Worth Watching: The World Series, Remembering Walter Winchell, ‘Dragula’ for Halloween

LA Dodgers World Series 2020
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
The World Series

A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:

The World Series (7:30/6:30c, 4:30/PT, Fox): Play ball! After a shortened Major League Baseball season, it’s time for the main event, and both teams — the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Ray — fought through a full seven-game championship series each to get here. The games will be played in the new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas in front of a limited number of fans. No such limits on how many will be watching safely from home.

Walter Winchell: The Power of Gossip (9/8c, PBS; check local listings at pbs.org): A one-man TMZ, Walter Winchell commanded a mighty microphone in the 1930s and ’40s, and with his nationally syndicated newspaper columns could make or break careers with a single burst of rat-a-tat-tat innuendo. A lively installment of American Masters uses his own words (real with gleeful staccato by Stanley Tucci) to illustrate Winchell’s punchy, punny tabloid style. The Power of Gossip reveals how he blurred the line between news and entertainment and serves as a cautionary tale of hubris, as Winchell indulges in petty feuds and amplifies McCarthyism, leading to a downfall.

The FBI Declassified (10/9c, CBS): The true-crime docuseries revisits an explosive case from the spring of 2018, when a serial bomber terrorized Austin, Texas with a series of explosive devices placed in packages outside suburban homes. Two victims were killed and four injured, prompting the FBI to send more than 600 agents and analysts to Austin, where they sifted through bomb fragments and followed leads in cooperation with Austin’s police department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula: Resurrection (streaming on Shudder): Like a very Goth version of RuPaul’s Drag Race, this creepy-campy competition is filmed like a horror movie as the wigged-out Boulet Brothers welcome back seven contestants from the first three Dragula seasons. “We’re looking for a monster with a fresh perspective,” they inform the ghoulish queens before introducing challenges with witch, ghost and vampire themes, testing their skills at drag, filth, horror and glamour. (Apparently not mutually exclusive terms.) The winner gets $20,000 and a chance to compete again on the fourth season of Dragula. The others face fates possibly worth than death: shame and shade.

Inside Tuesday TV: Fitting in at the hospital is tough enough for transplanted Syrian Dr. Bash (Hamza Haq) on NBC’s Transplant (10/9c), but financial pressures could leave the earnest medical resident and his young sister without a roof over their heads… HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (10/9c) sends correspondent Soledad O’Brien into the lucrative world of competitive video gaming, and Bryant Gumbel considers the 100-year history of baseball’s too-long-neglected Negro Leagues… The New Yorker‘s Jelani Cobb reports “Whose Vote Counts,” a timely edition of PBS’s Frontline (10:30/9:30c, check local listings at pbs.org) in conjunction with the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, investigating issues of voter registration laws, voter suppression and alleged fraud in advance of the ongoing election.