This week in TV: Hate-watching awards shows, more ‘Das Boot,’ and where to find the good stuff
Your TV GPS, Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert’s look at the week ahead in television, appears at the beginning of each week at BostonGlobe.com. Today’s column covers June 17-23.
DIARY OF A HATE WATCH
They’re far too long, they’re aggressively superficial, they show us a vain culture patting itself on the back in a narcissistic frenzy, they’re filled with middling-to-bad-to-awful jokes and sketches, they double as blatant promotional events for the movies, TV, theater, and music that they’re celebrating, they are crammed with too many commercials, they’re often hosted by people – mostly men, and mostly men who already host weekly shows – who were chosen solely for purposes of intra-network synergy, they make you stay up too late and yawn violently the next day, they have become ubiquitous to the point where we are never not in the middle of awards season, they generally don’t have much to do with excellence so much as industry politics, the musical performances are overly lit, medley-ized, and too hyped up, they find their true energy in random moments (a rousing acceptance speech here, a major flub there) that always end up going viral online for much easier daytime viewing, they all usually honor the same group of nominees each year, so that the Golden Globes and the Oscars and the local film critics monotonously juggle identical titles and names, all of whom deliver the same red carpet banter and acceptance speeches all year long, they trigger sanctimony in even the nicest of stars, and they try painfully and embarrassingly hard to bring in younger viewers.
So: See you at the “MTV Movie & TV Awards” on Monday at 9 p.m., and then at “The 2019 BET Awards” on Sunday at 8 p.m.
WHAT I’M WATCHING THIS WEEK
1. Comedy Central is premiering a sketch series on Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. called “Alternatino With Arturo Castro.” On the show, Castro, from “Broad City” and season three of “Narcos,” portrays about 45 different characters, often with a Latino thematic spin. For those missing Amy Schumer and Key and Peele, and Dave Chappelle, this might be notable. Castro’s characters include a spurned bridesmaid, a Puerto Rican man who caught a paper towel roll thrown by Donald Trump, and a father giving the sex talk to his woke son. Comedy Central has made the first episode available in advance.
2. Summer lather anyone? “Grand Hotel,” Monday at 10 p.m. on ABC, is based on a Spanish series and produced by Eva Longoria. It’s a soap opera set at a family-owned Miami Beach hotel — which makes me think of the sadly shortlived Starz series “Magic City.” Demián Bichir, who was in “The Bridge,” plays the hotel’s wealthy owner, and Roselyn Sanchez plays his wife.
3. Back in 1984, drag queen Lady Bunny and friends began a festival that would become known as Wigstock and take place annually in New York through 2001. (Here’s the 1995 movie about it.) Then, last year, Lady Bunny revived the event with help from Neil Patrick Harris. On Tuesday at 10 p.m., HBO is airing a documentary that captures that revival while looking back at the history of drag culture. Called “Wig,” and directed by Chris Moukarbel, the film shows the divisions in the drag world over the mainstreaming of drag by the likes of RuPaul.
4. Just what we needed? On Monday, Hulu is delivering a German-produced sequel to Wolfgang Petersen’s 1981 film “Das Boot.” The eight-episode miniseries, also called “Das Boot,” picks up in the fall of 1942, nine months after the events of the film, and it focuses on the German submarine crew and members of the Allied forces. The actors — including Vicky Krieps, Lizzy Caplan, Tom Wlaschiha, James D’Arcy, and August Wittgenstein — will speak the language of their character, so subtitles will be afoot.
5. “Roll Red Roll” is about the notorious 2012 sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio, at a preseason football party. After the attack, the boys shared photos and comments on social media. Directed by Nancy Schwarzman, the documentary, which opens the 32nd season of PBS’s “POV” on Monday at 10 on WGBH-2, looks into rape culture and victim blaming in America.
6. A reclusive Chicago teen and a high school security guard played by Anthony Anderson bond over their love of hip-hop in a new Netflix coming-of-age drama called “Beats.” Directed by Chris Robinson (“The New Edition Story”) and costarring Uzo Aduba, it’s available on Wednesday.
“Adam Devine: Best Times of Our Lives”
A stand-up set from the former “Workaholics” and “Modern Family” star. Netflix, Tuesday
The fourth season premiere of the comedy series from Jason Jones and Samantha Bee. TBS, Tuesday, 10:30 p.m.
“Rivers of Life”
A three-part series about the animals and people who live alongside three iconic rivers: the Amazon, the Nile, and the Mississippi. WGBH-2, Tuesday, 8 p.m.
A family saga set in Atlanta, featuring Robin Givens, Brian White, and Essence Atkins. OWN, Tuesday, 10 p.m.
Nope, not about an afternoon toke. Poppy Montgomery plays a thief-turned-fixer for a governor. ABC, Thursday, 10 p.m.
RECENT AND REWARDING
There aren’t a lot of exciting new shows this week. In fact, there are none. That means it’s time to play catch-up with a few current and recently finished series. Here’s a handy guide:
The third season of Hulu’s haunting “The Handmaid’s Tale”
The Meryl Streep season of HBO’s “Big Little Lies”
The tortured love and backstage drama of FX’s “Fosse/Verdon”
Ava DuVernay’s heartfelt look back at the so-called Central Park Five in “When They See Us”
FX’s kooky and witty vampire comedy “What We Do in the Shadows”
Hulu’s good adaptation of Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22”
The evocative and beautifully acted second season of “Pose” on FX
Sundance’s marital comedy-drama “State of the Union” from writer Nick Hornby and director Stephen Frears
The grim realities of HBO’s “Chernobyl”
Season two of Amazon’s brilliant “Fleabag”
Netflix’s breezy “Dead to Me” starring Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini.