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'Blow the Man Down' accentuates New England quirk

Posted 3/20/20

By Kevin McDonough

Among the casualties of the current pandemic, the much-anticipated fourth season of "Fargo" has been postponed indefinitely. It was scheduled to debut in late April. Viewers looking for a thriller with the dark comedic feel of …

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'Blow the Man Down' accentuates New England quirk


By Kevin McDonough

Among the casualties of the current pandemic, the much-anticipated fourth season of "Fargo" has been postponed indefinitely. It was scheduled to debut in late April. Viewers looking for a thriller with the dark comedic feel of a Coen Brothers production might look into "Blow the Man Down," an original movie and Sundance Film Festival favorite that is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Set in the fictional Maine town of Easter Cove, a fishing village with too many secrets, "Down" plays up the state's reputation for quirky characters. Still grieving their mother, sisters Mary Beth (Morgan Saylor) and Priscilla (Sophie Lowe) have a fateful run-in with a very bad man and are left with a lurid disposal problem.

Their grim dilemma puts them in touch with Enid (Margo Martindale, "Justified," "The Americans"), a friend of their late mother and a local "entrepreneur" whose enterprise confronts them with dark secrets about dear old mom.

A supporting cast includes June Squibb ("Nebraska"), Annette O'Toole ("Nash Bridges") and Marceline Hugot ("Working Girl"), playing local women who are wise to Enid's ways.

• There's no place like "Homeland." Damian Lewis was written out of that series some seasons back, but he returns to the world of espionage with "Spy Wars With Damian Lewis" (8 p.m. Sunday, Smithsonian), a deep dive into cloak-and-dagger stories from the Cold War, the Iranian hostage crisis and more-recent tales of Russian infiltration into American neighborhoods.

Lewis introduces and sets up each hour-long episode, which includes reenactments, documentary footage and interviews with surviving spies and spymasters from both sides of the Iron Curtain. The first installment revisits a close call from the early 1980s and a single KGB agent whose actions may have prevented a nuclear exchange. Other installments involve a husband-and-wife team who passed themselves off as a "normal" married couple in a bucolic New Jersey suburb before their arrest in 2010. If that sounds familiar, it's because it inspired the FX series "The Americans."

• With sports on hold, ESPN returns to the great 2016 documentary "O.J.: Made in America" (8 p.m. Sunday, TV-14), produced by Ezra Edelman for the "30 for 30" series.

A multipart series running nearly 500 minutes, "O.J." examines the infamous true-crime saga from a variety of angles. Not to be confused with the equally stellar dramatic miniseries "American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson" that originally appeared on FX and can now be streamed on Hulu.

The cancellation and/or postponement of sports activity has put many networks in a bind. For many households, sports packages have provided the only reason to maintain their cable subscriptions. Without sports, how many will "cut the cord" and turn to video-on-demand options?


• After a stranger saves a young woman and her brother from a shark attack, she learns that her clingy "savior" has an unsavory side in the 2020 shocker "A Predator's Obsession" (8 p.m., Lifetime, TV-14).

"Seasonal Wonderlands" (9 p.m., BBC America) invites viewers to spend months in the Arctic, when winter plunges most hours into darkness and sends the temperatures plummeting to -40 degrees C.

• Forgoing her singing career to run her grandmother's wedding planning business, a songbird encounters her ex-boyfriend in the 2019 romance "In the Key of Love" (9 p.m., Hallmark, TV-G).

• J.J. Watt hosts "Saturday Night Live" (11:30 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14), with musical guest Luke Combs. "SNL" will be repeats for the foreseeable future.


• Scheduled on "60 Minutes" (7 p.m., CBS): Efforts to develop a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus.

• Ryan Seacrest hosts "American Idol" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

• Jamie finally understands Tryon's scheme on "Outlander" (8 p.m., Starz, TV-MA).

• Zoey comes clean with Max on "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist" (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

• Michonne welcomes Virgil to the island on "The Walking Dead" (9 p.m., AMC, TV-MA).

"What's Eating America With Andrew Zimmern" (9 p.m., MSNBC) wraps up its first season with a look at the nation's junk food problem.

• As threats mount, barriers emerge on "Westworld" (9 p.m., HBO, TV-MA).

• Strange bedfellows on "Homeland" (9 p.m., Showtime, TV-MA).

• Beth stands up for Max on "Good Girls" (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

• Nolan defends his reputation on "The Rookie" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

• Keith requires a rescue mission on "Black Monday" (10 p.m., Showtime, TV-MA).

• Larry nurses a knee injury on the season finale of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (10 p.m., HBO, TV-MA).


Gangsters in search of a heroin-filled doll terrorize a blind woman (Audrey Hepburn) in her apartment in the 1967 shocker "Wait Until Dark" (10 p.m. Saturday, TCM, TV-PG).


A car bomber targets a candidate on "FBI" (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14) * A detention center's dark designs are discovered on "NCIS: New Orleans" (9 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14) * Skydiving accidents on "9-1-1" (9 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14).


Gibbs takes the lean on "NCIS" (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14) * "The Wall" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG) * Springfield's first dispensary on "The Simpsons" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-PG) * Kate has doubts on "Batwoman" (8 p.m., CW, TV-14) * Spicing things up on "Duncanville" (8:30 p.m., Fox, TV-14) * From DOD to DOA on "NCIS: Los Angeles" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) * On the road again on "Bob's Burgers" (9 p.m., Fox, TV-PG) * Alex assumes a new identity on "Supergirl" (9 p.m., CW, TV-PG) * The network takes spin-offs for a test drive on "Family Guy" (9:30 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14) * The police shooting of a black petty officer sparks racial tensions on "NCIS: New Orleans" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).

© 2020, United Feature Syndicate