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

Peacock unfolds its big pretty tail feather train thing

Center: The Capture. Left: Brave New World (top), Intelligence. Right: Psych 2: Lassie Come Home (top), Cleopatra In Space.
Center: The Capture. Left: Brave New World (top), Intelligence. Right: Psych 2: Lassie Come Home (top), Cleopatra In Space.
Photo: Peacock

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Wednesday, July 15. All times are Eastern.

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Top picks

Who’s ready for a new streaming service? Anyone? Or are you all still trying to figure out what Quibi’s whole deal is and whether or not you have HBO Max? Well, ready or not, here’s Peacock, NBC’s new free and premium streaming service, which will include original series as well as classic shows from many networks, current titles from NBC proper, and some popular movies as well. We’ll do a quick rundown of what’s available at launch below (and will have more coverage today and this week), but first, what the hell is Peacock and who exactly has it?

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First thing to know: some of the service is free (though ad-supported). Free users will see a sizable catalog (13,000 hours of content, the network claims) of TV shows and movies, as well as some live sports and sample episodes of Peacock originals. New episodes of current NBC shows will become available a week after they air.

The first premium tier ($4.99/month) boasts “all 20,000 hours of programming on the platform),” per a press release, so you get all the originals and a larger catalog of existing titles and live sports alike. New episodes of NBC shows arrive the next day, rather than the next week, and once Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers are back in their respective studios, their late-night titles will become available to subscribers at 8 p.m. This tier still includes ads, though Peacock promises no more than five minutes of ads per hour.

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For $9.99.month, subscribers can get all that without ads entirely. But before you sign up, check to see if you’ve already got access—many Xfinity and Cox Contour customers should have the premium service included with their existing cable package. For everyone else, the app is available for Apple and Android devices, Chromecast, Xbox, and some smart TVs. The app comes to PS4 the week of July 20. (Crickets on Amazon and Roku.)

As for new television, shows available at launch include the Jessica Brown Findlay-starring adaptation of Brave New World, a Ryan Lochte reality show, Dreamworks animated shows Where’s Waldo? and Cleopatra In Space, a new Psych movie, and the two shows below (both of which are British imports). Look for more coverage throughout the week.

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The Capture (Peacock, 3:01 a.m., complete first season):

The Capture, already a popular British thriller, arrives this month on Peacock, positively brimming with action. The series from creator Ben Chanan tackles pertinent themes including excessive surveillance, evidence manipulation, fake news, and corruption within the government, police, and justice system. Season one is a fascinating exploration of the soaring dependency on technology to solve crimes, but it also offers a terrifying perspective on how the same tools can be maneuvered to present, per the phrase made popular by a senior White House aide, “alternate facts.” While the show starts off strong and conjures up twisty cliffhanger endings, it falters in the end due to the convoluted plot. However, with only six episodes, The Capture is just gripping enough to binge in one sitting.

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Click here to read the rest of Saloni Gajjar’s pre-air review.

Intelligence (Peacock, 3:01 a.m., complete first season):

Created and written by Nick Mohammed, a very funny gentleman whose profile is decidedly higher in the U.K. (though Americans might possibly recognize him from The Martian, the Ab Fab movie, or Bridget Jones’s Baby), Intelligence takes place within the U.K.’s Government Communications Headquarters, where agents do battle against international cyber criminals. They’re a socially awkward bunch at best, as one might expect from folks who are rarely required to leave the confines of their computer desks: Tuva (Gana Bayarsaikhan) is tall, intense, and oozes a slightly threatening sexuality; Mary (Jane Stanness) lives with her mom, dresses frumpily, and freely admits that she looks older than she is; and Joseph (played by Mohammed) has a habit of blurting things out before contemplating either their accuracy or appropriateness. Their boss, Christine (Sylvestra Le Touzel), tolerates their eccentricities because they have a history of getting the job done, but when they’re abruptly joined on their team by Jerry Bernstein (David Schwimmer), a fiery, arrogant NSA agent, it’s like throwing a grenade into their midst, blowing any sense of order to smithereens. 

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Click here to read the rest of Will Harris’s pre-air review. 

Regular coverage

Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 10 p.m.)

Wild card

The Challenge (MTV, 8 p.m., 35th season finale): It’s been an eventful season, let’s put it that way. Given that this season’s called Total Madness, that seems like an appropriately mild descriptor. Tonight, the season comes to an end, and presumably Nelson’s big moment will reverberate throughout.

Oh, and someone will win a cool million dollars.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.

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