This week: Motherland: Fort Salem, Nine Perfect Strangers, grown-ish, The Chair, The Walking Dead
Motherland: Fort Salem
“Mother of All, Mother of None” – Season 2, Episode 9 Tues Aug 17 – 10PM On Freeform
Photo: Freeform/Jeff Petry
Nicte Batan (Arlen Aguayo-Stewart) is ready to talk. When Tally (Jessica Sutton) asks all the right questions, the truth finally starts to come out. And it sets off a chain reaction so explosive you won’t know if the world of Motherland: Fort Salem will ever be the same again. Raelle (Taylor Hickson) is taken on her own journey, which sees her draw upon her power and strength from within. It’s a tense episode that will keep you holding your breath, waiting for each blow to fall. If you thought Motherland: Fort Salem was ramping up for something big…witches, you ain’t seen nothing yet. This show continues to hit all the right notes and turns its alternate history into something that feels so real you believe it—and you’ll get chills watching new history being made right before your eyes.
From Freeform: Distrust in Alder grows as Tally and Abigail pressure those in power for changes. Raelle gains a deeper understanding of the Mycelium and its purpose for her.
Nine Perfect Strangers
Season 1 Wed Aug 18 On Hulu
Photo: Vince Valitutti/Hulu
We could all use some self care after this past year. But what happens when the self care industry takes that to the next level? Based on Liane Moriarty’s book of the same name, Nine Perfect Strangers takes place at a health-and-wellness resort that seeks to transform its clients into all-new people. And it’s going to do that by breaking them down into their darkest desires, their deepest fears, and their primal instincts. It’s not long before the all-too-calming “wellness” attitude starts to feel a little cult-like and you begin to wonder what the hell is going on behind the scenes. Nine Perfect Strangers is a slowly enticing watch, until you realize the long drawn out circles the show has been leading you in are turning into tightly-wound spirals where you know something is very wrong but you don’t know how to escape.
The all-star cast bring their A-game, stepping into their characters completely—from the unsettling yet hypnotic resort leader Masha (Nicole Kidman) to the tortured writer Frances (Melissa McCarthy), the fallen football star Tony (Bobby Canavale) to single mother Carmel (Regina Hall), to name a few. You’ll fully believe their individual struggles as the show digs deeper into why they’re perfectly poised to push each other’s buttons or why, sometimes, they feel completely alone. Nine Perfect Strangers is intricately layered with secrets and trauma and you won’t be able to stop watching as the story strips each character down to who they truly are.
From Hulu: Based on The New York Times bestselling book by author Liane Moriarty, “Nine Perfect Strangers” takes place at a boutique health-and-wellness resort that promises healing and transformation as nine stressed city dwellers try to get on a path to a better way of living. Watching over them during this 10-day retreat is the resort’s director, Masha, a woman on a mission to reinvigorate their tired minds and bodies. However, these nine “perfect” strangers have no idea what is about to hit them. The eight-episode series stars Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy, Michael Shannon, Luke Evans, Bobby Cannavale, Regina Hall, Samara Weaving, Melvin Gregg, Asher Keddie, Grace Van Patten, Tiffany Boone and Manny Jacinto.
“A Peace of Light” – Season 4, Episode 7 Thurs Aug 19 – 8PM On Freeform
Photo: Freeform/Tiffany Roohani
Zoey (Yara Shahidi) is flourishing at her new internship…maybe a little too well, she realizes, when she discovers her boss has taken credit for her work. Should she speak up or be grateful her work is being showcased on a huge platform? Oof, this is one big minefield that many of us—particularly women—can relate to. Credit-stealing is never okay but workplace politics can be tricky. Zoey is about to learn a hard lesson in navigating the working world, one that will sting you with the truth. Meanwhile, Aaron (Trevor Jackson) is about to learn his own lesson about the working world when he starts his new teaching job. His dreams of inspiring a new generation fall a little short and he’s about to get schooled. “A Peace of Light” gives our grown-ish crew a big dose of grown life—and their responses show the ish part of the show’s name. It’s painfully funny because it’s oh so true.
From Freeform: When Zoey’s ideas are used without credit by her boss, she debates whether to speak up and risk her internship — or sit silently. Jazz seeks medical leave from the track team by going to therapy. Aaron tries to make a good impression.
What comes to mind when you think of professors at an esteemed university? Stuffy old men droning on and on about dusty old books from centuries gone by? Well, you’re only half right when it comes to Netflix’s new series The Chair. Sandra Oh leads as Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim, the new Chair of the English department at the prestigious Pembroke University. She’s determined to shake things up but has to navigate office politics, a slashed budget, and the clash of young idealistic professors with the old tenured crew who just want to show up and do their thing. She’s also got a kinda-sorta-flirty-thing going on with one of her colleagues [wink]. Oh, and on top of all that, Ji-Yoon has adopted a young girl who’s just about as headstrong as her mom is.
That makes for a lot of moving parts, a ton of ego, and a boatload of dramatics (don’t English professors love drama of a Shakespearean kind?). Sandra Oh is stellar as an overworked, under-resourced new leader and her department knows how to push her buttons (shoutout to the queen, Holland Taylor who sparkles here). The cast’s performances turn a workplace drama set in a stereotypically old-fashioned place into a witty and whimsical series about fitting in and also standing out.
From Netflix: The Chair follows Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim (Sandra Oh) as she navigates her new role as the Chair of the English department at prestigious Pembroke University. Ji-Yoon is faced with a unique set of challenges as the first woman to chair the department, and as one of the few staff members of color at the university.
The Walking Dead
“Acheron: Part I” – Season 11 premiere Sun Aug 22 – 9PM On AMC