Kooky comedy is the name of the game as August marks the calm before the storm that is the Fall TV season. Strap yourselves in!
Let’s bitch it out…
Top Pick: New
An event three years in the making finally comes to fruition as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and (ugh) Iron Fist team up to take on…Sigourney Weaver?! Yes, the battle for New York will rage on the small streets as the unlikely defenders join forces in a major cross-over series. Here’s hoping that it skews closer to Jessica and Cage than Daredevil S2 or Fist, the latter of which both suffered from bloat and meandering plots.
- Runners Up: The Sinner (Aug 2) looks grim and features Jessica Biel’s first stint on TV since 7th Heaven. Mr. Mercedes (Aug 9) also looks grim in a Nordic noir kind of way, but could suffer the same fate as other Stephen King adaptations (cough *The Mist* cough). Epix takes a stab at an Elmore Leonard adaptation in the delightfully bizarre looking Get Shorty (Aug 13) while Netflix tackles autism in Atypical (Aug 11). Finally, There’s…Johnny! (Aug 24) has good pedigree in front of and behind the camera, though showbiz shows are almost always as bad as King adaptations.
Top Pick: Returning
Halt and Catch Fire (Aug 19), AMC’s period piece about the dawn of the computer industry returns to wrap up the series with S4. With top-notch performances (particularly by female leads Kerry Bishe and Mackenzie Davis), this period drama is a perennial victim of Peak TV overload, but deserves a much bigger audience. It’s not too late to catch up!
- Runners Up: On the more ridiculous side, Netflix debuts Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later (Aug 4) with yet another stacked cast. And while Difficult People (Aug 8) isn’t exactly my cup of tea, guest stars Lucy Liu and John Cho – playing Billy Eisner’s new boyfriend (!) – are enough to entice.
Top Pick: Wildcard
Two very different kinds of “cop” series debut in the form of Comrade Detective (Aug 4) and Swedish Dicks (Aug 9), but they’re big unorthodox swings. One is a Romanian shot and acted series with high profile voice-overs performed by A-list Hollywood (Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt) while the other is a fish out of water comedy featuring a pair of Swedish actors. Both could be great…or absolutely bizarre…or both.
- Runners Up: Is there any juice behind Viceland and Discovery’s first attempts at scripted series (What Would Diplo Do? on Aug 3 and Manhunt: Unabomber on Aug 1)? Is The Guest Book (Aug 3) too similar to HBO’s Room 104, which only launched a week before?
*As always, I will be watching the shows marked with an asterix (*)
Full August 2017 Schedule
Tuesday, August 1
- Manhunt: Unabomber S1 (Discovery – 9pm EST): Tells the story of how the FBI tracked down notorious Unabomber Ted Kaczynski (Paul Bettany), told from the point of view of the FBI profiler in charge of the manhunt. FBI agent Jim “Fitz” Fitzgerald (Sam Worthington) was one of the most decorated profilers in the history of the Bureau and his radical new approach to intelligence gathering ultimately brought down the Unabomber.
Wednesday, Aug 2
- Baroness von Sketch Show S1&2 (CBC / IFC): After garnering a lot of positive press in Canada, this all-female sketch comedy series finally debuts (S1 and the new S2) in the US.
- The Sinner S1* (USA – 10pm EST): The first installment of the close-ended series follows a young mother (Jessica Biel) who, when overcome by an inexplicable fit of rage, commits a startling act of violence and to her horror has no idea why. The event launches an inverted and utterly surprising crime thriller whose driving force is not the “who” or the “what” — but the “why” — as an investigator (Bill Pullman) finds himself obsessed with uncovering the woman’s buried motive. Together they travel a harrowing journey into the depths of her psyche and the violent secrets hidden in her past.
Thursday, August 3
- The Guest Book S1 (TBS – 10pm EST): This anthology comedy series from Greg Garcia (My Name Is Earl) centers on a vacation home in a small mountain town, which will host different guests in each episode. Debuts with back to back episodes
- What Would Diplo Do? S1 (Viceland – 10pm EST): Viceland’s first scripted comedy series is set in the EDM scene and stars James Van Der Beek as a fictionalized version of Diplo.
Friday, August 4
- Comrade Detective S1 (Amazon): A one-of-a-kind cop show and comedy set in 1980’s Romania. True to its nostalgic inspiration, the series is presented in Romanian and dubbed in English —as a Romanian show of that time would have been. Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt provide voiceover dubbing for the series’ two leading roles, Detectives Gregor Anghel and Iosef Baciu—both played on screen by Romanian actors, Florin Piersic Jr. (Killing Time) and Corneliu Ulici (The Devil Inside).
- Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later* (Netflix – 3am EST): Welcome to the Camp Firewood 10 Year Reunion! Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later is the hilarious new eight-part limited series starring the original cast, plus an all-star lineup of new cast members. 10 Years Older. 10 Years Hotter. 10 Years Wetter. All episodes debut today
Sunday, August 6
- Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (Syfy – 8pm EST): Sharknado goes international
- Chesapeake Shores S2 (Hallmark – 9pm EST): More Jesse Metcalfe drama!
- Ray Donovan S5 (Showtime – 9pm EST): Ray’s ongoing family upheaval has taken an emotional toll, leaving him more vulnerable than ever. LA’s preeminent fixer is heading into uncharted territory and will soon discover that some damage can’t be controlled.
Monday, August 7
- Vera S7 (Acorn TV): Two-time Oscar nominee Brenda Blethyn stars as DCI Vera Stanhope, a solitary, obsessed, caustic, brilliant investigator. Based on the bestselling novels of Ann Cleeves.
Tuesday, August 8
- Difficult People S3 (Hulu – 12am EST): Difficult People hails from Julie Klausner who stars alongside Emmy®-nominated Billy on the Street host Billy Eichner. As best friends living in New York City, their typical, irreverent behavior lands them in some very awkward situations. John Cho and Lucy Liu join the cast.
Wednesday, August 9
- Mr Mercedes S1* (AT&T Audience Network – 8pm EST): The Stephen King adaptation follows demented killer Brady Hartsfield (Treadaway), who taunts a retired police detective Bill Hodges (Gleeson) with a series of lurid letters and emails, forcing the ex-cop to undertake a private, and potentially felonious, crusade to bring the killer to justice before he is able to strike again.
- Swedish Dicks S1 (Pop – 8pm EST): Peter Stormare and Johan Glans star in a scripted comedy series about a former stuntman and a Swedish DJ who team up to launch a detective agency. Keanu Reeves recurs
Friday, August 11
- Atypical S1* (Netflix – 3am EST): Family comedy stars Jennifer Jason Leigh as the mother of an autistic teenager (Keir Gilchrist). All episodes debut today
Sunday, August 13
- Get Shorty S1* (Epix – 10pm EST): The adventures of mobster-turned-movie producer Hollywood.TV show based on Elmore Leonard’s novel and subsequent film.
Monday, August 14
- Rake S4 (Acorn TV): Series 4 of Rake continues the misadventures of dissolute Cleaver Greene and casts the fool’s gaze on all levels of politics, the legal system, and our wider fears and obsessions.
Tuesday, August 15
- Greenleaf S2B (OWN – 10pm EST): Picks up following the first eight episodes that aired back in March.
Wednesday, August 16
- Marlon S1 (NBC – 9pm EST): Marlon Wayans stars in Marlon, a new comedy about an immature but loving dad learning to co-parent with his ex-wife
Thursday, August 17
- Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce S4 (Bravo – 10pm EST): Abby and Barbara’s new business is already causing some tension between them. Final Season
Friday, August 18
- Marvel’s The Defenders S1 (Netflix – 3am EST): Marvel’s The Defenders follows Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones). A quartet of singular heroes with one common goal – to save New York City. This is the story of four solitary figures, burdened with their own personal challenges, who realize they just might be stronger when teamed together.
Saturday, August 19
- Halt and Catch Fire S4* (AMC – 9pm EST): Fourth and final season of the critically acclaimed period tech industry drama. 2 hour debut.
Sunday, Aug 20
- The Last Ship S4 (TNT – 9pm EST): The Red Flu has “jumped kingdoms” and infected the world’s food crops, turning the sole surviving source of sustenance into a highly volatile bargaining chip. As forces conspire to hold the key to avoiding global starvation for ransom, Captain Slattery and his Nathan Jamescrew get pulled into the fray, while Chandler perhaps has not exorcised all his past demons, but instead is trying to “fight” them.
- Survivor’s Remorse S4 (STARZ – 10pm EST): Follows Cam Calloway, a basketball phenom in his early 20’s who is suddenly thrust into the limelight after signing a multi-million dollar contract with a professional basketball team in Atlanta. Cam, along with his cousin, and confidant Reggie Vaughn, move to Georgia to start Cam’s journey to success.
- Episodes S5 (Showtime – 10pm EST): Nobody said making it big in showbiz would be easy, but the unlikely trio of Matt (Matt LeBlanc), Sean (Stephen Mangan) and Beverly (Tamsin Greig) has stuck it out together to the bitter end, proving that while success may be fleeting, friends are forever. Final season.
- Dice S2 (Showtime – 10:30pm EST): Dice is back, baby, and he is what happens in Vegas. But his better half Carmen (Natasha Leggero) and BFF Milkshake (Kevin Corrigan) have their own things going on, the kids don’t want to hang anymore, and giving up the center of attention isn’t easy.
Monday, August 21
- The Good Karma Hospital S1 (Acorn TV): Medical drama series about a disillusioned doctor, Ruby Walker, who heads for South India hoping to make a fresh start.
Thursday, August 24
- Party Boat (Crackle): Party Boat focuses on Max, who is throwing his wildest party yet—a birthday party for his best friend Kiley. When Max finds out Kiley’s boyfriend plans to propose, he embarks on an adventure to win Kiley’s heart and throw his greatest party ever. Movie.
- There’s…Johnny! S1 (Seeso): The coming of age story is set in 1970s Los Angeles, when The Tonight Show first moved from New York to Burbank. It follows the lives and challenges of Andy (Ian Nelson), a wide-eyed 19-year-old Nebraskan who stumbles his way into a job at The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and Joy (Jane Levy), a young Talent Coordinator on the show, as they both try to find their way and prove themselves in this period of cultural and political upheaval
Friday, August 25
- The Tick S1 (Amazon – 12am EST): From creator Ben Edlund comes the hero you’ve been waiting for. In a world where heroes and villains have existed for decades, a mild-mannered accountant named Arthur has his life turned upside down when he runs into a mysterious blue superhero, The Tick, who insists that Arthur become the brains to his brawn in a crime-fighting duo. Will Arthur resist the call of Destiny or join the fight? All episodes debut today
- Death Note (Netflix – 3am EST): Intoxicated by the power of a supernatural notebook, a young man begins killing those he deems unworthy of life. Based on the famous Japanese manga. Movie.
- Disjointed S1 (Netflix – 3am EST): A modern twist on the American Dream, Disjointed is a story of the highs, the lows, and half-baked drama of a family-run marijuana dispensary. All episodes debut today.
That’s it for August. September brings with it the onslaught of network TV (minus The CW), high profile cable series like Outlander S3, American Horror Story S7, You’re The Worst S4, Better Things S2 and streaming series like Narcos S3 and Bojack Horseman S4 (FINALLY). Plus: newbie hopefuls like HBO’s James Franco porn drama The Deuce and CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery. It’s a busy, busy month, so rest up!