Cabinet of Curiosities
Taking a cue from Rod Serling (The Twilight Zone and especially Night Gallery), Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water) shares his love for baroque horror as host and curator of a four-night wallow in things that go boo (and worse) in the night. With two episodes dropping daily through Friday, the Cabinet opens with the theme of “Scavengers” who get more than they bargain for. Tim Blake Nelson (Watchmen) stars in “Lot 36” as an amoral Storage Wars-like bidder on abandoned lockers who awakens a horrific entity. David Hewlett (Water) chews the grisly scenery in the darkly Dickensian “Graveyard Rats”—and the title’s no joke—as a debt-ridden grave-robbing graveyard steward who believes rodents are depriving him of his buried treasures. His subterranean search ends about as well as you’d expect. These immorality tales have a Tales from the Crypt sting to them.
And this is how the ordeal ends, as the kidnapped therapist Dr. Alan Strauss (Steve Carell) guides his murderous patient and captor Sam (Domhnall Gleeson) through another breakthrough, only to consider the consequences of their long-term relationship. Hackles will be raised as this intense limited series reaches its final chapter.
This pivotal episode wastes no time addressing the mystery that has dogged the musical soap from the start: Who’s the dead body the Romans have been fretting about all season, and how did this unlucky person end up that way? Once the blood has settled, the cover-up continues, with patriarch Albie (Trace Adkins) repeating his late wife’s mantra: “The truth is what you say it is.” Will that satisfy their friendly D.A., “Uncle” Tripp (D.W. Moffett)? Meanwhile, there’s a glamorous photo shoot that doesn’t go as expected for Gigi (Beth Ditto) and an ironic “Truth Teller” family-branded whiskey launch that gives Nicky (Anna Friel) another chance to audition for a solo tour. Susan Sarandon makes an appearance as late mama Dottie in one of her saltier flashbacks.
A gripping three-part whodunit introduces Outlander’s Lauren Lyle as the titular scrappy Scottish detective, the creation of prolific Scottish novelist Val McDermid (Wire in the Blood). Based on her introductory novel The Distant Echo, the series toggles between the present day and events in 1996, when a local barmaid was murdered and suspicion fell on three university chums. A true-crime podcast has brought the unsolved case back to the attention of the police’s Historic Cases Unit, which assigns young and hungry Karen to unearth skeletons from the past that lead to a shocking revelation. (See the full review.)
Inside Tuesday TV:
- The Resident (8/7c, Fox): The medical drama marks its milestone 100th episode with Kit (Jane Leeves) and Bell’s (Bruce Greenwood) wedding day, which is complicated when Bell and Conrad (Matt Czuchry) are called away to tend to a rich hospital donor’s sick daughter.
- La Brea (9/8c, NBC): The prehistoric time-travel adventure pits the reunited Eve (Natalie Zea) and Gavin (Eoin Macken) and their cohorts against the warlike Exiles in a bold (and unconvincing) gambit to hijack a mine’s black rock shipment that will help them gain access to the Building—yes, that’s what it’s called—where a portal could reunite them with the kids who’ve jumped to 1988. In that timeline, Josh (Jack Martin) meets his future grandma, or some such time paradox.
- Documenting War Crimes: Putin’s Attack on Ukraine (10/9c, PBS): With reporting from inside Ukraine since the war’s early days, Frontline explores the Russian president’s pattern of Russian atrocities and the challenges in holding him and his nation accountable.
- Fortune Feimster: Good Fortune (streaming on Netflix): The raucous comedian (The Mindy Project) performs her second hourlong Netflix comedy special from the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, where she regales the audience with confessional humor about her relationship with (and proposal to) her wife.
- The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula: Titans (streaming on Shudder): Premiering with two episodes, the Goth version of RuPaul’s Drag Race brings back some of the past seasons’ fan-favorite drag icons on an elaborate “underworld” set to compete for a $100,000 grand prize.