En español | Put some champagne on ice! The 2020 Emmy Awards ceremony is coming to ABC on Sunday, and this year has a banner list of grownups up for television’s highest honors. We’ve got our favorites handicapped below, and we’ll be back on Monday with the winners and shows really worth watching. Meanwhile, get ready for two intense shows from Sharon Stone and Kim Cattrall, both launching this week. It’s a big TV week, so cozy in and enjoy!
If you watch only one thing this week, watch …
2020 Emmy Awards
(ABC, Sept. 20, 8 p.m. ET)
Grownups are apt to bask in glory at TV’s top awards show on Sunday. Get ready for it by rewatching the front-runners and their shows. Both Catherine O’Hara, 66, and Eugene Levy, 73, are the front-runners predicted to win for their comedy Schitt’s Creek — though he’s got competition from The Good Place’s Ted Danson, 72; Black Monday’s Don Cheadle, 55; and The Kominsky Method’s Michael Douglas, who turns 76 next week. Will the best-drama actress winner be Ozark’s front-runner Laura Linney, 56; The Morning Show’s Jennifer Aniston, 51; or Killing Eve’s Sandra Oh, 49? For supporting-acting Emmys, we bet on Helena Bonham Carter, 54 (The Crown); Tony Shalhoub, 66 (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel); and Billy Crudup, 52 (The Morning Show) — with side bets on Meryl Streep, 71, and Laura Dern, 53 (both for Big Little Lies). And for best-drama actor, it’s gotta be either Brian Cox, 74 (Succession), or Jason Bateman, 51 (Ozark).
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Meet your new (creepy) fall TV obsession
(Netflix, premieres Sept. 18)
The most lurid, bizarrely sensational-looking show of the year is this prequel to Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which shows how Big Nurse Ratched got to be so wicked. Actually, it does a terrible job of explaining her motives and transformation, but it’s still an addictively entertaining American Horror Story-like melodrama about the nightmarish 1947 mental hospital where she works. The cast is astounding — from Sarah Paulson in the lead role to Judy Davis as a nurse much more like the one in the 1975 movie, and Sharon Stone as a deranged zillionaire who’s out to get the still more deranged head of the hospital. (Fun fact: Kesey’s real-life 1950s VA hospital boss — who inspired the cruel Nurse Ratched character — met with him again in 1992. “Ken was absolutely tongue-tied,” Kesey’s wife, Faye, said. “And she laughed and said, ‘Don’t feel bad about that. I learned a lot from that book. No nurse wants to be like that.’ ”)
Watch it here: Netflix
RELATED: Sharon Stone sat down to talk to AARP about her wild role in Ratched, what it means for women and older actresses, and how it relates to her own father’s mental-hospital experiences and her own life. Plus, don’t miss Stone’s personal Spotify playlist, which she created to cheer up AARP readers during the pandemic.
Read it all here: Sharon Stone Tells All About 'Ratched'
Kim Cattrall is back and here to best her famous turn in Sex and the City
(Fox, premieres Sept. 21, 9 p.m. ET)
Kim Cattrall, Sex and the City’s Samantha Jones, gets her own show, starring as a fabulously wealthy Southern belle who takes over her family’s Christian TV network after her husband dies in a plane crash — which reveals shocking family secrets.
Watch it here: Fox
RELATED: Kim Cattrall tells all about Filthy Rich, switching up her fitness regimen in her 60s, and her high hopes for women in Hollywood. Read her interview with AARP here: What Keeps Kim Cattrall up at Night
Patriotic watch of the week
All In: The Fight for Democracy
Two-time Oscar nominee and two-time Emmy winner Liz Garbus, 50 (Lost Girls), and Oscar-nominated Lisa Cortes, 59 (Precious), present a documentary about voting rights on the eve of National Voter Registration Day (Sept. 22). The host is Stacey Abrams, the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives.
Watch it here: Amazon Prime
Put this at the top of your Netflix queue right now
Paramount Television/Courtesy Everett Collection
Girlfriends, Seasons 1 to 8
Netflix revs up its lineup of classic Black shows with Tracee Ellis Ross’ pre-Black-ish show about a single lawyer and her besties coping with life and neurosis.
Watch it here: Netflix
RELATED: Cool fall days put the chill in “Netflix and chill,” but do you know what’s new — and more importantly, worth your time? Use our critics’ picks here: The 12 Best Things Coming to Netflix in September
If you watch one thing on Amazon this week, watch this
Gemini Man (2019)
Three-fourths of critics hated the intensely dumb dialogue in this flick about assassin Will Smith (who turns 51 next week), who’s battling a replica of himself that’s decades younger. But more than 80 percent of viewers loved it. Watch it and let us know what you think! (Pretty good CGI on young Will, though old Will is aging rather slowly.)
Watch it here: Amazon Prime
RELATED: Want a little more Will Smith in your life? Our critics have not only pulled together the megastar’s best films — they’ve ranked them! Watch them in order, or pick your faves and stream them first. Here’s the list: The Best Will Smith Movies (So Far), Ranked
Yes, Virginia, there is a new fall season on TV this year ...
Niko Tavernise/HBO; Justin Stephens/FOX
No, we’re not having a bunch of shows launch all at once. But! New shows are launching this season, and they feature some terrific stars in fun and dramatic new series. Want to know what you can look forward to? Our critics have their ears to the ground for you. Get the very latest, right here: The Fall TV Season Has Arrived
Speaking of Hulu, here are the 10 shows you can stream and be as hip as your grandkids
Lucasfilm Ltd.; Sergei Bachlakov/NBC
We might be the land of TV for grownups here, but that doesn’t mean we don’t keep our eye on what younger viewers are loving — especially when those shows are worth the time and attention of the AARP crew. In fact, our critics rounded up 10 terrific series that millennials and younger are watching, which means you’ll have a whole new bunch of stuff to talk about with your young coworkers or grandkids. Check out the whole list (and take 20 years off your TV-watching age), here: 10 TV Shows You Should Watch So You Can Talk About Them With Your Grandkids
If you recognize the name “Joe Exotic,” have we got the list for you
Truth is stranger than fiction — especially lately. So there’s never felt like a better time to indulge in some absorbing, perhaps even lurid, true crime series. We’ve rounded up the best like Carole Baskin rounded up Joe Exotic. But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. Check out the whole list, and maybe keep the lights on.
Get the list here: The 15 Best True Crime Shows to Binge Right Now
The Emmy Noms Are Out, and We’re Loving Them
Mark Hill/HBO; Philippe Antonello/Amazon Studios
Pandemic or no pandemic, Hollywood’s TV pros have named their favorites for honors this fall, and our critics have culled the best series and performers to call out for your viewing pleasure. Use our new guide to the 2020 Emmy nominations to plan some TV nights, some series catch-ups and, yes, even some weekend bingeing.
Get the noms here: Emmy Nominations Offer a Grownups Guide to Good TV
RELATED: If you’ve seen Emmy’s top honored series this year, Watchmen, you’ve spotted the always-excellent Louis Gossett Jr. in the cast. (And if you haven’t yet dug in, get ready for a ride!) Our critics caught up with the multitalented 84-year-old star to talk about his superhero turn, as well as his new role on the big screen — a Cuban musician with Alzheimer’s disease.
Read it here: Memory Man: Louis Gossett Jr.
Calling All Friends Fans ...
Jon Ragel/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images
Could we be any happier that HBO Max is running all 10 seasons of Friends? And can you believe that the entire cast is now age 50-plus? In honor of one of TV’s best ensemble casts ever joining the AARP cohort, we’ve gone down the trivia rabbit hole and emerged with a brand-new TV for Grownups quiz: How Well Do You Know These “Friends”? We’ve got trivia about the real cast members as well as their characters. Have fun testing your recall, and challenge your fellow fans.
Take the quiz here: How Well Do You Really Know These “Friends”?
AARP Talks With …
Get behind the scenes of the biggest shows on TV right now with our brand-new interview with ABC reporter Bob Woodruff, 58, who joins up with his son for a new travel show on Disney+; plus Killing Eve’s Sandra Oh, Mrs. America’s Margo Martindale, Making the Cut’s Tim Gunn, and Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi.
Also Catch Up With ...
Greenleaf, Season 5
In the final season of Oprah Winfrey’s addictive family drama, Memphis megachurch Calvary Fellowship World Ministries faces demolition, Bishop Greenleaf (triple Emmy-winner Keith David) prays for guidance, and Grace Greenleaf (Merle Dandridge) finds out why folksy, ruthless Bob Whitmore of Harmony & Hope Ministries is so keen on controlling Calvary. All five seasons are streaming on Netflix now — check out Oprah herself as a wise elder in the first two seasons.
Watch it here: Netflix
New Girl’s Lamore Morris plays San Francisco cartoonist Keef Knight, based on the actual Keith Knight, who does autobiographical cartoons. A mostly politics-shying-away guy, Keef gets mistaken for a criminal by the police and gets PTSD, causing inanimate objects to start conversing with him. He has a deep talk with a trash can (voiced by Cedric the Entertainer), struggling to cope with involuntary wokeness.
Watch it here: Hulu
(Showtime, Sundays, 9 p.m. ET)
When love suddenly comes to several single, later-in-life women, it seems too good to be true. And, sadly, it is: Serial suitor and con man Richard Scott Smith uses the same lines to raise romantic hopes for each, while draining bank accounts. When a handful of Midwestern women find they’ve been similarly scammed, they contact a crusty female bounty hunter to help track and bring him down. Oscar-nominated filmmakers Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing bring a real-time urgency to this compact and addictive four-part docuseries that’s packed with nifty twists. A true story as bizarre as Tiger King, only more satisfying. —Roger Catlin
Watch it here: Showtime
RELATED: Get tips on keeping yourself and loved ones safe by consulting the experts at the AARP Fraud Watch Network.
Tyler Perry’s Assisted Living
(BET, Wednesdays, 9 p.m. ET)
Tyler Perry, 50, once hailed by Forbes as the best-paid man in American entertainment, will likely earn laughs with his new sitcom about a Chicago patriarch (Na’im Lynn) who gets laid off and moves his family to backwoods Georgia to collect his inheritance. There he finds that his wacky Grandpa Vinny (J. Anthony Brown, who will remind you of Fred Sanford of Sanford and Son) invested it in an assisted living facility that urgently needs more investors. New investors arrive — but they’re Mr. Brown (David Mann) and his daughter Cora (Tamela Mann), characters from Perry’s smash Madea movies. Mr. Brown hates Vinny, giving the show a Grumpy Old Men flavor. What’s not to love — and laugh at? (Also new on BET: Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, Season 7, Sept. 3, 8 p.m. ET.)
Preview it here: Tyler Perry’s Assisted Living
(HBO, Sundays, 9 p.m. ET)
The creators of Get Out and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker bring you the coolest high-IQ sci-fi horror show for grownups since Watchmen. In 1955 a black Korean War vet (Jonathan Majors, Da Five Bloods) hunts for his lost father in towns full of racist, gun-toting humans — and also terrifying monsters like the ones in H.P. Lovecraft’s novels. He’s helped by an old friend (Jurnee Smollett, Underground, Friday Night Lights) and his uncle (American Crime Story Emmy winner Courtney B. Vance, 60), who publishes a Black travelers guidebook like the one that inspired the triple-Oscar-winning film Green Book.
Watch it here: HBO
RELATED: Find out about Lovecraft Country’s Courtney B. Vance, who gets personal with AARP about his new big series, playing Aretha Franklin’s dad in Genius: Aretha and being married to Angela Bassett. Read the interview here: Courtney B. Vance Gets Real About Race, Aretha Franklin and Life With Angela Bassett
Netflix’s Black Lives Matter Collection
Netflix unveils a useful, intelligently curated menu of 48 or so top titles including When They See Us, Moonlight, Malcolm X and the current must-see, Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods (which could win star Delroy Lindo the Oscar he’s deserved for some time, and maybe the Emmy, too).
Watch it here: Netflix
Cate Blanchett, 50, is sensational as homemaker advocate and Phyllis Schlafly, who torpedoed the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s, despite the frantic efforts of feminists Gloria Steinem (Rose Byrne), Betty Friedan (Tracey Ullman, 60), Rep. Bella Abzug (Margo Martindale, 68) and Rep. Shirley Chisholm, the first black female presidential candidate (Uzo Aduba).
Watch it here: Hulu