTV’s A Very Brady Renovation (9/8c) moves on with its real-to-fake-home makeover by recreating Mike Brady’s den, as Barry Williams (Greg) relives old times when he teams with Jasmine Roth to fashion the room out of three spaces on the ground floor. Upstairs in the new addition, Susan Olsen (Cindy) and Mike Lookinland (Bobby) help Good Bones’ Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen E. Laine with the kids’ bedrooms and the shared bathroom (which never had a toilet on the soundstage). The crowdsourcing search is on for Cindy’s Kitty Karry-All doll and the stuffed giraffe from the girls’ room.