‘Alias Grace’, ‘The Deuce’ Season Finale and More TV You Must See This Week

Plus a new take on a ’70s cop show, a Judah Friedlander standup special, an Edgar Allan Poe doc, and a bunch of Halloween marathons.
By  · Published on October 29th, 2017

Plus a new take on a ’70s cop show, a Judah Friedlander stand-up special, an Edgar Allan Poe doc and a bunch of Halloween marathons.

This week, the Halloween celebrations peak with a myriad of horror movie marathons and an American Masters episode dedicated to the world’s most famous gothic author. David Simon and George Pelecano wrap up the first season of their high-quality period piece, as a mid-’70s cop show comes back to life and the second of the year’s Margaret Atwood adaptations arrives. Finally, to keep things light-hearted, a 30 Rock alumni releases his Netflix stand-up comedy special.

To help you keep track of the most important programs over the next seven days, here’s our guide to everything worth watching, whether it’s on broadcast, cable, or streaming for October 29nd –November 4th (all times Eastern):

The Deuce (HBO, Sunday 9pm)

Simon and Pelecano’s latest series makes it to its first season finale and finds its characters and the city at the brink of change: twin brothers Frankie and Bobby take a shot at expanding the business, but Vincent hesitates when he realizes it means getting in deeper with Rudy. Meanwhile, Candy finally gets a taste of directing, Abby changes the Hi-Hat’s clientele, C.C. encourages a former pimp to get back to the trade, Barbara and Ruby bump into the wrong kind of clients, Alston finds himself in a tight spot at his precinct, and Sandra faces professional hurdles. As the show sets up new paths for all of them, director Michelle MacLaren (who also helmed the pilot) takes us once again into the gritty streets of 1970s New York.

Halloween marathons (Various Channels, Sunday through Tuesday)

Last week’s themed specials were just a warm up for this week’s Halloween marathons. Various channels celebrate the eeriest of nights with a non-stop supply of horror movies. There’s FreeForm’s annual 13 Nights of Halloween, which plays family-friendly favorites; TCM’s Classic Horror, that dedicates Sunday to Dracula and Tuesday to classic terror, and AMC’s FearFest, which includes Halloween and its many sequels among other titles. Sundance TV kicks off the celebrations with Sunday Bloody Sunday, featuring Stephen King adaptations, followed by SciFi Monday and closing with a Beetlejuice marathon on Halloween. Finally, Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey Network will be running a 96-hour marathon starting on Saturday that will include The Evil Dead and Evil Dead II, along with every movie from the Hellraiser franchise.

American Masters: Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive (PBS, Monday 9pm)

It seems quite appropriate to look into the life of the world’s most famous horror writer the day before Halloween. However, this installment of American Masters goes beyond the myths that surrounded the author and the notion of Poe as a brooding madman. Directed by Eric Stange (The War That Made America), Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive stars Denis O’Hare and combines dramatized reenactments and readings of Poe’s work by O’Hare and actors Chris Sarandon and Ben Schnetzer, with interviews with director Roger Corman and writers and academics like Marilynne Robinson, Matthew Pearl, Jeffrey Meyers, and Zach Dundas. All accompanied with narration by Kathleen Turner, as it explores the life and legacy of the one of the greatest figures of gothic literature.

Judah Friedlander: America Is the Greatest Country in the United States (Netflix, Monday)

Times of political and social turmoil often spawn the most interesting cultural products, and comedy has certainly benefitted in a way from the Trump era. Netflix’s standup specials like Hasan Minhaj’s Homecoming King, Trevor Noah’s Afraid of the Dark, and most recently Patton Oswalt’s Annihilation have explored issues involving the current administration, immigration, and racism. Now 30 Rock’s Judah Friedlander adds his voice to chorus. In America Is the Greatest Country in the United States, with his trademark deadpan humor, Friedlander covers everything from health care, college tuition, racism, climate change, foreign policy, marijuana, fascism, sexism, and mass incarceration… to brunch. As they say, humor is the best stress coping mechanism.

S.W.A.T. (CBS, Thursday 10pm)

Remaking old TV shows is a trend that has been on the rise in the last few years, so a reboot of the ’70s cop drama is not entirely a surprise. However, unlike the most recent adaptations that opted for a comedic approach, CBS’s take on S.W.A.T. doesn’t pull any punches: the series kicks off with a persecution that results in a young black man being accidentally shot by the team’s leader and it plays on a strong emphasis in racial tensions. Director Justin Lin (Fast and Furious parts 4-6) helms the pilot and serves as producer and Criminal MindsShemar Moore stars as the newly appointed head of the unit, along with Alex Russell, Jay Harrington, Stephanie Sigman, and Kenny Johnson.

Alias Grace (Netflix, Friday)

Following the success of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Netflix introduces the second major Atwood adaptation of the year. Based on the homonymous novel (which, in turn, was inspired by true events), Alias Grace takes place in a 19th century remote Canadian town, where a psychiatrist (Edward Holcroft) has to determine whether a woman charged with double murder (Sarah Gadon) should be pardoned due to insanity. While it might be riding a little on the ripples of the hype wave that surrounded The Handmaid’s Tale, this six-episode miniseries has promising credentials in its own right: American Psycho’s Mary Harron directs and Sarah Polley (Away From Her) writes, while Holcroft and Gadon are accompanied by Anna Paquin, Kerr Logan, and Zachary Levi.


Outlander S3E7 “Creme de Menthe” (Starz, 8pm)

Star Trek: Discovery S1E7 “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad” (CBSAA, 8:30pm)

Ray Donovan S5E12 “Time Takes a Cigarette” (Showtime, 9pm) – season finale

The Deuce S1E8 “My Name Is Ruby” (HBO, 9pm) – season finale

The Walking Dead S8E2 “The Damned” (AMC, 9pm)

Curb Your Enthusiasm S9E5 “Thank You for Your Service” (HBO, 10pm)

White Famous S1E4 “Appetites” (Showtime, 10pm)

Vice Principals S2E7 “Spring Break” (HBO, 10:40pm)


Judah Friedlander: America Is the Greatest Country in the United States (Netflix) – comedy special

Star Wars Rebels S4E5&E6 “The Occupation” & “Flight of the Defender” (Disney XD, 12:30am)

Lucifer S3E5 “Welcome Back, Charlotte Richards” (FOX, 8pm)

Supergirl S3E4 “The Faithful” (The CW, 8pm)

American Masters: Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive (PBS, 9pm) – documentary premiere

The Gifted S1E5 “boXed in” (FOX, 9pm)

Scorpion S4E6 “Queen Scary” (CBS, 10pm)

The Good Doctor S1E6 “Not Fake” (ABC, 10pm)


The Mindy Project S6E8 “Doctors Without Boundaries” (Hulu)

Zumbo’s Just Desserts S1 (Netflix) – series American debut

The Flash S4E4 “Elongated Journey Into Night” (The CW, 8pm)

Lethal Weapon S2E5 “Let it Ride” (FOX, 8pm)

NCIS S15E6 “Trapped” (CBS, 8pm)

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow S3E4 “Phone Home” (The CW, 9pm)

This Is Us S2E6 “The 20’s” (NBC, 9pm)

The Mayor S1E5 “The Strike” (ABC, 9:30pm)

American Horror Story S7E9 “Drink the Kool-Aid” (FX, 10pm)

Kevin (Probably) Saves the World S1E5 “Brutal Acts of Kindness” (ABC, 10pm)

Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders S1E6 (NBC, 10pm)


Riverdale S2E4 “Chapter Seventeen: The Town That Dreaded Sundown” (The CW, 8pm)

The Blacklist S5E6 “The Travel Agency” (NBC, 8pm)

Speechless S2E6 “S-h-Shipping” (ABC, 8:30pm)

Law & Order: SVU S19E6 “Unintended Consequences” (NBC, 9pm)

Modern Family S9E6 “Ten Years Later” (ABC, 9pm)

Criminal Minds S13E6 “The Bunker” (CBS, 10pm)

Designated Survivor S2E6 “Two Ships” (ABC, 10pm)

Liar S1E6 “The Marshes” (Sundance Channel, 10pm)

Mr. Robot S3E4 “eps3.3_metadata.par2” (USA, 10pm)

You’re the Worst S4E10 “Dad-Not-Dad” (FXX, 10pm)

Stan Against Evil S2E1 & E2 “Black Hat Society Part 1 &2” (IFC, 10pm) – season premiere


Call My Agent! S2 (Netflix) – season premiere

Gotham S4E7 “A Day in the Narrows” (FOX, 8pm)

Grey’s Anatomy S14E6 “Come On Down to My Boat, Baby” (ABC, 8pm)

Supernatural S13E4 “The Big Empty” (The CW, 8pm)

Superstore S3E6 “Health Fund” (NBC, 8pm)

The Good Place S2E8 “Derek” (NBC, 8:30pm)

Arrow S6E4 “Reversal” (The CW, 9pm)

Project Runway S16E13 (Lifetime, 9pm)

Scandal S7E5 “Adventures in Babysitting” (ABC, 9pm)

The Orville S1E8 “Into the Fold” (FOX, 9pm)

Van Helsing S2E5 “Save Yourself” (Syfy, 9pm)

Will & Grace S9E6 “Rosario’s Quinceañera” (NBC, 9pm)

Great News S2E6 “Pool Show” (NBC, 9:30pm)

Better Things S2E8 “Arnold Hall” (FX, 10pm)

Ghost Wars S1E5 “Whatever Happened to Maggie Rennie” (Syfy, 10pm)

How to Get Away With Murder S4E6 “Stay Strong, Mama” (ABC, 10pm)

S.W.A.T S1E1 (CBS, 10pm)


Alias Grace S1 (Netflix) – series premiere

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend S3E4 “Josh’s Ex-Girlfriend Is Crazy” (The CW, 8pm)

Once Upon a Time S7E5 “Greenbacks” (ABC, 8pm)

Jane The Virgin S4E4 “Chapter Sixty-Eight” (The CW, 9pm)

Marvel’s Inhumans S1E7 “Havoc in the Hidden Land” (ABC, 9pm)

The Exorcist S2E5 “There but for the Grace of God, Go I” (FOX, 9pm)

Superstition S1E3 “Half Truths & Half Breeds” (Syfy, 10pm)


Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency S2E4 “The House Within a House” (BBC America, 9pm)

Pocket-sized cinephile analyzing things as a hobby.