A new season of the beloved The Great British Baking Show begins on Netflix. A “CMT Giant” is honored when an all-star country-music lineup salutes Vince Gill. The CW’s reboot of Dynasty comes to an end. PBS’s Great Performances opens its 50th anniversary season with a contemporary ballet fantasia about Shakespeare featuring spoken-word poetry. Naomi Watts stars in Prime Video’s Goodnight Mommy thriller as a mummy of a mommy with secrets beneath her bandages.
Courtesy of Netflix
The Great British Bake Off
Time once again to find your Zen with a new round of the delightfully good-natured baking competition, wherein Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith judge the skills of 12 amateur bakers. With episodes premiering weekly, the way this sort of TV should be consumed, the new season of Baking Show features another assortment of eclectic contestants, including an electronics engineer, a nuclear scientist, a music teacher, a nanny, a cardiovascular research associate and (my favorite) a cashier with a local radio show called “Compost Carole.”
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CMT Giants: Vince Gill
When you can get Sting and Reba McEntire on the same stage to sing your praises, you know you’ve made it. Not that Vince Gill was in any doubt of his status as a country superstar, earning an all-star salute in a 90-minute concert special also featuring Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Luke Combs, Chris Stapleton, Emmylou Harris, Keith Urban, Maren Morris, Ricky Skaggs and more.
If the sale of this network prohibits them from tarnishing the memory of another golden-age prime-time soap, I can live with that. This unnecessary reboot of the campy 1980s’ standard-bearer ends after five seasons and 180 episodes. (The ABC original ran for nine seasons, clocking 220 hours of glittery fun.) In the busy series finale, a new majordomo joins the Manor staff, and while there’s strain between Blake (Grant Show) and Cristal (Daniella Alonso), Blake teams with Alexis (Elaine Hendrix) on a search and rescue mission and Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies) practices her labor and delivery.
TV’s essential performing arts series opens its milestone 50th-anniversary season with a new work Black Lucy and the Bard from Nashville Ballet. Featuring a score by Grammy-winning MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Rhiannon Giddens and co-composer Francesco Turrisi, with choreography by Nashville Ballet’s artistic director Paul Vasterling, the cross-disciplinary performance piece also includes spoken-word poetry from Nashville’s Caroline Randall Williams, whose book Lucy Negro, Redux inspired this fantasia on Shakespeare and his muses, the “Dark Lady” and “Fair Youth.”
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Naomi Watts hides her beauty behind surgical bandages in a creepy psychological thriller based on a 2014 Austrian horror film with the same title. She’s the mother—or is she?—of twin boys Elias and Lucas (Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti) who arrive at their country home to find their mom swaddled in bandages and acting unlike the mother they thought they knew. Is she an imposter, or is something even weirder afoot?
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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
Much of the action in this episode of the epic fantasy takes place in the island kingdom of Númenor, where captive elf Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) is still trying to convince Queen Regent Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) to help her defeat the forces of evil encroaching on the Southlands. Back in that besieged human territory, young Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin) rushes into danger while scavenging for food, discovering that the dark magic in the hilt he possesses could be more curse than blessing.
Inside Friday TV:
- Secret Celebrity Renovation (8/7c, CBS): Super Bowl LVI champ Aaron Donald of the L.A. Rams heads home to Pittsburgh to upgrade his childhood home into a clubhouse for his dad. While there, he gets his own surprise: a reunion with his high-school defensive line coach.
- Dateline NBC (9/8c, NBC): The long-running true-crime series opens its 31st season with Keith Morrison’s two-hour report on the May shooting murder in Texas of professional cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson. Prime suspect: alleged romantic rival Kaitlin Armstrong, arrested after U.S. Marshals tracked down the fugitive in Costa Rica.
- Los Espookys (11/10, HBO): The acclaimed bilingual comedy about young Latin American. horror enthusiasts who put their passion into action for quirky clients is back for a second offbeat season.
- Heathers: The Musical (streaming on The Roku Channel): A The very dark cult comedy, where teenage angst had a body count, inspired a pop musical adaptation that played off-Broadway in 2014, and now it’s available to a wider audience via a live-capture performance from the West End in London.
- Do Revenge (streaming on Netflix): The spirit of Heathers lives on in a contemporary comedy starring Riverdale’s Camila Mendes and Stranger Things’ Maya Hawke as high-school outcasts who go all Strangers on a Train, teaming up to take down each other’s nemesis.
- More Netflix premieres include second seasons of the reality show Love Is Blind: After the Altar and the teen fantasy Fate: The Winx Saga, set at a boarding school for fairies-in-training.
- Mija (streaming on Disney+): Isabel Castro’s documentary follows two American-born daughters of undocumented Mexican immigrants as they pursue careers in the music industry, hoping success will bring their families stability.
- My Dream Quinceañera (streaming on Paramount+): Based on the hit YouTube series from AwesomenessTV, a 10-part series (launching with three episodes) follows three teens from Southern California planning their own spectacular coming-of-age birthday parties. Expert quinceañera organizer Maria Perez is on hand to make it happen.
- Sprung (streaming on Amazon Freevee): The comedy caper’s Season 1 finale takes place on the day of the motley crew’s big heist. What could go wrong?