What to watch and listen to this weekend: 'The Exorcist,' Here Be Monsters podcast
Watch this weekend
The Exorcist, 9 p.m., Friday, Fox
Only time and more episodes will tell if Fox can deliver quality long-term horror in its small screen remake of The Exorcist. The Exorcist follows a similar vein as the 1973 original: A well-to-do suburban family becomes victim to demonic possession, and two very different priests are determined to save them. The two stories occur in the same universe, confirmed by a newspaper article about the Georgetown events 40-some years earlier.
Director Rupert Wyatt's take carries on the spirit of the original quite nicely. The scenes are blanketed in the crisp blues and steely grays of a chilly Chicago autumn. The calm of suburban life is punctuated by feverish shots of Father Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels) attempting to exorcise a young boy in Mexico City. But that's really where the similarities end. The pilot isn't very pilot-y. It jumps right in and assumes every viewer has already seen the original. (Who hasn't?)
Transparent, midnight Friday, Amazon: Season 3 of Transparent, Amazon's outstanding half-hour drama (not a comedy, but we'll get to that later), reminds us why we need a show like this. Maura Pfefferman (Emmy winner Jeffrey Tambor) now works at a LGBTQ crisis hotline. While she's still trying to navigate her own new world, Maura wants to provide the help and encouragement she never received. It's a chaotic episode to open with, but it provides a glimpse of what's to come this season. Here are just some topics touched upon in this 10-episode season: white privilege, suicide, HIV and the Holocaust. Not necessarily funny stuff, right? While some of the best shows on TV successfully combine drama and humor, Transparent doesn't provide much, or any, comedic relief. And that's okay. — Brittany Volk, firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW Easy, midnight Friday, Netflix: This cast: Orlando Bloom, Malin Akerman, Dave Franco, Hannibal Buress. That's not even all of them. The eight-episode comedy is set in Chicago as all these people navigate love, sex and technology.
NEW MacGyver, 8 p.m. Friday, CBS: The reboot of the ABC series from the '80s revives the know-it-all character Angus MacGyver, played by Lucas Till (X-Men) updated for the digital age.
NEW Van Helsing, 10 p.m. Friday, SyFy: Luckily, this series has nothing to do with the campy Hugh Jackman film from 2004. Vanessa Helsing (Kelly Overton) is the daughter of Dracula's nemesis, Abraham Van Helsing, and awakens in a postapocalyptic world overrun with vampires. Hemophobes, this show is not for you.
Here Be Monsters
KCRW's philosophical podcast explores the darker, sometimes criminal aspects of society. Whether it has guest journalists explain crime or a woman talk about her history of faking illness, HBM examines what it all means. Its first episode delves into the Prisoner's Cinema, experienced by those who spend a prolonged amount of time in the dark. The eyes and brain create vivid and terrifying images in response. HBM recently started its fifth season with episodes about hitchhiking, near death creatives and a man who sells fake paranormal talismans online. You never know what you're going to get, except confirmation that humans are the real monsters. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher and kcrw.com.
Contact Chelsea Tatham at email@example.com. Follow @chelseatatham.