Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

John Slattery has concerns about what’s Next

John Slattery
John Slattery
Photo: Ed Araquel/Fox

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Tuesday, October 6. All times are Eastern. 

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Top pick

Next (Fox, 9 p.m., series premiere): If, after the insanity of the last week, you find yourself thinking, “Wow, it would be nice to be stressed about something that isn’t a pandemic, democracy, systemic injustice, cravenness and stupidity, the economy, gay marriage, and all the other zillion things we have to worry about every day,” Fox has a brand new super-threat for you: artificial intelligence! Just maybe make sure you’ve turned off Siri and/or Alexa before you tune in.

The Fox press release describes the new series as a “propulsive, fact-based thriller about the emergence of a deadly, rogue artificial intelligence.” That’s all well and good, but Gwen Ihnat was in as soon as she saw John Slattery’s name in the credits, and will be offering weekly reviews starting tonight.

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For kids

StarBeam: Halloween Hero (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., premiere): At last, a TV program that dares to tell the truth about pirates and their notorious thirst for shiny candies.

Wild cards

Siempre, Luis (HBO, 9 p.m., premiere): Lin-Manuel Miranda has been just an Oscar away from EGOT status since he won an Emmy six years ago, but the In The Heights creator is basically a slacker compared to his father, Luis A. Miranda Jr. This new documentary from first-time filmmaker John James chronicles Luis’ youth in Puerto Rico, his time as a social activist and student at New York University, his career as a political strategist working on the senate campaigns of Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, and his senior years raising an adopted teenager and persevering through the challenges of bringing his elder son’s Hamilton to Puerto Rico as a fundraiser following Hurricane Maria. Siempre, Luis opens with the stress-inducing beep of a hospital heart monitor, as Luis recovers from a heart attack with his gown open, bare chest exposed. The unfiltered moment is exemplative of the access James was granted, as well as the family’s willingness to not sugarcoat their patriarch’s story. Luis refused to let his 2017 heart attack slow him down, and he admits he probably takes on too much. Siempre, Luis sometimes suffers from taking on too much as well, serving more as a highlight reel than an in-depth examination of its central trailblazer—but the film is still a stellar way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. [Patrick Gomez]

Swamp Thing (The CW, 8 p.m, broadcast premiere): “[W]hat’s going to keep me coming back is the show’s commitment to hardcore grotesquerie, an admirable devotion to seeing just how creative and repulsive it can get with its imagery. There’s a scene in a morgue halfway through the first episode that rivals Cronenberg for sheer nastiness; I find myself saying, ‘Oh, dear god,’ out loud to myself more than once. It’s the kind of thing probably better appreciated in a group, to cheer on the ‘Can you top this?’ gore as it spews from the narrative. So maybe I’ll set aside the Bachelorette viewing party for now—who’s up for drinking beers and watching some human bodies receive absolutely disgusting punishment?” Read the rest of Alex McLevy’s piece on Swamp Thing’s body horror credentials.

Kal Penn Approves This Message (Freeform, 10:30 p.m.): Tonight’s KPATM is about the judicial system. Behold, an eloquent sigh.

Black Box (Amazon, 3:01 a.m., premiere): And here’s a Blumhouse horror movie for you spooky ghouls. Phylicia Rashad will fuck you up.

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!

A.V. Club Editor in Chief...but really just a She-Ra, Schitt’s Creek, Grey’s Anatomy, Survivor, Big Brother, Top Chef, The Good Place superfan.

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