TV Guy: Helen Mirren dons another crown
God may save the queen, but the rest of us will have to rely on Helen Mirren. The durable British actress has played both incarnations of Britain's Queen Elizabeth and now stars as Russian Czarina "Catherine the Great" (10 p.m., HBO, TV-MA), a four-part miniseries co-produced by HBO and the U.K.'s Sky TV.
For those who think politics have never been messier or court intrigue more nefarious, "Catherine" begins as she assumes power shortly after arranging the murder of her husband, Peter, a point not lost on her weak-willed son. Many in the Russian court do not take kindly to being ruled over by a German-born schemer. And rumors of her sexual appetites are spread, fanned in part by her own boudoir behavior, aided and abetted by her confidante Countess Praskovya Bruce (Gina McKee).
Not to give too much of the historical record away, but much of her time is spent in the arms of military hero Grigory Potemkin (Jason Clarke), whom many consider too rough around the edges for courtier life.
A soap opera with epic historical sweep, "Catherine" explores how she used war and diplomacy to expand Russia's borders to the Crimea and the Black Sea, all while battling domestic enemies. Some may find the talk of wars and schemes between Russia and Turkey rather interesting, given recent headlines.
The production accentuates lavish locations, having been shot in palaces in Latvia, Lithuania and St. Petersburg, Russia. For better or worse, this is very much set in the corridors of Russian power. There aren't a lot of expensive battle scenes, but fans of sumptuous interior decor won't really care.
-- Friends traverse 1,200 miles through Texas' borderlands, exploring the wild habitat that may be affected by contentious immigration proposals in the 2019 documentary "The River and the Wall" (9 p.m., Starz, TV-14).
-- A series about how history repeats itself and reverberates in our current events, "Retro Report on PBS" (9 p.m., PBS, TV-PG, check local listings) looks at efforts to curb suicide among returning combat veterans, the roots of today's birth surrogacy laws and lingering effects of lead poisoning.
TONIGHT'S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS
-- The four-pawed set get their due on the "2019 American Humane Hero Dog Awards" (8 p.m., Hallmark, TV-G).
-- Designers compete on the new competition series "Rock the Block" (9 p.m., HGTV, TV-G).
-- Night terrors reach a fever pitch on "Prodigal Son" (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
-- "Lost Cities With Albert Lin" (9 p.m., National Geographic, TV-PG) visits remote Micronesia to explore the ancient island city of Nan Madol.
-- Shaun's first surgery worries some on "The Good Doctor" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
A double date on "The Neighborhood" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... Battle rounds continue on "The Voice" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG) ... A domestic violence call on "9-1-1" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14) ... Nine remain on "Dancing With the Stars" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) ... A new player makes waves on "All American" (8 p.m., CW, TV-PG) ... A message from a dream on "Bob Hearts Abishola" (8:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).
The courtroom becomes a wedding venue on "All Rise" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... A secret deal raises eyebrows on "Black Lightning" (9 p.m., CW, TV-14) ... A dancer fights back on "Bull" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14) ... A youthful voice stands up for a flooded town on "Bluff City Law" (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
Rosario Dawson and Dulce Sloan appear on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS) ... Julie Andrews, Jonathan Groff and YUNGBLUD featuring Dan Reynolds are booked on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" (11:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jimmy Fallon welcomes Scarlett Johansson, Pete Buttigieg, Jim James and Teddy Abrams & the Louisville Orchestra on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Mariska Hargitay, Lizzy Caplan, Sam Fender and Terence Higgins visit "Late Night With Seth Meyers" (12:35 a.m., NBC) ... Paul Rudd, Hasan Minhaj and Anthony Ramos appear on "The Late Late Show With James Corden" (12:37 a.m., CBS).
HELEN Mirren enjoys a steamy sex romp with a much younger man in her new TV show, Catherine The Great. The third episode of the big budget Sky Atlantic period drama sees 74-year old Helen's regal
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Much like its storyline, the costumes of HBO and Sky's new four-part mini-series Catherine the Great are nothing short of epic. More than 60 were created especially for Dame Helen Mirren in her titular role,
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A scandalous period drama filled with amazing outfits, shocking storylines, and the icon that is Dame Helen Mirren. There isn't much more I could want from a new series. Tonight (Oct. 3), the much anticipated
Helen Mirren is back on the throne where she belongs in Catherine The Great, but this could well be her finest performance as a monarch to date. HBO and Sky have proved themselves to be match
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