Entertainment Television

TV Cheat Sheet: Riverdale, The Voice

 Denette Wilford

Kelly Clarkson at the Halo Awards in New York City Nov. 4, 2017.

Kelly Clarkson at the Halo Awards in New York City Nov. 4, 2017.

**WARNING: Some content may contain spoilers**

KILLER INSTINCTS

Riverdale

I’m nowhere near Riverdale’s target audience. But Riverdale is like the Jingle Jangle to my TV-viewing heart. Do I roll my eyes at their teenage shenanigans? Yes, almost as good as Veronica does. Up until now, it’s been routine soapy viewing but this week’s episode was what I was waiting for. Any confusion as to why the Black Hood was attacking random people became clearer, thanks to his connection to Betty.

He wants to cleanse Riverdale of its sinners, and since there are A LOT of them, he threatens Betty’s loved ones so she can do some of his dirty work. His attempts at isolating her works, for the most part, though she still has BFF Archie by her side. And while that seems extreme, it makes sense. All this while – Jughead joining the Serpents to maintain peace between the North and South sides, and Veronica and the Pussycats laying a good old-fashioned Riverdale beating on city boy Nick St. Clair (could that be a douchier name?), who roofied Cheryl and was ready to rape her and it was the best episode of the season – maybe the entire series.

But it begs the real question: Who is the Black Hood? Is it A from Pretty Little Liars, because the similarities are uncanny. He knows every little thing about Betty’s life, and in true PLL fashion, neither Betty nor Archie question that. Insert one of Ronnie’s epic eyerolls here.

SURE, WHATEVER

Man With a Plan

For those who are still mourning the end of Episodes and need their Matt LeBlanc fix ... well, you can always re-watch the Showtime series on Crave TV. Or catch him on Friends on Netflix. But, hey, if you’re really desperate, Man With a Plan returns for its second season on Global and CBS on Monday. Yep, you may have thought it was cancelled or perhaps you didn’t even know the show existed for one season, much less another, but it’s back.

I know, not exactly a ringing endorsement because, admittedly, it’s not the worst thing on television (that would be 9JKL). Man With a Plan fits right in with the rest of Monday’s lineup and I presume those who like Kevin Can Wait, Superior Donuts and, gag, 9JKL will like this too. Throw in a guest-starring appearance from Victoria Justice in the season premiere, where she plays the family’s new babysitter who of course has the hots for Adam, and I can hear the laugh track already.

REALITY BITES

The Voice

Let me preface, the combination of Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Hudson has been fantastic. But there’s one person who has made Season 13 all kinds of amazing — and, no, it ain’t Carson Daly (though he does a decent job).

On the other hand, Kelly Clarkson, this season’s key advisor and coach for next season, has been a dream and I’m more in love with her than Adam and Blake are with each other. The Knockouts can be brutal but she brings a much-needed brevity to this heavy stage of the competition. She sings, she dances, she laughs, she cries, she hugs, she swoons, she has chemistry with all the other judges and she’s fun and funny as hell. Plus, she’s in the unique position of knowing exactly what these contestants are going through, which makes her the perfect person to guide these aspiring singers to the place they need to be. I’m calling it now — Kelly is winning Season 14. You heard it here first.

TOO FAR?

American Horror Story: Cult

For a show that can go overboard with its violence and gore, AHS may have crossed a line with its retelling of the Tate murders. Yes, it’s arguably the most disturbing incident in cult history and in this installment’s case, needed to be told, but ugh. While most of the violence happened off-screen, the imagery was alive and well.

By all accounts, AHS’ version of the events stayed true to what happened IRL — with the exception of Sharon Tate’s murder. Depending on whose confession you believe, it was either Tex Watson (Billy Eichner) or Susan Atkins (Sarah Paulson) who stabbed the eight-months-pregnant actress 16 times. But AHS put the knife in Paulson’s hands, likely to allow for Ryan Murphy’s leading lady to do her thing and go bonkers as she stabbed a woman begging for her life and the life of her unborn child.

Maybe I’m just being overly sensitive but perhaps AHS could’ve shown Charles Manson’s power over his followers another way and not through the murders “the family” committed for him. Because even though the violence was kept off-screen, the scenes were just as horrifying.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Blue Bloods

“I feel badly that she dies the way she dies. I did not know they would do that, I was surprised. I wouldn’t have done that.”

— Amy Carlson, to Deadline, on the way she written off the show (Linda’s death in a helicopter crash was off-screen and barely mentioned in the season premiere)

Her fans deserved better. And way to rile them up even more, Amy. 

RATINGS WAR

Here are the national numbers from October 2-8, 2017:

1. The Big Bang Theory (CTV)

2. The Good Doctor (CTV)

3. NCIS (Global)

4. Survivor (Global)

5. Bull (Global)

6. Grey’s Anatomy (CTV)

7. This Is Us (CTV)

8. Designated Survivor (CTV)

9. CTV Evening News (CTV)

10. Criminal Minds (CTV)

*Based on final audience data including seven-day playback from Numeris