Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, September 23, and Saturday, September 24. All times are Eastern.
MacGyver (CBS, 8 p.m., Friday): Put down that remote made from popsicle sticks, chewing gum, and a toilet paper tube and get your soul ready for the series premiere of this all-new, totally necessary reboot of the terminally goofy adventure series where a guy with floppy hair saves the day using only his junk drawer. New floppy-haired adventurer Lucas Till—taking over for Richard Dean Anderson, who, reportedly, isn’t too happy about the whole deal—is your MacGyver now, whether you like it or not. Will he find new and exciting uses for duct tape and baking soda? Will Anderson somehow be lured onto the series, only to take a poke at his weedy little replacement? Will Patty and Selma chime in with their takes during the upcoming season of The Simpsons? Was the original series marginally better than its present-day punchline status suggests? (Our own Zack Handlen said “sort of!” at one point.) Or is CBS’ Anderson-less MacGyver destined to be rebooted right into the ol’ dumpster? Gwen Ihnat used aluminum foil and a paper clip to write her pre-air review.
Audrie & Daisy (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): You know how people are awful? Well brace yourself for this searing documentary about the sexual assaults of two young women—and how the public response (especially but exclusively related to the demon internet) was predictably horrific. Says reviewer Noel Murray of the film’s approach:
Audrie & Daisy could’ve done more to connect up the way the internet looms over both cases: the former with the way Audrie was cyber-bullied by her classmates after she was assaulted, and the latter with the way both Daisy and Maryville were pilloried online. What the documentary does well, though, is critique a culture that allows young men to disregard other people’s humanity.
Iliza Shlesinger: Confirmed Kills (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): Standup Shlesinger traditionally goes to the edge of propriety, a bold style that, as Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya says about Shlesinger’s new special, means sometimes falling right off onto your butt. From Kayla’s review:
Her attempts at social commentary are where everything starts to fall apart. Her dissection of the different generations is full of obvious jokes and also pretty dismissive of race. Shlesinger admits that it’s easy for her to romanticize past generations as a white woman, but again, awareness of privilege isn’t a funny or interesting point of view for comedy.
Gringo: The Dangerous Life Of John McAfee (Showtime, 9 p.m., Saturday): Perhaps the most intriguing part of this documentary about the bizarrely improbable life of antivirus-software mogul McAfee—whose Colonel Kurtz-style sojourn in Central America saw him accused of murder, among other things—is whether Halt And Catch Fire is going to have Lee Pace’s McAfee-clone Joe MacMillan follow suit. It would be a bold choice, admittedly.
Premieres and finales
Longmire (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): As the fifth season of this crusty Wyoming Western series returns, we must all take the time to remind our dads how their Netflix works.
Transparent (Amazon, 3:01 a.m., Friday): Fresh off Emmy wins for creator Jill Soloway (for directing) and Jeffrey Tambor (for being Maura), and Tambor’s acceptance speech—calling for himself to be put out of a job with increased opportunities for transgender actors—this acclaimed sort-of comedy series returns for its third season.
Hell’s Kitchen (Fox, 8 p.m., Friday): Is 16 seasons of chef Gordon Ramsay yelling and yelling and yelling at people who just want to please him too many? Not according to Fox, although does anyone else want to see Great British Baking Show judge Mary Berry just feed the red-faced Ramsay a lovely Yorkshire pudding, take his arm, and tell him gently to just knock off all this nonsense?
Last Man Standing (ABC, 8 p.m., Friday): The sixth season of this Tim Allen sitcom about a guy who thinks men and women are comically different begins toni—wait, what? Six seasons? Really? Huh—well, we’re sure someone knows what they’re doing.
Dr. Ken (ABC, 8:31 p.m., Friday): Ken Jeong leads his fine ensemble cast (BERT!) back for another season of family-workplace sitcom laughs, starting with this second season premiere. While details are scarce come press time, the episode’s titled “Allison’s Career Move,” suggesting that Suzy Nakamura’s Allison is going to make some sort of move, possibly involving her career.
Hawaii Five-O (CBS, 9 p.m., Friday): “When the bodies of two serial killers are found on Five-0 property with chess pieces in their mouths, McGarrett and the team hunt for a vigilante as fear grows that tourists aren’t safe.” Man, they really aren’t safe, are they? Good thing Hawaii’s got all that pretty scenery, because there’s, like, a serial killer for every other person on the islands according to this series, now beginning its seventh murder-happy season.
Shark Tank (ABC, 9 p.m., Friday): Eight seasons ago, someone pitched the idea of a show about pitching ideas. Now here we are.
The Exorcist (Fox, 9 p.m., Friday): Look, people thought a TV series about Hannibal Lecter was a dumb idea. Same deal with Fargo. And, yes, there may be a heaping dump truck filled with movie-to-TV adaptations that made people say, “What? Why?” But this one’s actually supposed to be in the much rarer “not a waste of time and the human spirit” column. Katie Rife grabbed an old priest and a young priest and took a look.
Blue Bloods (CBS, 10 p.m., Friday): The seventh season premiere of this Tom Selleck-led cop drama will make you say, “Dad? This one’s just on regular TV, so you can just use the ‘real’ remote.”
Van Helsing (Syfy, 10 p.m., Friday): Not content to have the kick-ass daughter of Dracula-hunter Abraham Van Helsing fight vampires, this series premiere sees Kelly Overton’s Vanessa Helsing pitted against post-apocalyptic vampires—in the future! Oh, that’s right, mister—Syfy will see your “high-concept” and raise you a damned apocalypse! Bring it on!
Star Wars Rebels (Disney XD, 8 p.m., Saturday): In the one-hour season three premiere, the rebels, well, continue to rebel against the Empire. That’s a rough sketch, but, c’mon, it’s right there in the name of this reliably entertaining animated branch of the cinematic Star Wars universe.
High Maintenance (HBO, 11 p.m., Friday)
“Fredless,” Angel (Netflix): Sure, in the TV Tropes page called “MacGyvering,” most people will gravitate to Walt’s RV-reviving Mr. Wizard-ry on Breaking Bad, but here’s to Amy Acker as Winnifred Burkle. In this pivotal, devastatingly moving Fred-centric episode, she creates an inexplicable, jury-rigged contraption that her teammates speculate might be a deadly catapult, or might make toast. (It’s a deadly catapult. She saves the day. Fred is glorious.)