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This week’s TV: The ‘Murder in Boston’ docuseries, ‘Monk’ returns, and rubbernecking George Santos

Former US representative George Santos, expelled last week from Congress, is going to be the subject of an HBO movie.MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Your TV GPS, Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert’s look at the week ahead in television, appears every Monday morning on BostonGlobe.com. Today’s column covers Dec. 4-10.

This has to happen, because of the way fame and the attention economy work. We — as individuals in our cars driving past an accident, as TV watchers on our couches flipping through channels, as voters in booths looking for something different — rubberneck. When we spot bad behavior, we reward it with views and clicks, word of mouth and airtime. Look everybody, it’s a new narcissist with no moral center! Look!

And so it may be George Santos’s moment. HBO is already making a movie about the disgraced and expelled former congressman, to be based on Mark Chiusano’s book “The Fabulist: The Lying, Hustling, Grifting, Stealing, and Very American Legend of George Santos.” Frank Rich, an executive producer on “Veep” and “Succession,” two of HBO’s most cynical shows, is executive producing it. Only days after Santos’s ouster, the circus appears to be heading to town.

I fear this movie, along with other coarser inevitabilities — a spot on “Dancing With the Stars”? A reality show about recovering from D.C.? A Botox product endorsement? Host of a reboot of “To Tell the Truth”? — will only feed Santos’s ego and notoriety. They will make what he did seem acceptable, since it resulted in fame and, no doubt, money. They will confirm that old saw about any attention being good attention.


Santos Inc. would give us another iteration of the Tiger King phenom, whereby the crazier a person behaves, the more successful they become. Those criminal charges? Just more time in the limelight. Hey, maybe Santos will become a politician again. That could never happen, could it?



1. The three-part HBO docuseries “Murder in Boston: Roots, Rampage & Reckoning” looks back at the Charles Stuart case, as part of the Globe’s series and podcast. Racial bias, a rush to justice, the targeting of men in Black neighborhoods, the impact on the families involved, it’s all here in painful detail, beginning with footage of the injured Stuart being loaded into an ambulance. “You see who did this?” the cop asks him. “A Black man,” Stuart says. The series premieres Monday at 9 p.m. (Trailer here.)

2. In the promotion for “Archie,” a four-part bio-series about Cary Grant, Jason Isaacs looks and sounds uncannily like the actor who grew up as Archie Leach. Let’s see if the show, premiering Thursday on BritBox, matches his realness. We follow the star from his poor childhood in Bristol into his years as an international star, and we see him with actors portraying Doris Day, George Burns, Audrey Hepburn, Alfred Hitchcock, Grace Kelly, and Mae West, upping the possible kitsch factor. The series counts Grant’s fourth wife (of five), Dyan Cannon, as one of the executive producers, along with their daughter, Jennifer Grant.

3. On Wednesday, Apple TV+ is premiering a three-part docuseries about the December 1980 murder of John Lennon. Called “John Lennon: Murder Without a Trial,” it includes eyewitness interviews, previously unseen crime scene photos, and insights from the psychiatrist who first assessed killer Mark David Chapman. (Trailer here.) The series, narrated by Kiefer Sutherland, explores Chapman’s motives in depth.


From left: Traylor Howard, Tony Shalhoub, Jason Gray-Stanford, and Ted Levine reunite for "Mr. Monk's Last Case: A Monk Movie."Steve Wilkie/PEACOCK

4. Peacock is bringing back Tony Shalhoub’s Adrian Monk, the quirky, obsessive-compulsive fellow with a long list of phobias who solved crimes for eight seasons on USA. He’s in “Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie,” a one-off due on Friday (trailer here) that will find him back in business again for a case involving his beloved stepdaughter, Molly. Series creator Andy Breckman wrote the film, which will bring back Ted Levine, Traylor Howard, Jason Gray-Stanford, Melora Hardin, and Hector Elizondo, along with Shalhoub. The gang got back together once before during the pandemic for a short called “Mr. Monk Shelters in Place.”

5. After a major high-risk heist, the crew of elite criminals go their separate ways and start new lives. But then an assassin starts targeting them one by one, and they need to get back in touch to figure out who’s doing it. Called “Culprits,” the stylized British eight-parter stars Gemma Arterton, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Eddie Izzard, and Kirby Howell-Baptiste. Written and directed by J Blakeson (“I Care a Lot”), it premieres Friday on Hulu. (Trailer here.)

LL Cool J performs at the "Grammy Salute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop." The concert special will be broadcast Sunday on CBS.Sonja Flemming/CBS


“A Grammy Salute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop” A tribute featuring Common, LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, Questlove, and De La Soul. CBS, Sunday, 8:30 p.m.

“The Lovers” A spiky rom-com from the United Kingdom in six parts, starring Johnny Flynn and Roisin Gallagher. Sundance Now, Thursday


“My Life With the Walter Boys” Adapted from Ali Novak’s novel about a 15-year-old girl moving in with a family with 10 sons. Netflix, Thursday


“Slow Horses” The great Gary Oldman spy series is back for season three. Apple TV+

“The Artful Dodger” The Dickens character is a doctor down under. Hulu, Disney+

“The Crown” The first part of the final season gives us the death of Diana. Netflix

“Fargo” The fifth season is a return to form, with Jon Hamm as a bad guy. FX and Hulu

“The Buccaneers” The unfinished Wharton novel is adapted with contemporary touches. Apple TV+

“A Murder at the End of the World” Emma Corrin stars as a hacker-sleuth in Iceland. Hulu

“All the Light We Cannot See” A four-part adaptation of Anthony Doerr’s novel. Netflix

“The Gilded Age” Julian Fellowes’s period piece returns for season two. HBO

“Fellow Travelers” An epic gay romance that starts in the McCarthy era. Showtime, Paramount+

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him @MatthewGilbert.