Worth Watching: Holiday fun in ‘Dash & Lily,’ Bad ‘Teacher,’ ‘Oak Island’ Returns, ‘Rise of Nazis’
A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
Dash & Lily (streaming on Netflix): Credit goes to our Cheers & Jeers columnist Damian Holbrook for steering me toward this delightfully unconventional rom-com series with vibes from the good old Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks days and intense nostalgia for a pre-COVID New York City. The meet-cute is a slow burn over eight episodes as mismatched strangers Dash (Austin Abrams), a Christmas-scorning cynic, and upbeat Lily (Midori Francis) trade dares in a notebook they place in the iconic Strand bookstore (recently featured on CBS Sunday Morning). As they get to know each other remotely before that was a thing, each is forced out of their urban bubble and forced to look at life from someone else’s perspective. Someone they might actually be falling in love with.
A Teacher (streaming on FX on Hulu): It’s the stuff of tabloid TV movies — the teacher who sleeps with her student — but this 10-episode expansion of Hannah Fidell’s 2013 indie film aims for more depth, and largely succeeds. Kate Mara (House of Cards) stars as Claire, whose arrival at a Texas high school brings her in contact with Eric (Love, Simon‘s sensitive Nick Robinson), a popular but financially strapped senior who needs help prepping for the SATs. Over the first three episodes premiering this week (the remainder drop on Tuesdays through December), their relationship gets uncomfortably closer. To its credit, A Teacher is much more about consequences than it is about titillation.
The Curse of Oak Island (9/8c, History): What seems a never-ending treasure hunt resumes for an eight season, with brothers Rick and Marty Lagina back in Nova Scotia to seek more answers to the centuries-old mysteries surrounding Oak Island. New discoveries in the swamp lead to a major excavation, as the team continues to work toward a “Big Dig” in the Money Pit.
Rise of the Nazis (9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): Some authentic history can be found in a vivid three-part chronicle (continuing the next two Tuesdays) that charts the path to power of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in 1930s Germany. With archival footage, dramatic reconstructions and analysis from historians, the series opens with Hitler working within a fractured political system to seize power for the Nazis, with an ultimate goal of absolute rule.
Inside Tuesday TV: It’s official. Tayshia Adams, a veteran of The Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise, is ABC’s new The Bachelorette (8/7c). Will third time be her charm?… Another household could get more crowded soon on NBC’s This Is Us (9/8c) as Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) take another leap toward adoption… HBO’s two-night sports documentary, The Cost of Winning (9/8c, concludes Wednesday), goes inside the football program of Baltimore’s St. Frances Academy Panthers, located in one of the city’s roughest neighborhoods. The series follows the team as it embarks on a nationwide barnstorming tour against top-ranked challengers after being expelled from their private-school league for being “too good.”… In advance of Wednesday’s celebration, ABC presents Country Strong 2020: Countdown to the CMA Awards (10/9c), with Robin Roberts joining the cream of the Nashville crop, including hosts Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker, to look at how the country-music industry was affected by this year’s tumultuous events and preview what to expect during this year’s awards.