Worth Watching Wednesday: ‘Abbott’ vs. charter schools, ‘Race’ travels an hour earlier, ‘Killer Sally’ and ‘Independent’ on streaming
The Abbott Elementary staff objects when a charter school ad attacks their school. With The Real Love Boat heading to streaming, The Amazing Race moves an hour early on CBS. Streaming highlights include a Netflix true-crime docuseries about a female bodybuilder charged in her husband’s Valentine’s Day murder, and a Peacock political thriller.
The last thing the underfunded, overworked teachers at this Philly elementary school need is an attack from the outside. They’re understandably miffed when they see a TV ad extolling charter schools that includes criticism of their embattled institution, with further cause for alarm when students start transferring out. Ava (Janelle James) joins Jacob (Chris Perfetti) and the combative Melissa (Lisa Ann Walter) to demand a meeting with the leader of the charter school organization (Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr.). And where’s Janine (Quinta Brunson)? Discussing her personal life, such as it is, with Gregory (Tyler James Williams).
With The Real Love Boat now airing exclusively on Paramount+, the Emmy-winning travel competition assumes its more rightful place directly behind Survivor. This episode sends the remaining teams to Dordogne, France, a region of 1,001 castles where medieval games are played and memories tested while they rappel down the side of a castle. On Survivor (8/7c), one castaway reels from a blindside while another risks their status in the pecking order by sharing their “knowledge” with too many people.
A three-part docuseries from director Nanette Burstein (Hillary) dives into the case study of Sally McNeil, a professional bodybuilder who on Valentine’s Day 1995 fatally shot her abusive husband Ray, also a champion bodybuilder, while he was choking her. Charged and convicted of murder despite her plea of self-defense, “Killer Sally’s” story touches on issues of domestic violence and gender norms in sports that led to a caricatured media portrayal of this victim of unequal justice.
Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen & Slim) and Succession’s Brian Cox star in a political thriller as journalists who uncover a conspiracy that could impact a high-stakes presidential election. The candidates include the potential first female president (The Handmaid’s Tale’s Ann Dowd) and the nation’s first viable independent contender (John Cena).
In the fifth season’s penultimate chapter, directed by series star Bradley Whitford, June (Elisabeth Moss) demands a front-row seat in the war room as the exiled American military plots a raid in Gilead that could free her daughter from a wives’ indoctrination school. Speaking of wives and mothers, Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) continues to chafe under the oppressively watchful eyes of the Wheelers, caretakers of her beloved infant Noah. (Now she knows how June feels.)
Inside Wednesday TV:
- The Conners (8/7c, ABC): There’s turmoil on the job front, as Darlene (Sara Gilbert) learns her promotion isn’t something to celebrate, and after Louise (Katey Sagal) loses her job, she considers working alongside Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) at the Lunch Box.
- Woodpeckers: The Hole Story (8/7c, PBS): Billions’ Paul Giamatti narrates Nature’s celebration of the varied bird species, with some 239 varieties, each affecting their ecosystems in powerful (and sometimes noisy) ways.
- Home Economics (9:30/8:30c, ABC): Tom (Topher Grace) and his sibs have some starling news for their parents: They’ve discovered a half-sister they never knew about.
- Upcycle Nation (10/9c, Fuse): Claws star Karrueche Tran hosts a competition series in which designers take items from the discard bin and upcycle them into fashion-forward must-haves.
- Documentary Now! (10/9c, IFC): In an homage to the Oscar-winning Ali–Foreman boxing epic When We Were Kings, the mock-doc anthology presents “How They Threw Rocks,” a parody involving the bizarre Welsh sport of Craig Maes (“Field Rock”) and a legendary bout in 1974.
- Big Sky: Deadly Trails (10/9c, ABC): Cracks are forming in the increasingly cloudy relationship of outfitter Sunny (Reba McEntire) and husband Buck (Rex Linn), who’s struggling with the Barnes’ many secrets.