‘Mare of Easttown’ Premieres, Country Music’s Big Night, ‘Zoey’ Guest Star Returns, ‘Atlantic Crossing’ Lives Up to Its Name
Hi, TV Insider’s other critic Linda Maleh here! While Matt Roush is on a much deserved vacation, I’ll be bringing you our daily picks for what’s Worth Watching so that you never miss a moment of great television:
Mare of Easttown sets the stage with a dark mystery in its series premiere. The ACM Awards are coming to you live from the home of country music, Nashville. Bernadette Peters revisits Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (insert humble request that she become a more regular character). Crown Princess Märtha (Sofia Helin) finally arrives in the United States on Atlantic Crossing.
Mare of Easttown
Kate Winslet plays small-town detective sergeant Mare Sheehan in this gritty new HBO drama. Set in the backwoods of Pennsylvania, Easttown is the kind of place where everyone knows everyone, especially Mare. As she settles disputes among neighbors and families, she mostly deals with low stakes crimes…except for a year-old unsolved missing persons case that haunts her. Having zero leads is clearly a weight, but Mare seems to have been jaded since long before that – even her family (which includes the wonderful Jean Smart playing Mare’s hypercritical mother) prefers to hang out with her ex-husband (David Denman) than with her. But as exhausted as Mare is, she’s also smart and determined with a no-nonsense attitude, and attempts to take care of everyone else, making us root for her every step of the way. And if you’re still not convinced, then the cliffhanger at the end of this series premiere, a new murder which kicks off the season’s main mystery, should do the trick.
Academy of Country Music Awards
It’s one of country music’s biggest nights and, after last year’s event was postponed due to the pandemic, the awards are now back on their usual schedule and broadcasting from three iconic locations in Nashville: the Grand Ole Opry House, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Bluebird Cafe. Chris Stapleton and Maren Morris lead the pack with six nods each, and Miranda Lambert, who is the most nominated female artist in Academy history with 68, follows closely behind with five. Carrie Underwood is among the performers. In a win for diversity, four black artists are up for awards this year, which is unprecedented, plus Mickey Guyton hosts alongside Keith Urban.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
Broadway legend Bernadette Peters returns as hot widow Deb from season 1. Having already been through the whole grieving process, she’s the perfect person for Maggie (Mary Steenburgen) to call after last episode when she was feeling like her married friends don’t get her anymore. As the two hit the casinos for some fun, Zoey (Jane Levy) and Emily (Alice Lee) have a girls’ night as Zoey tries everything she can think of to get Emily to open up about her depression. And yes, Peters does sing something fabulous.
Norwegian Crown Princess Märtha (Sofia Helin) and her children actually cross the Atlantic in this episode as they head towards the safe haven of America. The sight of the Statue of Liberty as they approach the New York harbor is enough to make anyone misty eyed. As they settle in, they find they have to get used to the personal attention of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Kyle MacLachlan), who seems to be more interested in flirting with Märtha than with running his re-election campaign. Over at Buckingham Palace, Crown Prince Olav (Tobias Santelmann) struggles with the futility of being a government in exile, and starts to consider how Märtha’s position could be used to help Norway.
Inside Weekend TV:
● Ghost Brothers: Lights Out (Saturday, streaming on Discovery+): This digital companion series to the Travel Channel’s Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests debuts on Discovery+ with three episodes, in which Dalen Spratt, Juwan Mass, and Marcus Harvey check out a ghostly caller, a haunted Michigan asylum, and the site of Louisiana’s first double execution.
● American Idol (Sunday, 8/7c, ABC): With the Academy Awards right around the corner, the top twelve perform Oscar-nominated songs in the hopes of making it into the top nine. Don’t miss Lionel Richie opening the show with a special performance of Say You Say Me.
● Batwoman (Sunday, 8/7c, CW): Batwoman (Javicia Leslie) and The Crows clash as they both put forth their full efforts to find the False Face Society. In the meantime, Alice (Rachel Skarsten) seeks out Enigma (guest star Laura Mennell).
● The Nevers (Sunday, 9/8c, HBO): In the second episode of the period fantasy epic, the charitable Lavinia Bidlow (Olivia Williams) hosts some of the Touched at a society event in the hopes of destigmatizing them, but she may have alternative motives. Meanwhile, Amalia True (Laura Donnelly) hunts for Maladie (Amy Manson) in the hopes of rescuing Mary (Eleanor Tomlinson).
● Charmed (Sunday, 9/8c, CW): The Charmed Ones (Melonie Diaz, Sarah Jeffery, Madeleine Mantock) work to contain what was released from the Tomb of Chaos, and in the process they learn who created it, and why.