Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

It’s Labor Day weekend—apologies to our working writers

Wagner Moura, Alicia Debnam-Carey, Omari Hardwick (Images: Netflix, AMC, Starz)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, September 4. All times are Eastern.

Top picks

Fear The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 p.m.): While Labor Day weekend means that the fall TV season is on the horizon—and the programming doldrums are finally reaching their end so we can write about some new and interesting shows for a change—it also means that The A.V. Club is for the most part closed down this weekend. However, some of us are still working through the holiday, and to honor their service, all regular coverage merits a top pick this week. First up, the latest adventures of the Fear The Walking Dead crew, as “Alicia meets a lonely woman with a bloody past.” If said woman is played by Eliza Taylor, this could be The 100 reunion everyone’s wanted, though Danette Chavez has her concerns the wounds may not be healed just yet. Also, “Travis struggles to connect with Chris,” meaning he has something in common with those of us in the audience who wish Chris would hurry up and turn into walker chow.


Power (Starz, 9 p.m.): Fittingly for Labor Day, Ghost is getting back to work in the drug trade after a “stellar, game-changing episode,” and Joshua Alston is getting to work by reviewing two episodes. No sooner is Lobos out of the picture than Ghost and Tommy are scrambling to deal with the emergence of Milan, a “cannibalistic Serbian drug lord” who knows they stole from him. Cannibalistic Serbian drug lords are the worst of the Serbian drug lords, aren’t they? Here’s hoping Ghost can maintain his legendary cool and courtesy, for as we know, whenever feasible one should try to eat the rude.

Narcos (Netflix, 3 p.m.): Dennis Perkins got all fired up about the second season premiere of Netflix’s cartel drama on Friday, with Wagner Moura’s performance keeping him riveted: “Capable of great tenderness and loyalty, he’s yet a roiling, unassailable mountain of will that will simply brook no debate as to his essential rightness.” He’s so excited about it that he’s even willing to review an episode on the holidays! Not sure why he had The A.V. Club mail him a big parcel of powered sugar we picked up at 3 a.m. from a man wearing skull-tipped boots named El Tiburón, but whatever you need to get through a season worth of reviews, amigo.


Premieres and finales

The ABC Fall Preview Special (ABC, 7 p.m.): Anthony Anderson of Black-ish and Randall Park of Fresh Off The Boat join the stars of some of ABC’s new programming for a look at the new and returning (i.e., the handful that survived the purge) series of the fall. New series to be featured include American Housewife, Conviction, Designated Survivor, Notorious, and Speechless. There’s no sign of mid-season premieres Downward Dog and Imaginary Mary, which is a shame because we only want to talk about Allison Tolman’s talking dog and Jenna Elfman’s imaginary friend and ask a lot of questions as to the levels of ABC’s nitrous oxide consumption when they picked those series up.

#FreeAllisonTolman (Image: ABC)
Your nightmare fuel for 2017. (Image: ABC)

Ringside (TV One, 7 p.m.): Did you know that TV One was a channel that exists? We didn’t until today, when they popped up on our list of new programs with this original film about an undefeated boxer (Tyler Lepley) going for the championship belt as his street cred is challenged and a beautiful photographer captures his heart. You learn something new every day.

College Football, Notre Dame at Texas (ABC, 7:30 p.m.): We don’t usually list sports events in the newest versions of What’s On Tonight unless they’re a special occasion, but with this little TV on and our desperate need to watch football again we’re going to make an exception. Plus, after the confidence-shattering result of the last time we made a football game a top pick, we need to mention one again in order to test the hypothesis. If this game gets canceled as well, we swear that we won’t ever mention football ever again. Well, unless doing so gives our fantasy team an advantage this year.


Murder In The First (TNT, 10 p.m.): The third season comes to a close tonight as “Terry and Hildy scramble to resolve one of their most puzzling cases.” The twist here winds up being that the case is one of their earliest beat cop assignments as they try to get to the bottom of the San Franscisco Shoplifter and just how many candy bars he was able to get into his pockets. Wait, no, it’s probably going to be something bleak and grisly instead. As you do.

Regular coverage

See above.

Streaming pick

Veep, “East Wing” (HBO NOW/Amazon Prime): In addition to being the holiday that celebrates the contributions of the American worker, Labor Day is also a day related to a secret between President Selina Meyer and her personal aide Gary Walsh. A secret so terrible that even breathing its existence can completely derail an epic fight years in the making. What secret could that be? So far, no one’s talking.

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