Worth Watching: What’s Next for ‘Next,’ RuPaul’s ‘Roots’ Are Showing, a New ‘Bachelorette,’ ‘Driving While Black’ on PBS
A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
Next (9/8c, Fox): What won’t the rogue A.I. called Next do next, now that it’s gained Internet access? That’s the question as the chilling near-future thriller gains momentum in the second episode. While troubled tech guru Paul (John Slattery) tries to warn his estranged daughter Abby (Elizabeth Cappuccino), only sounding paranoid in the process, the real danger is within the family of Special Agent Shea (Fernanda Andrade), where her 8-year-old son is getting marching orders from the Alexa-like personal assistant Iliza on how to handle the bullies at school.
Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (8/7c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): We can only imagine how fabulous their closets are, but even they may be surprised at the fascinating family skeletons that emerge when three fashionable celebrities open their family trees to Henry Louis Gates in a new episode of the absorbing genealogy series. In the “Fashion’s Roots” episode, RuPaul Charles is joined by Diane Von Furstenberg and Cuban-American designer Narciso Rodriguez in learning more about the familial connections that shaped their stylish personal history.
The Bachelorette (8/7c, ABC): Things didn’t work out so well for Clare Crawley with Juan Pablo in Season 18 of The Bachelor — unless you count getting your own season a consolation prize. Which is probably the real goal in this guilty-pleasure exercise in exhibitionistic romance-made-for-reality-TV. Reportedly filming the new season in a private-resort bubble, Clare and host Chris Harrison welcome 31 eligible and camera-ready bachelors to pitch woo. The candidates include a former pro-football player, an Army Ranger veteran, an aeronautical engineer and a male grooming specialist. Hey, if the latter bachelor doesn’t make the cut, he could stick around and still be useful.
Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America (9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): Green Book hinted at it, but this two-hour documentary from director Ric Burns and historian Dr. Gretchen Sorin takes a deep dive into the history of how Black Americans were impacted in the age of the automobile. Driving While Black depicts Blacks gaining greater mobility when cars freed them from segregated policies on public transportation including buses and trains, but automobile travel also exposed them to systemic racism across the country. Archival footage including road signs, ads and legal records, as well as oral histories, help illustrate how road trips were not equal for white and Black families.
Inside Tuesday TV: Amazon Prime Video’s Welcome to the Blumhouse anthology concludes with two new horror-suspense movies: Evil Eye, starring Sarita Choudhury as a mother concerned about her daughter’s new boyfriend; and Nocturne, a fable about a shy music student’s rivalry with her more outgoing twin sister… The second season of The CW’s Tell Me a Story (9/8c), originally shown on CBS All Access, gets underway with dark modern twists on the Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella legends, set in Nashville… The good doctor may need a doctor on NBC’s Canadian transplant Transplant (10/9c) when Bash (Hamza Haq) fears he’s showing more overt PTSD symptoms. His colleague Theo (Jim Watson) spends his birthday away from family, providing sensitive counsel to a teenage patient.