What to watch and listen to this weekend: Sword and Scale podcast, Halloween TV specials
Though the fall season has just started, the premiere schedule of new TV shows is starting to wind down. Luckily, Halloween is right around the corner and networks are filling our small screens with classic horror and modern thrillers.
Watch this weekend
Classic terror movies, '20s horror:
Nosferatu, 8 p.m., TCM: The first film version of Bram Stoker's Dracula is the chilling silent classic with Max Schreck as the vampiric count.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, 9:45 p.m., TCM: Eerie expressionist classic about a hypnotist, a somnambulist (sleepwalker) and a woman.
The Unholy Three, 11:15 p.m., TCM: A trio of sideshow performers turn their talents to larceny in this silent thriller.
Feel better about Hurricane Matthew:
Doomsday: 10 Ways the World Will End, 10 p.m., History: Here's some light Friday night fare - An examination of the possibility of a supermassive black hole headed toward Earth that could end the human race.
Maleficent, 9 p.m., USA: The origin story of the classic Disney villain who was once a kind, virtuous creature before humans destroyed her forest kingdom.
Aliens, 7:30 p.m., AMC: In the sequel to 1979's Alien, Ripley wakes up 57 years later and returns to the space colony where she first encountered the hideous creature.
Carrie, 8 p.m., AMC: Don't worry, this is the 1976 classic. A shy teenager with a religiously fanatic mother suffers from bullies at school, but enacts brutal revenge through her telekinetic powers.
The Ghost of Frankenstein, 8 p.m., TCM: Bela Lugosi's Igor coerces the son of Dr. Frankenstein to transplant the brain of the monster.
Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man, 9:15 p.m., TCM: Lon Chaney's Larry Talbot seeks out the Frankenstein clan to relieve his lycanthropic urges.
The Second Presidential Debate, 9 p.m., various news channels: Will there be more sniffling and shoulder wiggles? Tune in at 9 to find out. Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz moderate at Washington University in St. Louis.
SERIES PREMIERE: Divorce, 10 p.m., HBO: We're very excited to welcome Sarah Jessica Parker back to the small screen. She plays Frances, a woman going through the brutal emotions of ending her marriage to Robert (Thomas Haden Church).
Thinner, 10:15 p.m., AMC: The Stephen King story about an overweight man who wastes away after a Gypsy curse.
SERIES PREMIERE: Insecure, 10:30 p.m., HBO: Issa Rae, creator of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl web series, stars as an L.A. woman balancing work, dating and her circle of friends. Rae summed up the show's underlying question as, "What does it mean when you don't fit into this definition of being black?"
Sword and Scale
There are hundreds of true-crime podcasts out there. Some are better than others. Some delve into just one case while others showcase a new case every week or month. But what makes a quality true-crime podcast is the ability to present some of the most gruesome cases in a light that's both informative and entertaining without feeling lewd. Consistency and accuracy are key.
That's where Sword and Scale differs from the rest.
Created and recorded by Florida's own Mike Boudet, Sword and Scale explores the depravity of the human mind, showing that the worst monsters are actually real. Though there is a certain amount of rubbernecking that comes with being a true-crime fan, Boudet presents each case in a professional and intelligent way. Listening to Sword and Scale doesn't make you feel like you're slowing down traffic to catch a glimpse of the body in the road.
I was hooked from the cold open first episode, which takes a deep look into the dark effects of schizophrenia, weaving through a true case of a man and his family destroyed by the disease. Sword and Scale is now 76 episodes strong and grows every week. It has taken on stories of murderous women, missing children, secret sex rings, conspiracy theories and some horrendous crimes even the most avid true-crime junkie probably hasn't heard.
There are even plenty of episodes dedicated to crimes around Tampa Bay, such as ventriloquist puppeteer Ronald William Brown from Largo, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for child pornography. Even I couldn't get through this entire episode without skipping to the end to hear Boudet's soothing voice again. There are also episodes on the theater shooting in Wesley Chapel and the White House Boys from the Florida School for Boys.
There's a lot more than just shock and horror to Sword and Scale's episodes. They aren't just a presentation of police report findings painting a gruesome picture. Boudet uses every episode to present as much information as he can in hopes of answering how and why these crimes happen.
Listen on iTunes, Stitcher and swordandscale.com.
Contact Chelsea Tatham at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @chelseatatham.