Worth Watching: ‘Coroner,’ ‘Big Brother’ Moves In, MTV’s ‘True Life’ Quarantine Stories
A selective critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:
Coroner (9/8c, The CW): As U.S. networks continue to raid the coffers of Canadian and overseas networks in search of fresh content, this CBC procedural stars Serinda Swan (Ballers) as Dr. Jenny Cooper, who changes careers from ER physician to Toronto coroner after the sudden death of her husband. (He didn’t just leave her a single mom to a broken teen, he left her broke.) Facing condescension from a veteran pathologist — “How can you have instincts when you don’t know anything? They’re called guesses.” — Dr. Cooper follows her gut in the premiere to prove that the Romeo and Juliet-like deaths of two inmates of a teen detention center weren’t suicides. All while battling grief, anxiety and troubling visions of a mysterious black dog.
Big Brother (9/8c, CBS): Quarantine will never be the same. Marking the reality show’s 20th anniversary and 22nd season, Big Brother gathers its second all-star (loosely speaking) cast of veterans for a two-hour live move-in premiere. (Episodes will also air Thursdays and Sundays.) Julie Chen Moonves hosts as the show adapts to rigorous health and safety protocols, including weekly testing. (Did they consider personality tests as well?)
True Life Presents: Quarantine Stories (9/8c, MTV): The verité docuseries returns with a four-part look at how young people’s relationships and lives have been disrupted and upended by the lockdown during the pandemic. The premiere, “Stuck in a Crowded House,” follows a senior NCAA basketball player nearing graduation and a couple expecting a child who are forced by circumstance to move in with their families. (Preceded by a new season of MTV’s Catfish at 8/7c, the first produced virtually, reflecting how people are going online even more to find connection during a time of social distancing.)
Inside Wednesday TV: Comedy veteran Sam McMurray (The King of Queens) guests on ABC’s United We Fall (8/7c) as the first husband of grandma Sandy (Jane Curtin), and he’s apparently still dear to her heart as she confesses while under the influence of post-colonoscopy drugs… CBS’s Tough as Nails (8/7c) sends its hard-working contestants to a lineman-training academy, where one of the crew faces a fear of heights while rescuing someone stranded atop a pole… Lifetime’s Marrying Millions (10/9c) is back for a second season, with financially imbalanced couples hoping to learn if love really is their bottom line.