What to Watch This Week | September 12–18
CableTV.com’s ace viewing recommendations for shows, movies, sports, and more on TV this week.
Milestone alert: TV Tan Podcast, co-hosted by yours truly, just dropped episode 420. We’d like to thank our dozens of listeners for making this possible—you can’t spell us without U (you).
This week’s picks include the returns of Los Espookys, Atlanta, and The Handmaid’s Tale, continued UEFA soccer action, new movies Do Revenge and Goodnight Mommy, back-to-school drama with Heartbreak High and Vampire Academy, and a big move for Days of Our Lives. Stream away!
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What’s premiering this week
Season 2 premiere, Friday, September 16: It’s been over two years since quirky Spanish/English comedy Los Espookys concluded its first season—that’s some Game of Thrones–level stalling. The series follows a group of young friends in an unidentified Latin American country who stage supernatural-themed events for hire (exorcisms, sea monsters, alien abductions, etc.). The utterly unique charm of Los Espookys is better seen than explained—catch up on HBO Max.
UEFA: Bayern vs. Barcelona | Paramount+ | Sports, soccer
UEFA Champions League Group Stage coverage begins Tuesday, September 13, 3 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT: Star Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, now with Barcelona, faces his former club Bayern for the first time—drama on the pitch! I’ve learned that the field is called the “pitch” because of Welcome to Wrexham, the Ryan Reynolds/Rob McElhenney docuseries wherein they buy a Welsh soccer—sorry, football—team. Old ‘Merican habits die hard.
Heartbreak High | Netflix | Drama
Series premiere, Wednesday, September 14: Teen drama Heartbreak High is an adaptation of a ’90s Australian series of the same name, inspired by the ’80s play The Heartbreak Kid, which also led to the 1993 movie The Heartbreak Kid—follow? More to the point, Heartbreak High is the Euphoria-lite tale of Amerie (Ayesha Madon), who becomes a Hartley High outcast when she carelessly exposes all of her classmates’ secret hookups. It’s a lot.
Do Revenge | Netflix | Comedy
Movie premiere, Friday, September 16: In other high school drama news, Drea (Camila Mendes, Riverdale) is humiliated when her ex-boyfriend leaks their sex tape. Meanwhile, lesbian transfer student Eleanor (Maya Hawke, Stranger Things) is outed by a mean girl. The two meet and of course pledge to “do revenge” against each other’s nemeses. It’s an oft-used Hitchcock trope, but Mendes and Hawke make a snappy comic duo—how about a sequel, Do Revenge More?
What to watch on Hulu this week
The Handmaid’s Tale | Hulu | Drama, sci-fi
Season 5 premiere, Wednesday, September 14: Hulu just announced that next year’s Season 6 will be the last for The Handmaid’s Tale because fantasy can’t keep up with the reality of US politics anymore. J/K, but The Handmaid’s Tale really is nearing its finale, and the indefatigable June (Elisabeth Moss) is still fighting to bring down Gilead and reunite with her daughter—maybe there’s some hope for a happy ending to this dystopian downer. Maybe.
Season 4 premiere, Thursday, September 15: After spending Season 3 on tour in Europe (or an alternate reality, depending on your cinematic perspective), Earn (Donald Glover), Alfred (Brian Tyree Henry), Darius (Lakeith Stanfield), and Van (Zazie Beetz) are back in Atlanta for the series’ final season. Show creator Glover raised eyebrows when he said Atlanta’s final season is “some of the best television ever made” and “only The Sopranos can touch us,” but he might be right.
What to watch on Peacock this week
Days of Our Lives | Peacock | Drama
Season 58 premiere, Monday, September 12: An NBC broadcast staple since 1965 with over 14,000 episodes, Days of Our Lives is now a streaming Peacock series—weird, huh? I won’t pretend to know what’s going on in Salem anymore, but I was shocked to learn that Marlena, Roman, and Patch (Patch!) are still around. Episodes will drop early on weekday mornings, and, appropriately old school, NBC has set up a toll-free line for confused fans: 855-597-1827.
Vampire Academy | Peacock | Drama, supernatural
Series premiere, Thursday, September 15: Like the 2014 Zoey Deutch movie, new Peacock series Vampire Academy is based on Richelle Mead’s 2007 YA book series of the same name. The movie bombed, but the streaming series promises more sizzle at St. Vladimir’s Academy for young and pretty vamps; show co-creator Julie Plec (who also worked on The Vampire Diaries) has hinted at a mashup of Bridgerton and The Hunger Games. Beats “Twilight meets Mean Girls.”
W2W wildcards of the week
Goodnight Mommy | Prime Video | Drama, thriller
Movie premiere, Friday, September 16: Young twin brothers (Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti) suspect the woman with a bandaged face from “cosmetic surgery” is not their mother but a malevolent imposter. She’s strict, cold, and chain-smokes like Courtney Love—who is she? She’s Naomi Watts (in glimpses) in this remake of the 2014 Austrian thriller Goodnight Mommy, arriving just in time for Halloween season (after August 31, it’s all Halloween season).
Confess, Fletch | VOD | Comedy
Movie premiere, Friday, September 16: This reboot of 1985 classic Fletch—let’s pretend Fletch Lives! never happened—has been in development for decades, so it probably came out great, right? Remains to be seen as Jon Hamm takes over for Chevy Chase as snarky, mystery-solving L.A. Times reporter “Fletch” Fletcher. If you don’t want to chance the video-on-demand fee (understandable), Confess, Fletch will premiere on SHOWTIME on October 28.