Grimm (Friday, Oct. 24, NBC), season premiere: Law and Order: Supernatural Portlandia (or, Grimm for short) is back! When Season 3 left off, Nick (David Giuntoli) had lost his Grimm power to see fairytale Wesen creatures both good and evil, essentially rendering him the only straight-up human in Portland. (Seriously, is there anyone in this town who doesn’t have a hairy alter ego?) Now, it’s up to Nick’s ever-expanding Scooby Gang—especially the troublingly named Trubel (Jacqueline Toboni), the only functioning Grimm in the area code—to keep the local monsters in check, including tonight’s freak of the week: a memory-stealing octopus-man (!). Missed ya, Grimm. (Scroll down to watch the trailer.)
Constantine (Friday, Oct. 24, NBC), series debut: Most of the advance gripes about Hellblazer (it’s another DC Comics thing) adaptation Constantine were right: Maybe this show can’t be done on network TV, but what NBC has here isn’t a total loss. Matt Ryan is markedly better than Keanu Reeves was in the 2005 Constantine movie, injecting the right amount of seething swagger into the titular demon hunter—he’s Gordon Ramsay, literally in hell's kitchen. And ... that’s about it. The occasionally impressive effects don't mask the fact that excellent support players like Lucy Griffiths (who's outta here after the first episode, anyway) and Harold Perrineau (mercifully freed up from Z Nation) have nothing to do, and there’s So. Much. Exposition. But, hey, what else is on Friday nights?
Alpha House (Friday, Oct. 24, Amazon Prime), season premiere: “We spend 90 percent of our lives begging for money and whoring for votes, in order to hold onto jobs that are 90 percent begging for money and whoring for votes.” So observes Sen. Gil John Biggs (John Goodman) in the second season of Alpha House, Amazon Prime’s Veep-lite political comedy about four Republican senators rooming together in Washington, D.C. Alpha House’s second term looks to have more bite than Season 1, which, while funny, came off like a restrained take on creator Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury. Bonus: Amazon Prime is dropping all 10 episodes at once, Netflix-style, instead of one per week. The people have (up)voted!
The Good Witch’s Wonder (Saturday, Oct. 25, Hallmark), movie: Look, I’m as happy as anyone that ex-JAG/Army Wives star Catherine Bell finally has a steady gig outside of the military (this is her seventh Good Witch movie; a weekly series premieres in 2015), but this lightweight, small-town-witch franchise is cheese squared. TV could use a good witch-centric series, but nothing’s yet filled the Charmed void. American Horror Story: Coven? Over. Witches of East End? Ha! The Secret Circle? It ran for 22 weeks on The CW, and this is the first you’re hearing of it. Salem? Crazy-scary-cool, but it’s on WGN America, whatever that is. Back on point: Please introduce a Bad Witch evil twin in the series next year, Catherine.
Mike Tyson Mysteries (Monday, Oct. 27, Adult Swim), series debut: An animated Mike Tyson (voiced by Tyson) solves mysteries with the help of his sidekicks Pigeon (Norm MacDonald), the Marquess of Queensberry’s ghost (Jim Rash) and adopted Korean daughter Yung Hee (Rachel Ramras). That ’70s-Saturday-morning throwback trailer you saw on the Internet was no joke (and neither was the action figure Adult Swim sent me in the mail): Mike Tyson Mysteries is for real. Why? Because, according to action-figure Mike, “Now, instead of destroying people, I help them. I used to use my fists. Now I use my heart.” No, that’s not a tear … I have something in my eye! Shut up!
DVD ROUNDUP FOR OCT. 28!
A songwriter (Keira Knightley, right) splits from her douche-y boyfriend (douche-y Adam Levine) after he lands a record deal, but soon catches the ear of a music exec (Mark Ruffalo) in this romantic period flick about the dead recording industry. (Anchor Bay)
A high-schooler (Nat Wolff) takes a bet that he can sleep with the Popular Girl (Selena Gomez) by … Arbor Day? Also starring, inexplicably, Mary-Louise Parker, Patrick Warburton, Heather Graham, Gary Busey and (!) Justin Bieber. (Vertical)
Life of Crime
A kidnapped wife held for ransom (Jennifer Aniston) learns that her wealthy husband (Tim Robbins) already has a young mistress (Isla Fisher) to replace her. Based on an Elmore Leonard novel and plain ol’ common sense. (Lionsgate)
Fundamentalist Mormon prophet Warren Jeffs (Tony Goldwyn) marries all of his dead father’s wives and takes control of his polygamist following. Based on a true story a certain church’s PR branch would just like you to forget about already. (Sony, released Oct. 7)
Wish I Was Here
A failed actor (Zach Braff) winds up home-schooling his kids and, through the miracle of the twee indie-rock soundtrack, learns even more about himself. It’s like Garden State a decade later—no, literally, it’s Garden State a decade later. (Universal)
More New DVD/VOD Releases (Oct. 28)
Child of God, Deliver Us From Evil, Free Fall, Good People, Grace: The Possession, Jamie Marks Is Dead, The Last Showing, Plastic, The Prince, The Reckoning, Running From Crazy, Soulmate, WKRP in Cincinnati: The Complete Series.