Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Monday, December 20. All times are Eastern.
Reopening Night (HBO, 10 p.m.): Directed by Rudy Valdez, Reopening Night follows the cast, crew, and staff of Public Theater as they prepare to mount Merry Wives, a “fresh and joyous” adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives Of Windsor, at the open-air Delacorte Theater in New York City. Contending with the ever-present threat of the pandemic, and one of the rainiest Julys on record, the production marks the return of live theatre following more than a year of closures in the city. Merry Wives featured an all-black cast led by Jacob Ming-Trent in a modern retelling of the play set in South Harlem’s community of West African immigrants.
Valdez’s documentary will examine the Black experience in theater, and includes interviews with the cast, the playwright, and stage director Saheem Ali, for discussions of how the theater industry reckoned with issues of racism both within its own history and society at large. The return of Shakespeare In The Park was pivotal because it was the first sign of the city’s slow and long-in-coming reopening.
Landscapers (HBO, 9 p.m.)
Elite Short Stories: Samuel Omar (Netflix, 3:01 a.m.): The second episode of Elite Short Stories follows its two leads, Samuel “Samu” García (Itzan Escamilla) and Omar Shanaa (Omar Ayuso). These bite-sized episodes of the racy Spanish teen crime drama are set between seasons four and five.
Dynasty (The CW, 8 p.m.): This soapy drama, based on the 1980s prime time soap of the same name, returns for its fifth season with a two-parter just in time for the holidays. In the first, “Let’s Start Over Again,” the fallout from Blake’s (Grant Show) gala begins to settle, and Blake and Cristal (Daniella Alonso) work on the next phase of his campaign. The second half, “That Holiday Spirit,” sees Carrington Manor decorated to the hilt as only the Carringtons can do it. Blake and Cristal come to an agreement regarding his political future as Alexis (Elaine Hendrix) remains in jail.