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

Time to meet the Coroner

Serinda Swan
Serinda Swan
Photo: Muse Entertainment Enterprises, Inc.

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Wednesday, August 5. All times are Eastern. 


Top pick

Coroner (The CW, 9 p.m., U.S. series premiere): Serinda Swan bounced back from the disaster that was Inhumans with hit Canadian drama Coroner, already greenlit for a third season in its native country but making its Stateside debut tonight thanks to The CW’s import strategy during the pandemic (“The CW—it might be new to you, anyway!”) And while the show has already had a couple of years to build its characters and story, not much of either is particularly compelling in the early going. Swan plays Dr. Jenny Cooper, a newly minted coroner in Toronto who has to throw her weight (and wit) around to the old established ways of doing things in order to investigate unusual deaths. Recently widowed, the still-grieving mom teams up with rough-and-tumble detective Donovan “Mac” McAvoy (Roger Cross) and pathologist Dr. Dwayne Allen (Lovell Adams-Gray) in her missions, while being supported by oddball assistant Alison (Tamara Podeski). The pilot gives viewers little reason to invest, as Jenny makes inexplicable choices (the show wants us to assume that her having sex with a man she shared all of 10 lines of dialogue with, in the back of his pickup truck, in the middle of the woods outside the home of a newly dead septuagenarian, is hot, not breaking all the rules of “how not to get murdered in the woods”) and delves into a sub-SVU case of the week. Probably best to treat this procedural with some social distancing until it finds its feet a little later in the season—trust us, you won’t need much catching up on the plot. (Though it does boast a solid unintentional laugh in The CW’s press description of the show, which ends with the description: “Soulful. Warm. Energy. Coroner.”) [Alex McLevy]

Regular coverage

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

Wild cards

Cave Crocs Of Gabon (Smithsonian, 8 p.m.): File this one under “recommended based on the title alone.” We were all set to include this even before learning that the special concerns the Abanda caves of the Congo Basin, where “an extremely rare and elusive species of dwarf crocodiles lurks, with orange skin and bulging eyes.”

Big Brother (CBS, 9 p.m., 22nd season premiere): Look for Patrick Gomez’s take on the odds for this all-star season in the coming days. 

World’s Most Wanted (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., complete first season): This one pretty much speaks for itself. If you watch this trailer, you’ll either a) immediately dial up the first season, b) forget about it completely until you need something to watch that’s not going to demand much intellectual firepower, c) know immediately that it’s not for you, or d) consider giving it a shot out of nostalgia for the heyday of America’s Most Wanted.

Alex McLevy is a writer and editor at The A.V. Club, and would kindly appreciate additional videos of robots failing to accomplish basic tasks.

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!