Worth Watching: Oprah and the Ex-Royals, Daryl’s ‘Walking Dead’ Backstory, ‘Good Girls’ Are Back, ‘Pennyworth’ Returns
A selective critical checklist of notable weekend TV:
Oprah with Meghan and Harry (Sunday, 8/7c, CBS): No last names required, obviously. The Queen of Talk sits with the most celebrated royal outcasts since the former Duke and Duchess of Windsor in an epic two-hour interview that’s already making global headlines. In the role of who’s-more-famous interrogator that Barbara Walters played so well for decades, Oprah Winfrey chats with Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, about her experiences with royal life, motherhood and the pressures of public scrutiny. Prince Harry joins them to discuss the couple’s move to the U.S. and what’s next for their growing family.
Super Soul (Saturday, 10/9c, OWN; also streaming on Discovery+): Surely it’s no coincidence that OWN and its new streaming partner have chosen this weekend to bring back Oprah Winfrey’s long-running interview series. A new season kicks off with Golden Globe winner Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday) discussing her transformation into the legendary and tragic singer. Guests in future weeks include HGTV icons Chip and Joanna Gaines, Sharon Stone, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist/author Jon Meacham, and Julianna Margulies.
A Discovery of Witches (Saturday, streaming on Sundance Now an Shudder): The second season of the seductive supernatural drama — part True Blood, part Outlander — reaches its penultimate episode and a new height of sensuality when gifted time-traveling witch Diana (Teresa Palmer) and her immortal vampire spouse Matthew (a riveting Matthew Goode) return from Bohemia to face the wrath of Queen Elizabeth I (Barbara Marten). There’s a new urgency for them to return to the 2000s from 16th-century Europe, but first Diana must complete her training and study from the Book of Life. (Much like WandaVision going flat whenever it went outside the Westview bubble, Witches is so much more fascinating in the past than the present.)
The Walking Dead (Sunday, 9/8c, AMC): The focus is on fan favorite Daryl (Norman Reedus) in a flashback-heavy episode that sheds light on his whereabouts some five years earlier during that nebulous period when he split from the group after Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) disappearance. What transpired between him and a wary survivor named Leah (True Blood‘s Lynn Collins) echoes in his fraught relationship with Carol (Melissa McBride), who gets the best line of the week as she observes: “We’ve had a good long run, longer than most.” Tell that to almost everyone else from the original cast.
This episode is a well-timed springboard to a fifth season of AMC’s travelogue Ride with Norman Reedus (midnight/11c), which opens with motorcycle enthusiast Reedus joined by actor Josh Brolin for a jaunt through the North Island of New Zealand.
Good Girls (Sunday, 10/9c, NBC): The darkly humorous melodrama of suburban moms gone wrong rejoins the story of Beth (Christina Hendricks), Annie (Mae Whitman) and Ruby (Retta) in the fourth season as Beth finds a new money-laundering front in Dean’s (Matthew Lillard) hot-tub business, Boland’s Bubbles. Unfortunately, it’s peril that rises to the surface when the body of her ex-coworker Lucy is found.
Pennyworth (Sunday, 9/8c, Epix): The Batman prequel illuminating the history of Bruce Wayne’s future valet, Alfred Pennyworth (Jack Bannon), resumes its second season with the former SAS soldier and his mate Daveboy (Ryan Fletcher) running one last job — or so they hope — for his ex-Captain Gully (James Purefoy). Alfred’s goal: to buy tickets for America. Epix is pairing this adventure with the spy thriller Condor (Sunday, 10/8c), based on the classic Three Days of the Condor. The first season, originally shown on DirecTV’s Audience network, will be followed later this year by a second. Max Irons stars as Joe Turner, a CIA analyst on the run after stumbling onto a sinister conspiracy that wipes out the rest of his office.
Inside Weekend TV: Plan your own Rocky marathon when HBO Max begins streaming all five of the Sylvester Stallone Rocky boxing movies, plus 2006’s Rocky Balboa. HBO airs them all, starting at 8/7c… BBC America’s Snow Animals (Saturday, 8/7c) reveals the survival tactics of wildlife, from Siberian chipmunks and American bobcats to an Arctic ground squirrel, through the frigid winter… CNN presents the documentary short Apollo 11: Quarantine (Saturday, 9/8c) from Apollo 11 director Todd Douglas Miller, using archival material to show how the legendary astronauts from the first manned moon mission were confined for three weeks after returning to Earth out of an abundance of caution over fear of contamination… Let’s hope The CW’s broadcast of The 26th Annual Critics Choice Awards (Sunday, 7/6c), once again hosted by Taye Diggs, goes more smoothly than the debacle of the Golden Globe Awards. Movies and TV shows are honored, and Euphoria Emmy winner Zendaya receives the fifth annual SeeHer Award. (Full disclosure: I participate in several nominating committees for this group.)… ESPN’s three-part documentary GOATS: The Greatest of All Time (Sunday, 8/7c) tells the stories of athletic superstars through the voluminous work of sports photographer Walter Iooss… You think curling is a gentle Zen sort of sport? Wait until you see Judy (voiced by Jenny Slate) go berserk coaching father Beef’s (Nick Offerman) adult team on Fox’s hilarious new animated comedy The Great North (Sunday, 8:30/7:30c)… Weather Channel’s docuseries Mud Mountain Haulers (Sunday, 10/9c) gets down and dirty with loggers Craig and Brent Lebeau from the mountains of British Columbia.