Summer is coming to a close, which is sad in some ways but almost always means good TV is on the horizon. Here with September’s highlights is our very own Media Manda.
By Amanda Thornton (aka Media Manda)
Unscripted Series to Watch for the Month
The Hunt for the Trump Tapes with Tom Arnold – Viceland, premieres September 18
Described as All the President’s Men meets Curb Your Enthusiasm, Tom Arnold tries his hand at “citizen journalism” in this series using his network of connections to search for the truth behind the many rumored, potentially damaging recordings of President Donald Trump. Viceland adds that “the network continues to maintain a secure website (www.viceland.com/tips) for any whistleblowers or sources to send leads or actual footage (all of which will be vetted and authenticated) to help Arnold on his quest for the truth.”
REVIEW: I doubt Tom Arnold found anything in this series considering nothing is out right now, but this still looks like an interesting show to see him interview people who have been close to Trump and where they think the tapes might be hidden. Who knows, maybe they will find something out from this show. There is a tip line after all.
The Great American Read – PBS, premieres September 11
Reflections from everyday Americans, as well as figures in the entertainment, sports, news and literary worlds, culminating in the first national vote to choose America’s Best-Loved Novel. Television personality and journalist Meredith Vieira host the series.
REVIEW: Who doesn’t love a good book to read? This will be a hotly debated show to find America’s most loved novel as everyone has their own opinions of what they think is the best. At least people can get some good book recommendations out of this series. The episode premiering in September is the fall kickoff of the series after votes have been taken throughout the summer. Voting is still open on PBS’s website.
Aloha Builds – DIY Network, premieres September 10
Michelle and her brother David re-model tired Hawaiian homes in a whole new way. These local siblings are blending the best of the islands’ design with tricks of the trade only locals would know. And, as with any siblings, there’s competition as well as chemistry – so follow them as they attempt to work side-by-side to amaze and inspire.
REVIEW: This originally aired under a pilot called Aloha Homes last spring but has been picked up for a 13-episode series. All in all, it looks like an interesting renovation series, and I like that it’s a brother/sister duo instead of a typical couple duo. Hopefully, there’s more playful bickering and rivalry because of that fact.
Haunted Live – Travel Channel, premieres September 14
Haunted Live with the Tennessee Wraith Chasers premieres this September. The team – Chris Smith, Steven “Doogie” McDougal, Scott Porter, Brannon Smith and Mike Goncalves – will head to a different secret location each week for a completely unfiltered investigation. Remember, when you’re live, anything can happen.
REVIEW: I’ll admit, I watched Exorcism Liveon Destination America out of curiosity a few years ago and I was disappointed to see that nothing happened even though they kept insisting something was going to happen. It seems making a show “live” is the new trend in reality television because “anything can happen” and people are rapt with attention.
Scripted Series to Watch for the Month
Maniac – Netflix, premieres September 21
This seriesfollows Annie Landsberg and Owen Milgrim, two strangers drawn to the late stages of a mysterious pharmaceutical trial, each for their own reasons. Annie’s disaffected and aimless, fixated on broken relationships with her mother and her sister; Owen, the fifth son of wealthy New York industrialists, has struggled his whole life with a disputed diagnosis of schizophrenia. Neither of their lives have turned out quite right, and the promise of a new, radical kind of pharmaceutical treatment—a sequence of pills its inventor, Dr. James K. Mantleray, claims can repair anything about the mind, be it mental illness or heartbreak—draws them and ten other strangers to the facilities of Neberdine Pharmaceutical and Biotech for a three-day drug trial that will, they’re assured, with no complications or side-effects whatsoever, solve all of their problems, permanently.
REVIEW: This show looks pretty weird, but I’m excited that Emma Stone and Jonah Hill are finally in a project together again. Superbadwas so long ago! This limited series is based on a Norwegian television series of the same name. The trailer makes the show look stylistically similar to Legion’sfirst season on FX, which was really good. Overall, I can’t wait for Maniacto premiere to see if it’s as weird as the trailer makes it seem.