Worth Watching: 'Westworld' Invades Our World, 'Zoey' Crashes a Party, 'Black Monday' Returns
A selective critical checklist of notable weekend TV:
Westworld (Sunday, 9/8c, HBO): "The real Gods are coming, and they're very angry." We've been warned. Returning after a nearly two-year absence, the third season of the dazzlingly dense sci-fi thriller unleashes the robotic "hosts" — most particularly femme fatale Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) — on the futuristic world at large. Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) joins the cast as a working-class petty criminal who gets caught up in the fascinating, if sometimes inexplicable, and usually violent intrigue.
Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist (Sunday, 9/8c, NBC): The musical dramedy hits a rom-com high as Zoey (Jane Levy) answers co-worker Simon's (John Clarence Stewart) cliffhanging "Should I stay or should I go?" query, then tries to duck his engagement party with Jessica (India de Beaufort). Unfortunately, a night out with boss Joan (Lauren Graham) still leads to the big event, and even the wall of roses designed by Zoey's mother Maggie (Mary Steenburgen) can't make things smell sweeter. Also in a state: Zoey's loyal co-worker Max (Skylar Astin), in need of an attitude adjustment and style makeover — courtesy of Mo (Alex Newell) — when he realizes his break-up with barista Autumn (Stephanie Styles) didn't go as smoothly as he thought. In what has become a trademark of this unique series, the episode hits beats of high romance, comedy and poignancy with tuneful pizazz.
Black Monday (Sunday, 10/9c, Showtime): In what is either awful or great timing, depending on your mood after a turbulent week, a second season of the flashy, fast-talking Wall Street comedy takes us back to the aftermath of the historic 1987 stock-market crash. Picking up six months later, Dawn (Regina Hall) and a newly ruthless Blair (Andrew Rannells) are now running their brokerage shop. And Mo Monroe (Don Cheadle), who in this satirical account engineered the crash, is on the run in Florida.
Cliffhangers: Lives are in the balance, as usual, on AMC's The Walking Dead (Sunday, 9/8c) as the Whisperers continue their assault on Hilltop, having unleashed a horde of zombies as well as fire upon the heroes. Who will emerge unscathed?… But I'm even more preoccupied by worrying about the fate of Max (Maury Sterling), the socially awkward techie of Showtime's Homeland (Sunday, 9/8c), last seen being captured by an enemy combatant as he harbors the flight recorder from the late president’s downed copter. Be safe, Max, you're my favorite character on this show now!
Inside Weekend TV: A treat for families stuck inside during this virus scare: Disney+ is making its animated hit Frozen 2 available for streaming starting Sunday, three months ahead of schedule. ... CBS's 48 Hours (Saturday, 10/9c) takes a different angle in its true-crime reporting with "Broken Hearts," a segment that revisits a human-interest story from 1986, in which the heart of a killer in a senseless murder-suicide attempt is transplanted into a dying woman, forging something positive out of tragedy… Showtime reprises its highest-rated stand-up special of 2019 with a sequel, More Funny Women of a Certain Age (Saturday, 10/9c), with headliners including Caroline Rhea, Carol Leifer, Julia Scotti, Tammy Pescatelli, Thea Vidale and host Carole Montgomery… Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders face off in the latest, and smallest, and potentially quietest, Democratic Debate (Sunday, 8/7c, CNN, CNN en Español, CNN International, Univision), moved to CNN's Washington, D.C, with no live audience out of coronavirus concerns. CNN's Dana Bash and Jake Tapper moderate, joined by Univision's Ilia Calderon… Stewie (voice of Seth MacFarlane) builds a DNA-altering machine on Fox's Family Guy (Sunday, 9:30/8:30c) which backfires and transforms the precocious infant into an actual baby… HBO's sci-fi comedy Avenue 5 (Sunday, 10/9c) wraps its first season (already renewed for a second) with chaos ensuing on the stranded-in-space cruise vessel when a rescue shuttle suddenly becomes available.