“Outcast” brings the satanic scares; “Feed the Beast” arrives undercooked.
Friday, June 3 (Cinemax)
Series Debut: While the fanboys are nerd-raging against each other over the authenticity of AMC’s “Preacher,” here comes another adult, based-on-a-comic-book property “Outcast,” from “Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman — and it’s so gut-wrenchingly creepy, it’ll only fuel the “‘Preacher’ should have been on premium cable!” fire. “Outcast” follows Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit), a man surrounded by demonic possessions since childhood, who’s drawn out of seclusion when a child on the other side of his rural West Virginia town goes full-on satanic sock puppet. The pilot suffers from unavoidable, but minor, instances of first-episode exposition clunk, but the scares and gore F/X could keep even atheists up all night — maybe don’t watch this alone. “Banshee” almost did it, but “Outcast” should be the series to finally make Cinemax a player in the original-programming game.
“You May Now Kill the Bride”
Saturday, June 4 (Lifetime)
Movie: It’s all in the title when it comes to a Lifetime movie: Done right, you don’t even have to watch it. “Stolen From the Womb,” “All the Good Ones Are Married,” “Cyber Seduction: His Secret Life,” “Where’s My Baby?,” “Dirty Teacher,” “Stalked By My Doctor,” “Wrong Swipe” — all real Lifetime movies, and all sufficiently self-explanatory. On the other hand, titles like “Ultimate Deception” and “Clara’s Deadly Secret” (again, all actual movies) are useless. “You May Now Kill the Bride” has a catchy name (win!) that doesn’t encapsulate the plot (fail!): “Nicole and Mark get engaged, but his stepsister believes she has a claim on him and is willing to do anything to be his bride.” Please, allow me, Lifetime: “Twisted Stepsister.” Boom. Done.
“Feed the Beast”
Sunday, June 5 (AMC)
Series Debut: Between previews that practically scream for a “‘Breaking Bad’ meets ‘Restaurant: Impossible’!” tagline and the mere presence of David Schwimmer, it’s not easy to root for “Feed the Beast,” an unfocused oddity even by AMC’s usual “whatever works besides zombies” standards. Schwimmer and Jim Sturgess star as best buds attempting to open a high-end restaurant in the Bronx — and that’s the least of their problems: Schwimmer’s Tommy is a sad-sack widower with an emotionally-traumatized son, while Sturgess’ Dion is an ex-con who owes big money to bad people. Can this sullen wine sommelier and sketchy master chef make their culinary dreams come true? Meh.
Monday, June 6 (Lifetime)
Season Premiere: Marti Noxon has contributed to some classic TV series (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Mad Men”), and created at least one kinda-winner (“Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce”), but “UnReal” is her left-field crowning achievement. When it premiered in 2015, “UnReal” seemed like a straight-forward morality play behind the scenes of a “Bachelor”-style reality-dating show; Constance Zimmer was the ruthless producer, butting heads with her conscience-burdened second-in-command, Shiri Appleby, but then it got dark, spinning their presumed roles in unpredictable directions. CV
Bill Frost writes about television for Salt Lake City Weekly, talks about it on TV Tan Podcast (iTunes, Stitcher and BillFrost.tv), and tweets about it at @Bill_Frost.