Welcome to What’s On, our weekly picks of must-watch shows. Here’s what you need to watch from Sunday, September 11, to Thursday, September 15. All times are Eastern. [Note: The weekend edition of What’s On drops on Fridays.]
The Primetime Emmy Awards (NBC, Monday, 8 p.m.)
Ready or not, it’s time for the Emmys. SNL’s Kenan Thompson will host the 74th annual ceremony, which toasts the best of television from the past year. HBO leads the pack of nominees with nods for Succession, The White Lotus, Hacks, Euphoria, and Barry. (Is it too early to anticipate if House Of The Dragon will secure several slots for HBO next year?) Here are The A.V. Club’s predictions for who could go home with the trophies. After the show, look out for our breakdown of the night’s best and worst moments, a review of the show itself, and plenty of related news. Hopefully, there will be no slapping, spitting, or anything weird to report.
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu, Wednesday, 12:01 a.m.)
June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) is back and continuing on her revenge-seeking path in the fifth season of The Handmaid’s Tale’s. After escaping Gilead’s clutches and finding her loved ones in Canada, June tried to seek justice by teaming up with various women and killing her former commander, Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes). She’ll now have to pay a price for her actions. Meanwhile, Fred’s widow, Serena (Yvonne Strahovski), attains star status while imprisoned and uses her power to bring elements of Gilead into Canada. The show will premiere with three new episodes, with the remaining rolling out weekly.
Atlanta (FX, Thursday, 10 p.m.)
Donald Glover’s groundbreaking comedy Atlanta returns for its fourth and final season. He told reporters during the 2022 Television Critics Association this summer that it’s “the most grounded season” yet. And yes, there won’t be as many standalone episodes this time around as Earn (Glover), Van (Zazie Beetz), Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry), and Darius (Lakeith Stanfield) are back in Atlanta after their European tour. Naturally, settling into their routines comes with its own issues. The A.V. Club will recap the show weekly.
Monarch (Fox, Sunday, 8 p.m.)
Fox looks to follow up on the success of the musical drama Empire, which ended in 2020, with Monarch. Except this one is all about that country twang. Created by Melissa London Hilfers, the shows centers on the industrious Roman family, who have dominated the country music business for years. But the dynasty that Dottie (Susan Sarandon) and Albie Roman (Trace Adkins) created threatens to fall apart when their origins are about to be exposed. Their daughter, Nicolette (Anna Friel), has to protect her family while ensuring her own stardom. Here’s a bit of The A.V. Club’s review:
For all its soapy seductions and scheming songbirds, Monarch’s reluctance to examine the overwhelmingly white fabric of the country music scene undermines its examination of the cutthroat nature of the music industry. The show, instead, turns into a familiar family drama, relying on plot twists that any regular viewer of the genre can see coming from a mile away.
American Gigolo (Showtime, Sunday, 9 p.m.)
Jon Bernthal stars in American Gigolo—and maybe that’s all we need to know to be sucked into Showtime’s new drama, which is based on the 1980 film of the same name. Bernthal plays Julian Kaye, who returns to Los Angeles 15 years after being wrongly arrested for murder, and hopes to reconnect with his love while seeking the truth about the crime that sent him to prison. Here’s an excerpt from The A.V. Club’s review:
At its core, this reimagined noir toys with some of Paul Schrader’s themes around sex and power, but it ends up lacking both the alluring and the propulsive mechanics of its source material.
Vampire Academy (Peacock, Thursday, 3:01 a.m.)
Julie Plec cannot quit vampires. The Vampire Diaries creator, who has a knack for telling stories about the fanged creatures, now adapts Rebecca Meads’ Vampire Academy novels into a 10-part drama. The show follows Rose Hathaway (Sisi Stringer), a guardian-in-training Dhampir (a mix between vampires and humans), and her adventures at a boarding school. Keep an eye out for The A.V. Club’s review of the show next week.
Sins Of Our Mother (Netflix, Wednesday, 3:01 a.m.)
Directed by Skye Borgman, Sins Of Our Mother is a deep dive into a recent, harrowing true-crime saga: the case of Lori Vallow, whose fifth marriage and spiral into religious fanaticism led to the death of her two children—with her as the alleged perpetrator. The three-part docuseries will feature interviews with those close to the victims and the alleged criminals as it tries to uncover what happened.
Hell Of A Cruise (Peacock, Wednesday, 3:01 a.m.)
If you have a cruise vacation planned, perhaps this is not the docuseries for you. A Hell Of A Cruise is about the passengers and crew aboard the Diamond Princess, which set sail in January 2020, with no idea that the coronavirus was about to turn everyone’s voyage into a nightmare.
Heartbreak High (Netflix, Wednesday, 3:01 a.m.)
A reboot of the popular Australian teen drama of the same name, the eight-episode Heartbreak High centers on high school students Amerie (Ayesha Madon), Quinni (Chloe Hayden), and Darren (James Majoos) as they navigate coming-of-age complications, from relationships to sexuality to popularity.
House Of The Dragon (HBO, Sunday, 9 p.m.)
Kevin Can F**K Himself (AMC, Monday, 9 p.m.)
Industry (HBO, Monday, 9 p.m.)
Archer (FXX, Wednesday, 10 p.m.)
She-Hulk: Attorney At Law (Disney+, Thursday, 3:01 a.m.)
Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power (Prime Video, Friday, 12:01 a.m.)
Tales Of The Walking Dead (AMC+, Sunday, 3:01 a.m., season one finale)
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (Disney+, Tuesday, 3:01 a.m., season three finale)
America’s Got Talent (ABC, Wednesday, 9 p.m, season 17 finale)
Grown-ish (Freeform, Wednesday, 10 p.m., season five midseason finale)
Mike (Hulu, Thursday, 12:01 a.m., season one finale)
Harley Quinn (HBO Max, Thursday, 3:01 a.m., season three finale)