Worth Watching: ‘Allen v. Farrow,’ ‘Creatures’ Christmas Comfort, ‘Bridgerton’ on ‘SNL,’ Beware the Murder Hornets
A selective critical checklist of notable weekend TV:
Allen v. Farrow (Sunday, 9/8, HBO): A riveting four-part docuseries revisits the celebrity scandal that tore apart a family and exposed sociological fault lines regarding fame and alleged sexual misconduct. Tabloids gorged on the fallout in 1992 when Mia Farrow accused her longtime partner Woody Allen — who had begun an affair with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi — of sexually abusing their adopted 7-year-old daughter, Dylan. Now an adult, Dylan breaks her silence about the pain and depression that followed her into adolescence after the high-profile legal and custody battle that ensued. (See the full review.)
All Creatures Great and Small (Sunday, 9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): The first season of the charming adaptation of James Herriot’s classic stories closes on an eventful Christmas Eve in 1937. Siegfried (Samuel West) is hosting his annual holiday party, decked out in a traditional green St. Nick outfit (before a certain soft-drink company popularized the red costume), while brother Tristan (Callum Woodhouse) hangs mistletoe everywhere, signifying romance is in the air. Not feeling the vibe: James (Nicholas Ralph), who’d rather tend to an interracial farm couple’s dog than dwell on the fact that Helen (Rachel Shelton) is getting married the next morning.
Also concluding on Masterpiece: the first season of the Victorian mystery Miss Scarlet & The Duke (Sunday, 8/7c, check local listings at pbs.org), in which Detective Inspector “Duke” Wellington (Stuart Martin) tries to keep fledgling private eye Eliza Scarlet (Kate Phillips) out of danger as they resolve her father’s murder.
Murdoch Mysteries (Saturday, 7/6c, Ovation): Fans of period mysteries can also dig into a 14th season of the Canadian drama, which opens with a taste of silent-film comedy when Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) crosses paths with Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel and Buster Keaton as he looks into the murder of a vaudeville comic. If pies are involved, Murdoch had better duck.
Saturday Night Live (Saturday, 11:30/10:30c, NBC): You know you’ve hit the pop-culture jackpot when, less than two months since your show started streaming, you’re tapped to host the late-night sketch comedy. Such is the fate of Bridgerton hunk Regé-Jean Page, making his guest-host debut alongside first-time musical guest Bad Bunny. Expect some period costumes, although if Bridgerton is the inspiration, they might not stay on long.
Attack of the Murder Hornets (Saturday, streaming on Discovery+): Sounds more like a cheesy Syfy movie, but this feature documentary is serious business. Attack follows the efforts of beekeepers and scientists in the Pacific Northwest, where the destructive Asian Giant Hornet was first discovered in the U.S., to stop the spread of the swarm and protect honeybees who are so crucial to the world’s food supply.
Also new to Discovery+: 90 Day: The Single Life (Sunday), which catches up with those whose 90 Day relationships didn’t work out as they continue looking for love. Joined by the companion series Pillow Talk, in which fan favorites watch and comment on the episodes — you know, the way viewers do.
CBS Sunday Crimewatch: The new hit The Equalizer (Sunday, 8/7c) comes up against a client who doesn’t want Robyn’s (Queen Latifah) help. Why not? He’s an escaped and wrongly accused prisoner who’s so dismissive of the justice system he can’t even trust someone who works outside it… Daniela Ruah (Kensi) takes on directing duties for the first time on NCIS: Los Angeles (9/8c), when Callen (Chris O’Donnell) is detained and accused of being a Russian spy. Gerald McRaney returns as Admiral Kilbride… Now confirmed to be in its final season, NCIS: New Orleans (10/9c) searched for a kidnapped teenager whose dad is a radical survivalist living off the grid.
Inside Weekend TV: Lifetime presents its 400th original movie with The Long Island Serial Killer: A Mother’s Hunt for Justice (Saturday, 8/7c), starring former NYPD Blue star Kim Delaney as a mother whose search for her missing daughter led to the horrifying discovery of 19 murdered women, still unsolved. Followed by a replay of A&E’s documentary The Long Island Serial Killer: Special Report (10/9c)… On a lighter note, Broadway and Supergirl star Jeremy Jordan plays twins in Hallmark Channel’s rom-com farce Mix Up in the Mediterranean (Saturday, 8/7c), filmed in scenic Malta. When one brother subs for his married celebrity chef twin in a cooking contest, he ends up falling for the event’s organizer (Jessica Lowndes), who worries about being the “other woman”… BET’s Boiling Point docuseries (Sunday, 8/7c) uses archives from CBS News to illuminate turning points in Black civil-rights history that echo in today’s social-justice movements. Followed by Disrupt & Dismantle (9/8c), where journalist Soledad O’Brien investigates injustices against the Black community that expose the roots of systemic racism… Hallmark Channel’s When Calls the Heart (Sunday, 9/8c) is back for an eighth season, with Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) finishing the manuscript of her first novel, but uncertain about the next chapter in her love triangle between Mountie Nathan (Kevin McGarry) and local business owner Lucas (Chris McNally).