Scott Foley and Lauren Cohan star in a new, comedic spy series on ABC. And the Oscar-winning documentary “Free Solo” is available to rent online.
What’s on TV
WHISKEY CAVALIER 10 p.m. on ABC. More screwball than “Thunderball,” this comedic spy series pairs an emotional, fresh-off-a-breakup F.B.I. agent (Scott Foley) with a by-any-means-necessary C.I.A. operative (Lauren Cohan) in a joint task force. Cue a dance of wit, sexual tension and clandestine assignments foiled by pesky human emotions. (“Agent, do not empathize” is an order given at one point, via a concealed earpiece.) The show finds humor and humanity in serious business. That’s a feature it shares with “Scrubs,” the comedy-drama series created by Bill Lawrence (an executive producer of this show), which also featured Foley. In his review of the beginning of the first season of “Whiskey” for The New York Times, Mike Hale wrote that it “looks giddily enjoyable.”
ALIEN NEWS DESK 11 p.m. on Syfy. If all you can think about when you watch the “Weekend Update” segment on “Saturday Night Live” is “needs more aliens,” this might be the show for you. Will Forte and Heidi Gardner voice a pair of extraterrestrial beings breaking down Earth’s news in this new animated show, led by the “Weekend Update” writer Dennis McNicholas. The anchors refer to an Academy Award as an “arrogance enhancement totem” and our very planet as a “backwater outpost.” So the show promises to stand out in the ever more crowded field of late-night programming through otherworldly skepticism and, well, by being hosted by a pair of cartoon aliens.
FREE SOLO (2018) Rent on Amazon, Google Play, Vudu and YouTube. Acrophobic audiences who nevertheless want to see the winner of this year’s Oscar for best documentary feature can take comfort in this: Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi’s portrait of the free climber Alex Honnold is as much a character study as a gravity-testing climb-along. The film follows Honnold as he prepares a free solo climb — a ropeless ascent — up El Capitan in Yosemite. But it’s also a story of what drove Honnold to pursue what is often a fatal sport. (The answer involves, in no small part, his childhood.) Chin and Vasarhelyi have “a knack for exposing, without exploiting, a little of the man beneath the apparent madness,” Jeannette Catsoulis wrote in her review for The Times. She called the film “an engaging study of a perfect match between passion and personality.”
TICKLED (2016) Stream on Hulu; rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. David Farrier and Dylan Reeve’s documentary on the adult tickling world won’t, in the end, leave you laughing — but it is a fascinating, mysterious dive into a subculture. What begins as the fulfillment of the directors’ curiosity morphs into something darker when they begin receiving legal threats for their investigations. In her review for The Times, Manohla Dargis called the documentary “terrifically entertaining.” The less you know going in, the better. It’s that kind of story.
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