Watching: A New Network Soap

Or some good coaching.

Author Headshot

By Margaret Lyons

Television Critic

Dear Watchers,

The Emmys were last night, and the big story — other than the fact that there was an Emmys ceremony at all — is that “Schitt’s Creek” swept the comedy categories. If you’ve already watched and loved “Schitt’s” and want something else warm and Canadian, you might like “Kim’s Convenience,” available on Netflix.

See you Wednesday.


I want something soapy

Gerald McRaney, Kim Cattrall, Aubrey Dollar and Corey Cott, from left, in “Filthy Rich.”Alan Markfield/FOX

‘Filthy Rich’

When to watch: Monday at 9 p.m., on Fox.

For anyone who ever wished “Empire,” “The Righteous Gemstones,” “Dallas” and “Brothers and Sisters” had a baby — a secret baby, of course, with secrets of its own — have I got the show for you. “Filthy Rich” feels more like summer fare than a fall premiere to me, but what are seasons anymore?


“Filthy,” based on a series from New Zealand, follows the members of the Monreaux family, who run a Christian TV empire. When the dad (Gerald McRaney) dies in a plane crash, his will reveals that he had three other children, none of whom quite fit the Monreaux brand’s moralizing mold. Drama ensues! Sudsy, ridiculous drama, but done with the kind of horny gusto that once defined Fox as a network. There’s a welcome wink-wink to everything, and Kim Cattrall’s performance as the sweet-seeming-but-really-scheming matriarch has the confident campiness usually reserved for guest roles on “Glee.”

I’ve heard from a lot of Watchers recently that their attention spans are shot, that they don’t want to commit to a big, serious show but that they have already watched, say, every “Naked and Afraid XL.” (Hello, friends.) If that’s you, and if you like prime-time soaps, watch this.

I need encouragement

The U.S. women’s national soccer coach Jill Ellis, as seen in “The Playbook.”Netflix

‘The Playbook’

When to watch: Arrives Tuesday, on Netflix.

Leadership comes in a lot of different flavors, and this new five-part sports documentary series profiles five different coaches and their philosophies and methods. “The Playbook” is not particularly experimental or even that deep — episodes are only about 30 minutes — but it does include a lot of direct and often moving discussions about motivation, about the purpose of teams, about defining “winning,” about how and when people learn, about growth. I’m always interested in expertise, and there is a ton of that on display here.


Your newly available movies

Naama Preis in “God of the Piano.”Film Movement

While more new movies continue to tiptoe into theaters, the majority of titles are still coming straight to home viewing, led this week by the horror movie “Antebellum” starring Janelle Monáe. Alas, the film’s lurid evocation of life on a 19th century slave plantation will probably not, according to our critic, make it the next “Get Out.”

Some independent films are available via “virtual cinemas,” which share the rental fees between distributors and theaters. Unless otherwise noted, other titles can generally be rented on the usual platforms, including Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu and YouTube. Scott Tobias


There is still plenty of scariness and satire to be extracted from the toxic matter of American racism, and there is great potential in a movie that connects the microaggressions of the present with the brutality of the past. “Antebellum” is emphatically not that movie. — A.O. Scott (Read the full review here.)


In movies, it’s almost a given that the more picture-perfect the family, the more screwed-up its members. In support of this, I give you “Blackbird,” a right-to-die drama so inauthentic and maudlin that the terminal illness suffered by its central character is no more than a suction device for the audience’s tears. — Jeannette Catsoulis (Read the full review here.)

‘The Devil All the Time’

There are no Black characters onscreen, though there’s a handful in the novel, mentioned in passing. Whatever the case, as a result all of the pain and anguish, all the drama and generational trauma, is experienced only by white people, one of the few directorial choices here of actual note.” — Manohla Dargis (Read the full review here.)

‘God of the Piano’ (A Critic’s Pick, via Film Movement virtual cinema)

Rarely does a debut feature showcase a talent so fully formed. This is a remarkably potent film. — Glenn Kenny (Read the full review here.)

‘Residue’ (A Critic’s Pick; Netflix and Laemmle and Metrograph virtual cinemas)

[Merawi Gerima’s] challenging, engrossing filmmaking style is measured, simultaneously realistic and impressionistic. What’s out of the frame is often as important, if not more important, than what’s in the frame. — Glenn Kenny (Read the full review here.)

Also newly available:


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