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

Prepare for a Cruel Summer

Allius Barnes, Harley Quinn Smith, and Chiara Aurelia in Freeform's Cruel Summer
From left: Allius Barnes, Harley Quinn Smith, and Chiara Aurelia in Freeform’s Cruel Summer
Photo: Bill Matlock/Freeform

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Tuesday, April 20. All times are Eastern. 

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Top pick

Cruel Summer (Freeform, 9 p.m., series premiere, back-to-back episodes): Who doesn’t want a little psychological thriller in their diet now and then? It’s good for the digestion—and if it comes with some ’90s fashion flashbacks, so much the better.

Freeform’s latest, which comes from executive producer Jessica Biel (who was also an EP for The Sinner), centers on a geeky teenager (Chiara Aurelia) who transforms into a popular America’s Sweetheart type following the disappearance of the town’s previous queen bee (Olivia Holt). Its story spans three successive summers, is told through shifting points-of-view, and is all-but-guaranteed to have a killer soundtrack. What more could a TV viewer want? Perhaps only to read Saloni Gajjar’s pre-air review, which will appear on the site later today. And a quick heads-up: After this week’s double-length premiere, the show will air at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Regular coverage

Supergirl (The CW, 9 p.m.)
Big Sky (ABC, 10 p.m.): time-slot premiere

Wild cards

Time for another wild card lightning round.

Queen Sugar (OWN, 8 p.m., series finale): Farewell, sweet Bordelons.

Sasquatch (Hulu, 3:01 a.m., complete limited docuseries):  An investigative journalist digs for the truth behind haunting story he once heard: that of three men being torn limb from limb by Bigfoot.

Chopped 420 (Discovery+, 3:01 a.m., complete first season): It’s 4/20, so here’s Chopped, but with weed. A rotating panel of judges includes Chef Esther Choi and Drag Race alum Laganja Estranja.

Cinema Toast (Sho.com, 3:01 a.m., complete first season): A collection of top-tier directors make new things from old things in this “post-modernist reinvention of older movies that turns pre-existing imagery from the public domain on its head to tell brand new unique stories.”

Philly D.A. (PBS, 9 p.m., series premiere): This docuseries from Independent Lens looks at “the tumultuous first term of Philadelphia’s unapologetic D.A.,” civil rights attorney Larry Krasner.

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!