Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Thursday, October 14. All times are Eastern.
Aquaman: King Of Atlantis (HBO Max, 3:01 a.m., series premiere): Cynical superhero fans, or those self-conscious about the things they like being perceived as “silly,” might hate the series of Aquaman: King Of Atlantis specials right out of the gate simply because they’re not like the movies or other animated versions of Aquaman. But anyone who writes off this series is doing themselves a disservice. Aquaman: King Of Atlantis is an absolute joy. The series may seem like it’s chasing the self-aware irony or kid-oriented stories of Teen Titans Go!, but it’s carving its own niche. There’s plenty of superhero action; King Of Atlantis just happens to be more concerned with being funny than anything else. And it is, thankfully, very funny.
The 45-minute runtime can sometimes drag, since it’s a fluffy comedy without a lot of meat to it, but that also gives it the freedom to let its jokes breathe in a way that something like SpongeBob SquarePants—possibly Aquaman’s most direct comparison point, in terms of sense of humor—simply doesn’t allow. Also, the voice cast is phenomenal, with Cooper Andrews’ Aquaman serving as an understated counterpoint (if not a total straight-man) to the lovable weirdness of Gillian Jacobs’ Mera and the over-the-top screeching of Dana Snyder’s Ocean Master. It might not be for everyone, but it’s definitely a ton of fun. [Sam Barsanti]
(Side note: How can you resist this adorable animation?)
What We Do In The Shadows (FX, 10 p.m.)
What Happened, Brittany Murphy? (HBO Max, 3:01 a.m.): Emmy nominee Cynthia Hill directs this two-part docuseries about the life, notoriety, and death of Brittany Murphy. Look for Lisa Weidenfeld’s review on the site later this morning.
Phoebe Robinson: Sorry, Harriet Tubman (HBO Max, 3:01 a.m.): Here’s a debut comedy special that looks funny and fresh and very of the moment.
Guilty Party (Paramount+, 3:01 a.m.): Kate Beckinsale leads this new series as a disgraced journalist trying to exonerate a wrongfully convicted woman (Toni Latimer) and maybe find some redemption for herself.