What’s on TV This Week: ‘Katrina Babies’ and the MTV Video Music Awards
Between network, cable and streaming, the modern television landscape is a vast one. Here are some of the shows, specials and movies coming to TV this week, Aug. 22-28. Details and times are subject to change.
KEVIN CAN F**K HIMSELF 9 p.m. on AMC. This show, returning for its second season this week, is two shows in one — it follows Allison McRoberts (Annie Murphy) who puts up with her husband, Kevin (Eric Petersen), who is an immature, unhelpful archetype of a man like those in many other sitcoms. The scenes of them together are set to the classic sitcom laugh track and upbeat music. But when Allison is away from her husband, she enters a whole different show, in which she plots to murder Kevin. The series “will make us see the horror in what we’ve been trained to see as harmless, even if it has to smack us upside the head,” James Poniewozik wrote about the show’s first season. “It may be as subtle as a blow to the skull, but it’s an inventive meta-critique of TV.”
CINDERELLA: THE REUNION, A SPECIAL EDITION OF 20/20 8 p.m. on ABC. Twenty-five years ago, ABC aired a remake of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” — and this week ABC is hosting a reunion. The movie starred Brandy as Cinderella. Other cast members included Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother, Jason Alexander as Lionel and Whoopi Goldberg as Queen Constantina. “The matter-of-fact racial casting works so smoothly that it becomes one of the show’s happiest effects,” Caryn James wrote in her 1997 review. “The entire kingdom is blissfully multiethnic, with a Black queen in Ms. Goldberg, a white king in Victor Garber and the Philippine-born Paolo Montalban as their son.” The reunion special will feature cast interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of Houston, who died in 2012.
MOTHERLAND: FORT SALEM 10 p.m. on Freeform. This series is finishing up its third and final season this week. The show is initially set 300 years after the Salem Witch Trials, as women are on the front lines protecting the country. Raelle Collar (Taylor Hickson), Tally Craven (Jessica Sutton), and Abigail Bellweather (Ashley Nicole Williams) are all witches who enroll in the army and use their supernatural gifts against threats to national security. The series finale promises a culminating battle between the Unit (this group of witches) and the Camarilla (an ancient organizations of witch hunters).
MYSTERIES DECODED 8 p.m.The CW. For the last two seasons, Jennifer Marshall, a U.S. Navy veteran turned private investigator, has explored the unexplained. Episodes this season have included her looking into accounts of the Lake Champlain monster, the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, the so-called “Conjuring” house in Rhode Island, and more. Finishing up its second season, this week’s episode is focusing on Phoenix Lights, a 1997 U.F.O. event that remains a mystery.
KATRINA BABIES 9 p.m. on HBO. Edward Buckles Jr. has an intimate perspective on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina — he was 13 when it happened. He spent the next seven years talking to his peers and documenting the lives of children whose lives and communities were uprooted amid the devastation for this documentary, which features archival footage, first-person accounts, home videos and animation.
THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952) 6 p.m. on TCM. This film, directed by Vincente Minnelli, follows the movie producer Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas) as he uses those around him to become more successful. Those in his path include an actress (Lana Turner), a director (Barry Sullivan) and a screenwriter (Dick Powell). The film won five of the six Academy Awards it was nominated for. “Through all of this gory demonstration of the miserable innards of a man, the doctors are also displaying the innards of Hollywood,” the critic Bosley Crowther wrote in his review for the Times.
22 JUMP STREET 8 p.m. on FX. In “21 Jump Street,” Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill) went undercover at a high school — and in this sequel, the stakes are much higher: They are undercover at college, and they are trying to find the supplier of a newsynthetic drug. This leads the duo to fraternity parties, slam poetry nights and to events at spring break. “As in the first movie, the guiding comic principle here remains the appearance of ironic detachment followed by an assertion of sincerity that’s as appealing as it is disingenuous,” Manohla Dargis wrote in her review for the Times. “It’s a destabilizing strategy that allows the filmmakers to have their cake and scarf it too.”
NASCAR CUP SERIES: DAYTONA 7 p.m. on NBC. On Saturday, the NASCAR Cup Series continues its 2022 season at the Daytona International Speedway. The race, which is 160 laps — or 400 miles — will feature drivers who qualified at a race the night before. The Cup Series kicked off in late June and will continue until mid-September.
THE BOLEYNS: A SCANDALOUS FAMILY 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). This three-part series, which originally aired in 2021 on BBC in Britain, is coming to the United States via PBS. This fictionalized version of the Boleyn family, which included Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII and the mother of Queen Elizabeth I, focuses on a young Anne, played by Rafaëlle Cohen, and her siblings Mary Boleyn (Elizabeth McCafferty) and George Boleyn (Sam Retford), as well as her father, Thomas Boleyn (Max Dowler). The show uses narration from academics along with the actors recreating certain scenes.
MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS 8 p.m. on MTV. The awards are back this year and broadcasting live from the Prudential Center in Newark on Sunday night. LL Cool J, Nicki Minaj and Jack Harlow are set to M.C. the show — and Minaj will receive the Video Vanguard Award as well as perform live. Other performers include Blackpink, Lizzo, Jack Harlow, Maneskin, J Balvin, Marshmello and Khalid, Panic! at the Disco and Kane Brown. Kendrick Lamar, Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow, who are up for seven awards, are tied for the highest number of nominations.