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

Perry Mason and The Alienist close up shop for the summer

Matthew Rhys, Daniel Brühl
Matthew Rhys, Daniel Brühl
Photo: Merrick Morton/HBO, Kata Vermes/TNT

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Sunday, August 9. All times are Eastern.


Top picks

Perry Mason (HBO, 9 p.m., first-season finale) and The Alienist: Angel Of Darkness (TNT, 9 p.m., back-to-back episodes, second-season finale): It’s a big night for season finales of period dramas with exquisite costumes and great casts that center at least in part on tiny babies in peril. Who needs a drink?

Allison Shoemaker and Ani Bundel will file their final recaps for the season this evening, and will then proceed to watch about 12 hours of The Great British Bake-Off reruns to shake it off. Look for Gwen Ihnat’s post-mortem interview with Perry Mason director Timothy Van Patten after the finale airs.

Can you binge Perry Mason? Once the finale airs, all eight episodes of this first season will be available to all HBO subscribers, though we strongly advise giving yourself a breather after the gruesome series opener.

Can you binge The Alienist? As of this writing, the complete first season is available through HBO Max; presumably the second season will eventually follow suit.

Regular coverage

The Umbrella Academy (Netflix): binge coverage concludes

Wild cards

Surviving Jeffrey Epstein (Lifetime, 8 p.m., premiere, back-to-back episodes): Surviving Jeffrey Epstein, a two-part Lifetime documentary that airs this Sunday and Monday, doesn’t romanticize Epstein’s backstory or attempt to whitewash any of his deeds. It centers on his victims, whose lives he maliciously upended with precision and cold-blooded calculation. If you’ve followed the Epstein case, as well as the recent arrest of his alleged accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell, you are aware of what survivor Virginia Giuffre describes as Epstein’s ‘pyramid scheme,’ where his victims were used to recruit fresh victims, who would go on to do the same. Unlike Epstein and Maxwell, these women have consciences, so their pained faces reveal the remorse they still feel for their involvement.” Read the rest of Stephen Robinson’s pre-air review. The series concludes Monday at 9 p.m., again with back-to-back episodes.

We Hunt Together (Showtime, 10 p.m., U.S. series premiere): Eve Myles (Torchwood) and Babou Ceesay (Guerrilla) star in this U.K. import in which newly paired homicide detectives search for a couple drawn together by their shared appetite for violence.

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!