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Home » What to Watch: Christmas, Christmas, and More Christmas, Plus The Gilded Age & Black Cake

What to Watch: Christmas, Christmas, and More Christmas, Plus The Gilded Age & Black Cake

If you’re ready to go back to 1883 again, The Gilded Age returns this week. As usual, it does not disappoint!

We’ve also got Christmas coming out of our eyeballs as we careen past Halloween. That still never ceases to amaze us.

Hulu’s Black Cake is also worth a look. Find out what else we recommend below!

What to Watch Oct 28, 2023

Saturday, October 28

8/7c Mystic Christmas (Hallmark)

Who doesn’t love the aquarium? In case you’re thinking, “Me because they deserve to be free,” well, remember that aquariums serve as rescues these days. Much happier situation!

Anyway, in this delightful flick, a marine veterinarian travels to Mystic, Connecticut, during the holidays to work at the rehabilitation center and aquarium.

There, she helps Peppermint the seal to get released back to sea, and she reconnects with Sawyer, the owner of the pizza shop.

8/7c Bringing Christmas Home (GAF)

It’s always worth remembering that our freedom isn’t really free at all.

In the latest Great American Family Christmas movie, a professor of military history teams with an antique store owner to help track down the original owner of a historic WWII uniform and the love letters in its pockets.

Jill Wagner and Paul Greene bring this one home!

8/7c Would You Kill For Me? The Mary Bailey Story (Lifetime)

Capping off the latest Ripped From the Headlines series, we get the powerful albeit disturbing story inspired by Mary Bailey’s life and book “My Mother’s Soldier.”

Melissa Joan Hart executive produces the film told from three different perspectives about how a mother convinced her 11-year-old daughter to kill her abusive stepfather.

It’s an inspiring yet chilling film, and we had the distinct privilege of speaking with the real Mary Elizabeth Bailey ahead of the film, so please check out her inspiring interview as well!

9/8c All Rise (OWN)

Women’s rights are at risk! Amy and Ness represent a woman in danger of going to prison for getting an abortion in Texas under a false ID.

After being recalled, DA Bravo decided to try a huge murder case himself, putting his career and his relationships on the line.

Rachel returns to town. Will things be the same once she learns the truth about Lola and Andre?

Sunday, October 29

8/7c Joyeux Noel (Hallmark)

When a romantic painting of a Christmas market captures the imagination of Lea, a copy editor and aspiring journalist, she is sent to France with Mark, a pragmatic reporter, to uncover the mystery behind the artist.

We adore Jaicy Elliott and Brant Daugherty, so we’re really looking forward to this one.

Bonus! Brant and his wife Kim Daughterty wrote Joyeux Noel, which, incidentally, is not the first movie with this title. The husband and wife duo is becoming very good at this writing thing!

8/7c Journey to Christmas (GAF)

The battle royale between Hallmark and Great American Family continues!

While on a charity press tour, a model (Ash Tsai) ends up stranded by the weather at the family home of the driver (Joey Heyworth) she hired to assist her for the week.

They look cute. We’ll give it a try. Will you?

9/8c Billy the Kid (MGM+)

Billy and the Regulators hear news that John Tunstall’s ranch is going to be raided.

Will this be the first skirmish in the Lincoln County War?

If so, who will be the first prominent figures to fall?

9/8c The Gilded Age (HBO/Max)

Welcome to 1883, HBO style!

The latest journey through the upper crust of Manhattan society begins on Easter Sunday, and let it be no surprise that Bertha Russell is still climbing her way to the very top.

Things get pretty exciting very quickly as she challenges Mrs. Astor, who has repeatedly refused to help the Russell’s score a box at the opera house, by suggesting that the Metropolitan Opera may be the place to be next season.

9/8c Fear the Walking Dead (AMC)

After the WTF-fest that was the midseason premiere, Madison is forced to regroup with some of her old friends in order to take down the threat of Troy.

We can expect more reunions, more shockers, and more mind-numbing twists. Hey, it’s what we’ve come to expect at this stage.

It is still a decent episode, if you can suspend your disbelief.

9/8c Love at the Lodge (UP)

In the mood for romance but have no desire for Christmas? Up has you covered. Hey, this stuff is big business!

Emma, an uptight lawyer, plans the perfect retreat in hopes of making partner.

But as Emma and the retreat center’s manager, Liam, get to know each other better, Emma starts to learn the value of cutting loose.

Monday, October 30

Days of Our Lives (Peacock)

Welcome back, Blake Berris! That’s right — the man who sent chills up viewers’ spines as Nick Fallon is back just in time for Halloween. But this time, he’s not playing Nick; he’s playing a new character named Everett who has ties to both Stephanie and Jada.

You’ll have to tune in to find out what Everett’s up to! And what will the fallout be from Gabi and Stefan’s plans?

Plus, get ready for two weddings as both EJ and Eric are ready to tie the knot with their respective brides. But weddings never go smoothly in Salem, do they? Finally, don’t miss this year’s Halloween episode, which involves a guest appearance from Whitley and a whole lot of undead people!

Hell House LLC Origins: The Carmichael Manor (Shudder/AMC+)

When a group of cold case investigators stay at the Carmichael Manor, site of the unsolved murders of the Carmichael family back in the eighties, they’re never heard from again.

What is discovered on their footage is even more disturbing than anything found on the Hell House tapes.

Christmas, schristmas. It’s Halloween week, after all!

Neighbours (Amazon Freevee)

Neighbours has always been faster paced than American soaps, but this is one week you don’t want to miss!

The anthrax scare leads Andrew to save the Varga-Murphys — again — and JJ may feel compelled to finally tell everyone his suspicions that Andrew is his bio-dad. This won’t go over well with Cara, especially if she finds out that Wendy’s meddling brought the Linwell brothers to their doorstep.

Plus, Mackenzie and Holly’s attempt to confront Ed leads to a dangerous situation… and to a new love triangle. And if you thought Nell’s war against Terese was over, you were wrong — after overhearing something disturbing, Nell’s back at it!

Whether you’re a long-time or a new viewer, you need to tune in — and if you haven’t started watching Neighbours yet, this is a great time to begin!

🎃 Tuesday, October 31🎃

8/7c Quantum Leap (NBC)

Talk about landing close to home! Ben’s next leap drops him into the powder keg of Los Angeles’ Koreatown on the brink of the 1992 riots.

With Addison benched, Magic steps in as holo-guide and his personal history with riots lends a whole new perspective to the mission.

Meanwhile, back at HQ, what will we learn about Rachel’s mysterious boss and the imminent danger of Ziggy’s code leaking out into the world?


It’s another two-case week, with the first one featuring a horrible case of three women missing in Yosemite National Park and a note taunting the FBI on a burning car.

After the FBI finds a fourth woman beheaded near the park, they suspect a seriel killer, and need a behavioral profiler to understand this criminal.

On the second episode, the feds deal with a sniper in Washington DC who chooses his victims randomly.

Wednesday, November 1

Mysteries of the Faith (Netflix)

With unprecedented access to holy sites across the world, this series explores the secrets of Christianity’s most legendary treasures. From the Crown of Thorns to the iconic Holy Grail, these cherished relics have inspired millions for centuries.

Steeped in myth and legend, and credited with miracles, they have shaped human history. Now, for the first time, global audiences can witness the hidden power and evolving mystique of these sacred objects as never before.

This stuff is really fascinating no matter your faith. It’s definitely on our list to check out asap!

Doom Patrol (MAX)

Well, here we go: down the proverbial rabbit hole. Also known as, in Doom Patrol-speak, the Time Stream. Time travel is always wibbly-wobbly, but being pushed into the Time Stream will be a whole new adventure.

The potential for shenanigans is high, with who knows who popping up to mess with the continuum. With their past, present, and future at stake, how will our team weather the storm?

Star Trek: Lower Decks (Paramount+)

How can it be season finale time already? What is Locarno up to? Can Mariner convince him she’s no longer the troublemaker he seems to think she is? Is it a Lower Decks uprising we’re about to witness? And could Dr. Crusher really teach Boimler to tap dance?

The Real Housewives of Miami (Bravo)

The ladies are back on Bravo after a two season detour to Peacock, and it remains the best entry in the expansive franchise for several reasons.

The cast continues to deliver non-manufactured storylines that drive the initial conflicts very well.

Alexia is ready to reflect on her actions, but will that bring her back to a friendship level with Adriana?

Black Cake (Hulu)

Book-to-screen adaptations can either grab you with a unique intrigue that maks the jump worthwhile, or leave you wanting more or simply preferring to stick to the book in the first place.

Black Cake may easily fall into the latter rather than the former, but there’s something of note watching a talented cast bring Charmaine Wilkerson’s time-hopping, family drama meets murder mystery to life.

Estranged siblings learn some shocking revelations about their mother after her death, and it leads them down a fascinating path of learning the truth about their globe-trotting mother as she went from Covey, a young, begrudging bride in Jamaica, to Eleanor, in California five decades later.

9/8c The Spencer Sisters (The CW)

Victoria’s interior designer friend Rory suspects someone is trying to kill him, and wants to hire the Spencer Sisters. The hitch – he wants to help them catch the suspect and they uncover an actual crime in the process. Darby must turn to an unlikely ally, Lindsay, for help on the case.

9/8c Magnum P.I. (NBC)

A missing gamer’s online friends hire Magnum and Higgins to find him. T.C.’s recovery gets interrupted when Jin involves him in one of his schemes. T.C. Is never going to come all the way back if he doesn’t learn how to say, “no.”

Thursday, November 2

8/7c My Christmas Guide (HMM)

We’re all suckers for dogs, and we certainly appreciate the work they do for humanity.

It would be so shocking to lose your sight, but our canine friends can work miracles for how we adapt.

In this Miracles of Christmas original, a single dad who suddenly loses his sight bonds with the trainer of his new seeing-eye dog.

9/8c Transplant (NBC)

In nothing else, Transplant is following a predictable path this season.

See if any of this sounds familiar. Bash butts heads with Dr. Devi over how to treat a couple of skydivers; Mags speaks out against her boss, Dr. Foster; a mistake comes back to haunt Theo.

All that’s missing from the Transplant Bingo card is June once again fretting about her career choices.

10/9c SEAL Team (CBS)

Are you ready to check back in with Bravo Team?

CBS will air SEAL Team Season 5 beginning tonight, giving fans who didn’t follow the show to Paramount+ the opportunity to get up to speed with all the drama.

SEAL Team Season 5 is one of the drama’s best seasons as it tackles some of the show’s most personal storylines yet.

Friday, November 3

Fingernails (Apple TV+)

If there was an innovative test that proved whether you and your partner were in love, would you take it?

From director Christos Nikou comes Fingernails, a playful meditation on love starring Jessie Buckley, Riz Ahmed, and Jeremy Allen White.

It seems a little unfair that one woman would get to choose between two such gents, but hey, we’ll watch!

8/7c Power Book IV: Force (Starz)

It’s penultimate time, and things are heating all the way up.

With Tommy and Diamond aware there may be a snitch among them, they put their people to the test, while the war between Miguel and the Serbs hits a fever pitch.

You won’t want to miss this last hour before the wild finale!

Fellow Travelers (Paramount+/Showtime)

After the impressive series premiere, the second episode delves deeper into the bond between Hawkins and Tim in the 1950s.

As their relationship goes from strength to strength, they both face some harsh realities 26 years later as Tim struggles to let Hawkins back in.

With him leaving the U.S. for Milan, will Hawkins be able to find closure before it’s too late?

Upload (Prime Video)

We’re getting the best of both world, literally with Nathan and Nora in the outside world and Ingrid and Copy Nathan in Lakeview. But will the two Nathans ever cross paths with each other? Maybe!

Nora and Copy Nathan are determined to get some justice after the Freeyond debacle, while Aleesha has her hands full with teaching the AI Guys how to be more human while navigating her new bond with Karina.

Also don’t forget to check back for an exclusive interview with one of the writers.

Quiz Lady (Hulu)

Sisterhood is a trip, the logline says. We would agree.

Will it ever come to the point where our siblings might need to compete on a game show for the cash-strapped family? Doubtful.

Still, what a cast in this one! Sandra Oh, Awkwafina, Jason Schwartzman, Will Ferrell, Tony Hale, and Holland Taylor bring this story about a dysfunctional family (is there any other kind?) to life.

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on X and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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