Feed Your DVR: 10/5/14 to 10/11/14
Sunday, October 5th – The third season of Homeland ended with a pregnant Carrie facing motherhood and a life without Brody after his execution, and Saul forced out of the CIA. Season four reboots the show abroad, with Carrie now stationed in Kabul and Saul working in the private sector. The Brody family is out, but a new network of contacts in Pakistan takes their place, including star-on-the-rise Corey Stoll as a fellow CIA agent. Will the new setting and characters reinvigorate the show with the urgency of the first season? Watch and find out. (Showtime, 9pm)
Monday, October 6th – Filmmaker Ben Steele traveled to Russia to witness the extent of the country’s anti-gay violence, capture it on film, and expose to the world its horrifying brutality. The finished project, Hunted: The War Against Gays in Russia, airs tonight at 9pm on HBO. Narrated by actor Matt Bomer, the documentary includes footage obtained by Steele as he traveled with the perpetrators of some of the worst violence, who go as far as to use sting operations to lure gay individuals to secluded locations. The result is a harrowing portrait of extremist bigotry and why the larger, less bigoted Russian culture permits it to flourish.
Tuesday, October 7th – The CW premieres its first new show of the season tonight as The Flash hits the air. A spin-off of the network’s critically acclaimed Arrow, the pilot for The Flash is one of our favorites this year. Whereas Oliver Queen lacks any real superpowers beyond his own indomitable will and dons his superhero mantle reluctantly, Barry Allen takes to his new superspeed with gusto, excited to expand his life beyond his forensics job and unrequited childhood crush. Star Grant Gustin is brings the perfect amount of enthusiasm and curiosity to the role. (8pm)
Wednesday, October 8th – Anthology series are so of the moment, and the one that arguably kicked off the current craze returns for its forth season tonight. American Horror Story: Freak Show adds new players such as Michael Chiklis and World’s Shortest Living Woman Jyoti Amge to Ryan Murphy’s existing stable of returning favorites, including Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson. Although last season’s AHS: Coven edition was hit or miss, this year’s story of a freak show struggling to thrive in 1950s Florida has the potential to match the crazy heights of AHS: Asylum. Plus, television needs more terrifying clowns. (FX, 10pm)
Thursday, October 9th – Last week’s A to Z pilot skated by on the charm of its two leads. Now that Andrew and Zelda have expressed their interest in each other, will their relationship be enough to hold our interest? (NBC, 9:30pm)
Friday, October 10th – ABC’s Cristela is already a tale of tenacity, as the pilot’s minuscule budget meant series creator and star Cristela Alonzo had to shoot the episode on the Last Man Standing sets. But all that determination earned the show a spot on the fall schedule, if a rather unglamorous one on Friday nights at 8:30pm. The pilot is rough around the edges, but Alonzo has a self-deprecating charm, and if the supporting cast gels, this could find an audience turn into a sleeper. If it insists on going for the broad and easy joke every time, then it’s headed for a swift cancelation.
Saturday, October 11th – If you missed Great Estates Scotland on Sunday, and you feel like a Saturday night in (maybe with a glass of Scotch), you should catch the first episode when it re-airs tonight on PBS. If there’s one thing that Outlander has taught us, it’s that Scotland has gorgeous scenery. The four part series profiles four elegant manor houses throughout the nation; this week examines Inveraray, the seat of the Duke of Argyll. You might recognize it as the house that stood in for the estate of Duneagle in the 2012 Downton Abbey Christmas Special (AKA the episode in which Julian Fellows broke all our hearts). Check local listings for times.
Streaming Pick of the Week – This week, we suggest that you catch up with an older gem before new episodes begin airing later this year. The first thirteen episodes of High Maintenance, created by Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair, is now available in its entirety on Vimeo. The show follows The Guy, a pot dealer in Brooklyn, as he travels to his visit his various clients – a different one every week. The Guy is less the lead character and more a portal through which we can spy on these individuals’ lives, and figure out the role that pot plays in those lives. The vignettes are compelling, and the sharp observational humor about Brooklyn manages to be satirical without becoming smarmy. As part of its initial foray into original programming, Vimeo commissioned six more episodes, three of which will be released (possibly at a cost) on November 11th. Catch the older episodes before they too possibly disappear behind a paywall. The first episode, “Stevie,” is embedded below.
Also premiering this week: America’s Funniest Home Videos (10/5, ABC, 7pm); Bob’s Burgers (10/5, FOX, 7:30pm); Bar Rescue (10/5, SPIKE, 9pm); Halloween Wars (10/5, Food Network, 9pm); Mulaney (10/5, FOX, 9:30pm); Catch a Contractor (10/5, SPIKE, 10pm); Tethered (10/5, Discovery, 10pm); Great Estates Scotland (10/5, PBS, 10:30pm but check local listings); The Originals (10/6, The CW, 8pm); House Vs. House (10/6, Bio, 10pm); Are You the One? (10/6, MTV, 10pm); Supernatural (10/7, The CW, 9pm); Resort Rescue (10/7, Travel, 10pm); Preaching Alabama (10/7, TLC, 10pm); Arrow (10/8, The CW, 8pm); Kingdom (10/8, DirecTV, 9pm); Inside Paradise (10/8, Travel, 9pm); The Filthy Rich Guide (10/8, CNBC, 10pm); Inside Homicide (10/9, ID, 9pm)
Upcoming finales: Fast N’ Loud (10/5, Velocity, 9pm); The Strain (10/5, FX, 10pm); Legends (10/8, TNT, 9pm); Top Chef Duels (10/8, Bravo, 10pm); Intruders (10/10, BBC America, 10pm)