Worth Watching: Blind Auditions on 'The Voice,' 'Hero Dog Awards,' a 'Soulmates' Triangle, More 'Unsolved Mysteries'
A selective critical checklist of notable Monday TV:
The Voice (8/7c, NBC): After taking a season off, Gwen Stefani is back with Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and O.G. Voice stalwart Blake Shelton for the 19th round of the Emmy-winning singing competition. The coaches may come and go through the revolving door, but one thing never changes: The blind audition round, in which hopefuls sing to their potential mentors while their backs are turned, remains the most entertaining and suspenseful part of any season. Waiting to see whether anyone or how many will turn their chairs around remains one of reality TV's best gimmicks.
Hero Dog Awards (8/7c, Hallmark Channel): Each of these canines is a winner in one of the year's more inspiring specials. From a field of 408 nominees, seven top dogs vie for the top honor, and each of their stories barks to be heard. The finalists in their respective category are Olive (Therapy Dog of the Year), Dolly Pawton (Service Dog of the Year), Blue (Military Dog of the Year), Aura (Guide/Hearing Dog of the Year), K-9 Cody (Law Enforcement Dog of the Year), MacKenzie (Shelter Dog of the Year) and Remington (Search and Rescue Dog of the Year). This is obviously not your ordinary dog show.
Soulmates (10/9c, AMC): In the few weeks this dramatic anthology has been on the air, I've already learned one lesson of the near future: If you're happily married, or even think you are, and have the chance to take a test to determine your soulmate, DON'T DO IT. Hot and playful couple Adam (Shamier Anderson) and Libby (Laia Costa) add spice to their sexy union by occasionally straying with separate "happy adventures," strictly one-night-onlys. But when Libby gets the result of a soulmate test she took while they were on a break, and meets Miranda (Georgina Campbell), the woman of the dreams she never dreamed she had, things get complicated. This unpredictable episode has more of a rom-com feel, though with higher emotional stakes.
Unsolved Mysteries (streaming on Netflix): The streamer's hit revival of the enduring docuseries returns with six new head-scratching and occasionally eerie tales with no resolution. Among the puzzles: the murder of a White House aide, the disappearance of two toddlers in 1989, an escaped death-row fugitive, a Jane Doe found shot in a luxury hotel, and for more paranormal fans, accounts of Japanese spirits encountered in the wake of a devastating tsunami.
Inside Monday TV: Derek Hough moves from the judges' bench to the dance floor for a special performance on ABC's Dancing with the Stars (8/7c)… Female solidarity drives Fox's Filthy Rich (9/8c) when Margaret (Kim Cattrall) bristles over being kept out of the powerful Sunshine Network investors' boys club. When all parties gather at the Monreaux family camp for a weekend of revelry, the fur literally flies… In an instant classic episode of CBS's reimagined One Day at a Time (9/8c), teenage Alex (Marcel Ruiz) walks in on his mom Penelope (Justina Machado) during an embarrassingly intimate moment, leading to frank talk about adult sexuality, with grandma Lydia (Rita Moreno) weighing in as usual… After last week's hair incident on HBO's We Are Who We Are (10/9c), Caitlin (Jordan Kristine Seamón) goes on a hunting trip with her dad Richard (Scott Mescudi), who uses the getaway to try to figure out what's up with his mysteriously rebellious daughter.