Worth Watching: ‘SEAL Team’ to Serbia, A ‘Family’ to Avoid, ‘Nature’ and the Octopus, iHeartRadio Music Festival
A selective critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:
SEAL Team (9/8c, CBS): Moving an hour earlier this fall to form a two-hour action block with S.W.A.T. (10/9c), which has migrated from Thursdays, the military drama shot scenes of its third-season opener in Serbia, where Jason (David Boreanaz) takes the team for the first of a two-part episode. The mission: find a group that is responsible for bombing U.S. military outposts. On S.W.A.T., the unit welcomes new cast member Amy Farrington as LAPD Lt. Piper Lynch, a senior officer from Hollywood Division, tasked to oversee forces looking for a serial bomber who’s using drones as detonators.
Almost Family (9/8c, Fox): Nearly every fall, there’s a show that makes you wonder what in the world they were thinking — and this fall, that show is this distasteful and tone-deaf dramedy about a fertility doctor (Timothy Hutton) whose humblebrag about getting hundreds of women pregnant turns out to be way too true — he used his own sperm on an unknown number of clients to create a whole bunch of babies. Which deeply unsettles daughter Julia (Brittany Snow), who as an only child worshiped her dad until now. Mostly ignoring the psychological damage of the deception, and the ickiness of this sort of “medical rape,” Almost Family instead queasily becomes a feel-sorta-good show about connecting with half-sisters you never knew you had. I kept asking myself “What IS this show?” until I realized I didn’t care enough to find out.
Nature (8/7c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): So apparently there was an Octopus-costumed singer recently unmasked on the Australian version of The Masked Singer. Don’t confuse that with Octopus: Making Contact, the 38th-season premiere of the venerable natural-history program. The episode follows new research into the realm of octopus intelligence, including a focus on the relationship of a pet octopus named Heidi with a marine biologist and his teenage daughter.
iHeartRadio Music Festival (8/7c, The CW): Filmed over a September weekend in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena, the annual concert has so many acts it can fill two nights of programming (concluding Thursday). Among the headliners, hosted by Ryan Seacrest: Green Day, Heart, Backstreet Boys, Hootie & the Blowfish, Zac Brown Band, Def Leppard, Halsey, Miley Cyrus, Mumford & Sons, Lil Nas X, Alicia Keys, T-Pain and Tim McGraw with a tribute to The Cars’ Ric Ocasek.
Inside Wednesday TV:Selena Gomez is an executive producer of the Netflix docu-series Living Undocumented, which goes inside the immigration debate as film crews follow the uncertain lives of eight undocumented families who face possible deportation… TV’s wrestling fixation grows with the launch of TNT’s All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite (8/7c), opening with a match from Washington, D.C.’s Capitol One Arena… Not to be outdone, E!’s Total Divas (10/9c) is back for a new season with Ronda Rousey joining the cast. The Bellas of Total Bellas will make guest appearances from time to time… ABC’s Stumptown (10/9c) digs into the history of Dex (the fabulous Cobie Smulders) and bar-owning buddy Grey (Jake Johnson), while her latest assignment is a case of cherchez la femme.