Worth Watching: Acorn’s ‘Bloodlands,’ ‘America’s Most Wanted’ Revival, ‘Bachelor’ Finale, Cardi B Relaunches ‘True Hollywood Story’
A selective critical checklist of notable Monday TV:
Bloodlands (streaming on Acorn TV): Northern Ireland’s dark past haunts this first-rate crime drama, in which the kidnapping of a former IRA gangster triggers the search for a mysterious assassin from 22 years ago. The intense James Nesbitt (The Missing) stars as detective Tom Brannick, who defies his superiors to reopen a cold case that inflames local tensions. He has a tragic personal connection to the so-called “Goliath” phantom, whose targets may have included his wife, an intelligence agent who vanished in 1998 during negotiations for the “Good Friday” peace agreement that ended the Troubles. What Brannick digs up is beyond disturbing, leading to a killer twist at the four-part mystery’s midpoint that makes you question everything.
America’s Most Wanted (9/8c, Fox): Returning to the network where it aired for 25 seasons, the iconic true-crime series is back on Fox after a decade, still on the hunt for lawbreakers. Elizabeth Vargas, a veteran of 20/20 and Dateline NBC, is the new host, as the refurbished AMW employs cutting-edge tools including age-progression technology, 3D avatars and augmented reality to engage the alert audience.
The Bachelor (8/7c, ABC): Rocked by controversy in a year that was meant to move the franchise racially forward, the 25th season comes down to this: Will Matt hand his final rose, and his heart, to Michelle or Rachael? Or will there be yet another twist in his made-for-TV romantic journey? Following the climax: a very different version of the After the Final Rose recap (10/9c), with former linebacker and sports analyst Emmanuel Acho filling in as host for Chris Harrison, who has stepped back from the franchise for a soul-searching hiatus. (He’ll be replaced next season by former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe.)
True Hollywood Story (10/9c, E!): Another fabled franchise returns in a series of specials that goes behind the curtain of celebrity to reveal the highs and lows of fame. First up: Cardi B, whose meteoric rise in the music industry was not without its speed bumps. Future topics include fatal celebrity stalking, superstar sisters, Brad Pitt and, in May, the inevitable THS treatment of exiled royals Harry and Meghan.
Bulletproof (8/7c, The CW): The British buddy-cop drama returns for a three-week mini-season that sends detectives and best bros Pike and Bishop (Ashley Walters and Noel Clarke) to South Africa for a vacation that, in classic tradition, proves to be anything but relaxing. A young girl’s kidnapping plunges the partners into a case that escalates quickly into a massive shoot-out in picturesque Cape Town.
Debris (10/9c, NBC): The cosmic mystery continues with an interdimensional anomaly that presents itself as an opaque square in the middle of an Ohio field. As agents Bryan (Jonathan Tucker) and Finola (Riann Steele) try to make contact with whoever’s inside the square, Debris once again reminds me tonally of the haunting 2016 sci-fi film Arrival.
Inside Monday TV: Guilty pleasure alert: the beachfront lifeguard melodrama Baywatch begins a nightly run of back-to-back episodes (6/5c) on the retro Heroes & Icons channel… It’s the end of a quacked-up era when Disney XD’s Ducktales (7/6c) signs off after 75 episodes and more than 15 shorts. In the 90-minute “The Last Adventure!,” the Ducks face off in a final showdown with F.O.W.L. (the Fiendish Organization for World Larceny). Returning guest voices include Lin-Manuel Miranda, Giancarlo Esposito, Julie Bowen, Margo Martindale, Retta, Jaleel White, and Amy Sedaris… A pre-wedding ritual stokes family tensions in CBS’s Bob Hearts Abishola (8:30/7:30c) when Bob (Billy Gardell) hopes to impress his fiancée’s mother from Nigeria on their first meeting — but maybe he shouldn’t be getting advice from Uncle Tunde (Barry Shabaka Henley). Abishola (Folake Olowofoyeku) could also cause a stir if she decides to break her homeland tradition by planning a small wedding… A&E’s Intervention (9/8c) heads to Las Vegas, a glittery town known for excess, for a new seven-episode season. The two-hour premiere features Susan, a nursing assistant who got hooked on OxyContin after a work injury.