Worth Watching: 'One Day at a Time' Back on CBS, Acorn's 'Mystery Road,' 'Soulmates' on AMC
A selective critical checklist of notable Monday TV:
One Day at a Time (9/8c, CBS): The wonderful reimagining of Norman Lear's 1970s-80s family sitcom is taking TV one network at a time, coming full circle to CBS, where the original series originated 45 years ago this December. For three seasons, the new One Day streamed to great acclaim on Netflix, and after it was canceled amid much outcry, the show successfully moved to cable's Pop TV, which aired the fourth season this spring until the pandemic shut down production — followed by an inspired animated episode in June. Currently starved for new programming, CBS is broadcasting the fourth season with back-to-back episodes, allowing a wider audience a chance to embrace the dynamic Justina Machado (currently participating in Dancing with the Stars) as single-mom and military veteran Penelope Alvarez, who lives in a modest L.A. apartment with her two kids — outspoken queer activist Elena (Isabella Gomez) and restless adolescent Alex (Marcel Ruiz) — and their spitfire abuela, Lydia (the irrepressibly scene-stealing Rita Moreno). In the opener, Ray Romano guests as a census taker whose questions spark memories among the colorful household.
Mystery Road (streaming on Acorn TV): Australia's past and present collide in the moody second season of the evocative mystery drama. Bristling with impatient urgency, Aaron Pedersen returns to the role of Indigenous homicide detective Jay Swan, who's been dispatched to the seaside backwater of Gideon when a beheaded body is found in the mangroves. Jay believes the corpse is a message sent by drug traffickers, and teams with local constable Fran Davis (Jada Alberts) on an investigation that is complicated by discoveries made at a controversial archeological dig. Also muddying the emotional waters: Jay's ex-wife Mary (Tasma Walton), who has moved to the area for a fresh start and isn't thrilled when Jay shows up on her doorstep.
Also new to Acorn: the final episode of The Sounds, a veritable Peyton Place of New Zealand intrigue.
Soulmates (10/9c, AMC): Things take a darker turn in the second installment of the provocative near-future anthology, set in the aftermath of a scientific breakthrough that allows people to genetically discover their one-and-only. As Rod Serling might have said: Meet David (Billions' David Costabile), a smug art professor whose father-in-law is dangling the prospect of tenure, but risks losing perspective when approached by Alison (Lodge 49's Sonya Cassidy), an alluring woman who insists she's his soulmate — even though he kept his test results private. Is this a match made in heaven, or Twilight Zone hell?
Inside Monday TV: Dreamworks' animated fantasy Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts drops its third and final season on Netflix… Nostalgia reigns on ABC's Dancing with the Stars (8/7c) — not for ousted hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews (at least not on stage), but because it's '80s Night, with couples dancing to iconic hits from Madonna, New Kids on the Block, Bon Jovi and more… NBC's American Ninja Warrior (8/7c) moves into the semi-final rounds… The theme in HBO's art-house We Are Who We Are (10/9c) is letting your hair down — in one case, quite literally — as characters act on impulsive and sometimes dangerous desires.