TV April 18-21: Couples Therapy, Mare of Easttown, Confronting a Serial Killer, Younger, American Oz, Sasquatch, Philly D.A., The New Wave of Standup

At least in Winnipeg, it’s spring, it’s winter, it’s spring… I’m in the grips of allergies and weather whiplash, but it’s all good. There’s TV! Stay safe everybody.

Sunday April 18

Couples Therapy (Season 2 premieres with two back-to-back episodes on cable 9-10pmCT/10ET on Crave, and all 9 episodes at once on Crave app) “The critically acclaimed docuseries provides viewers an authentic and visceral look at weekly therapy sessions with world-class therapist Dr. Orna Guralnik. Following eight months of therapy sessions, Dr. Guralnik guides three new couples working through intense conflicts: a single mother’s unplanned pregnancy forces her to examine if the father is actually the man she wants to be with; a woman confronts her husband for failing to deliver the life she wants, and the raw trauma of near-fatal alcoholism reveals unexpected consequences for a young gay couple. The season also sheds an intimate light on at-home confinement during COVID-19 shutdowns, forcing every couple – and Dr. Guralnik herself – to examine profound changes within their daily lives.”

Mare of Easton (series premiere 9:05-10:05pmCT/10:05ET HBO, Crave app) “The seven-part limited series … stars Kate Winslet as Mare Sheehan, a small-town Pennsylvania detective who investigates a local murder as life crumbles around her. MARE OF EASTTOWN is an exploration into the dark side of a close community and an authentic examination of how family and past tragedies can define our present. MARE OF EASTTOWN also stars Julianne Nicholson (HBO’s THE OUTSIDER) as Lori Ross, Mare’s best friend since childhood; three-time Emmy-winner Jean Smart (Emmy-nominated for HBO’s WATCHMEN) as Helen, Mare’s mother; Angourie Rice (BLACK MIRROR) as Siobhan Sheehan, Mare’s teenaged daughter; Evan Peters (AMERICAN HORROR STORY) as Detective Colin Zabel, the county detective called in to assist with Mare’s investigation; Guy Pearce (Emmy-winner and Golden Globe-nominee for HBO’s MILDRED PIERCE) as Richard Ryan, a local creative writing professor; Cailee Spaeny (DEVS) as Erin McMenamin, an isolated teen living with her volatile father; David Denman (OUTCAST) as Frank Sheehan, Mare’s ex-husband; John Douglas Thompson (HBO Max film LET THEM ALL TALK) as Chief Carter, Mare’s boss at the Easttown Police Department; Patrick Murney (SEVEN SECONDS) as Kenny McMenamin, Erin’s father; James McArdle (Ammonite) as Deacon Mark Burton; Sosie Bacon (HBO’s HERE AND NOW) as Carrie Layden, Drew’s mother and Kevin’s ex-girlfriend; Joe Tippett (RISE) as John Ross, Lori’s husband and high school sweetheart; and Neal Huff (HBO’s THE WIRE ) as Mare’s cousin, Father Dan Hastings.”

Confronting a Serial Killer (series premiere 11pmCT/midnightET) “The five-episode series covers the unprecedented relationship between acclaimed author and journalist Jillian Lauren and the most prolific serial killer in American history, Sam Little, and her race against time to identify his victims before it’s too late (Little recently died in prison at the age of 80, after avoiding justice for his crimes for decades). Through the perspectives of Lauren and several female investigators, survivors, and victims’ family members, CONFRONTING A SERIAL KILLER shines a light on systemic issues in the criminal justice system including bias against marginalized communities, particularly women of color, and those struggling with addiction, mental illness, and trauma. The series is executive produced and directed by Oscar®-nominated and Emmy®-winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger (the Paradise Lost Trilogy) with Po Kutchins (THE CIRCUS, THE MURDER OF LACI PETERSON) serving as showrunner and executive producer. CONFRONTING A SERIAL KILLER follows a weekly release schedule, with new episodes dropping Sundays on STARZ.”

Monday April 19

American Experience: American Oz — The True Wizard Behind the Curtain (documentary premiere 8-10PMCT/9ET PBS) “Explore the life and times of author L. Frank Baum, the creator of one of the most beloved, enduring and classic American narratives. By 1900, when The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published, Baum was 44 years old and had spent much of his life in restless pursuit of success. With mixed results he dove into a string of jobs  — chicken breeder, actor, marketer of petroleum products, shopkeeper, newspaperman and traveling salesman — Baum continued to reinvent himself, reflecting a uniquely American brand of confidence, imagination and innovation. During his travels to the Great Plains and on to Chicago during the American frontier’s final days, he witnessed a nation coming to terms with the economic uncertainty of the Gilded Age. But he never lost his childlike sense of wonder and eventually crafted his observations into a magical tale of survival, adventure and self-discovery, reinterpreted through the generations in films, books and musicals.”

Younger (Season 7 premiere Amazon Prime Video) Will this, as the series most loyal fan fears, be one season too many for this delicious soapy workplace romantic comedy? Let’s hope not. “The series follows Liza (Sutton Foster), a 40-year old woman who pretends to be 26 in order to get a job in the highly competitive world of publishing – and succeeds. Now working under the prickly Diana (Miriam Shor), Liza has to figure out how to balance her real life with bestie Maggie (Debi Mazar), and her “pretend” life with new friend and co-worker Kelsey (Hilary Duff), all while embarking on an exciting and somewhat confusing relationship with sexy tattoo artist Josh (Nico Tortorella).”

Tuesday April 20

Sasquatch (limited doc series premiere 3:20-6pmCT Crave, Crave app) “From executive producers Mark and Jay Duplass (ROOM 104, THE LADY AND THE DALE), the three-part Hulu docuseries SASQUATCH drops on Crave TuesdayApril 20, in line with its rollout in the U.S. While visiting a pot farm in Northern California in 1993, investigative journalist David Holthouse heard a story that still haunts him: on a nearby farm, three men were torn limb from limb in a savage Bigfoot attack. Now, the three-episode, one-hour series follows David as he revisits the redwoods 25 years later, in search of any evidence that might lead to the truth of what happened that night. As he pulls at the threads of this story, he’s taken down a path that’s far more terrifying than anyone would have imagined.”

Philly D.A. (series premiere 8-10pmCT/9pmET PBS) “In 2017, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania had one of the highest incarceration rates of any major city in the United States. And it’s become the epicenter of a historic experiment that could shape the future of prosecution in America for decades to come. When civil rights attorney Larry Krasner mounted a long-shot campaign to become District Attorney, he ran on a bold pledge: to end mass incarceration by changing the culture of the criminal justice system from within. He shocked the establishment by winning in a landslide. Now, the bureaucrats he spent his campaign denigrating are his co-workers; the police he alienated are his rank-and-file law enforcers. Pressure comes from all sides of a system resistant to reform. Krasner’s unapologetic promise to use the power of the D.A.’s office for sweeping change is what got him elected; now that he’s in office, that same stubbornness threatens to alienate those he needs to work with the most. From the eye of this political storm, filmmakers Ted Passon, Yoni Brook, and Nicole Salazar gained unprecedented access into Krasner’s office and behind the scenes of the criminal justice system. Over the course of eight episodes, Philly D.A. explores the most pressing social issues of our time—police brutality, the opioid crisis, gun violence, and mass incarceration—through the lens of an idealistic team attempting fundamental overhaul from within the system.”

The New Wave of Standup (broadcast premiere 9pmCT/10ET CBC) If you missed the first run last summer on CBC’s Gem app, here is the showcase of up and comers from Just For Laughs NorthWest in Vancouver, beaming right to your flatscreen. “The up-and-coming comics from across Canada include: Salma Hindy, a Muslim comic from Toronto who also happens to be a biomedical engineer; Yumi Nagashima, who arrived in Vancouver by way of Tokyo; Paul Rabliauskus, from Poplar River First Nation Reserve in Manitoba; Al Val, a bold transgender comic from Toronto; Ola Dada, a Nigerian-Canadian raised in Fort McMurray, Alberta; Toronto’s Cassie Cao, a former economist turned stand-up comedian; Vancouver’s Aaron Read who won JFL NorthWest’s “Breakout Artist of the Year;” and Calgary’s Brett Forte, who is upset with his Millennial generation…and thinks audiences should be too. Also taking the stage is Matty Vu who produces “Yellow Fever,” Vancouver’s only comedy show by Asians for non-Asians (and also Asians); Calgary’s Brittany Lyseng who swapped her elevator mechanic job for the comedy spotlight; Vancouver standup and cartoonist Jacob Samuel; and Toronto’s Kyle Brownrigg, who was the first gay male to be awarded “Best Breakout Artist” at the Canadian Comedy Awards. Executive produced by Bruce Hills and Heather Wallace.”

Thank you so much for reading this far. So, what is d2tv? So glad you asked. There is so much great TV right now but too much to easily keep track of. So this blog is me sharing my lifelong habit of tracking TV in general, but premieres in particular — series and seasons and one-offs on Canadian broadcast, cable and streaming. And since I’m doing it for myself, I share it here with you, every Sunday and Thursday. So thanks, fellow traveller, for stopping by. If you want this sent to your email inbox instead, shoot me an email or join the 42 others who subscribe (free, no strings) by typing your email into the box at the top right of your browser page, which reads: “SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL”. Who am I, Denise Duguay? Been writing about TV since 1986 or so at the Winnipeg Sun, then at the Montreal Gazette, currently at the Winnipeg Free Press and of course here, for myself and YOU! You might want to know – no judgement – I hate and mostly ignore “non-scripted” reality programming.

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