TV column for Friday, April 14


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“First Dates,” 8 p.m., NBC.

Anyone who saw last
week's terrific opener will agree that Woody deserves a second
chance. A straight-forward carpet-layer from Nashville, he was
somehow matched with a ditz whose lone virtue seemed to be her
perfect (and surgically enhanced) appearance. Now he meets her
opposite.

That date – which
waits until the second half of this hour – is the highlight of
another fun episode. We won't spoil any surprises, but there's a
trend continuing from the opener: “Friends” was wrong, it seems
to say; gorgeous (or handsome) young heterosexuals should be avoided.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“MacGyver” season-finale, 8 p.m., CBS.

This has been a
strong first season in the ratings, giving CBS a relatively upbeat
start to its crimestopper night. Now it concludes with Mac facing his
nemesis.

That's Murdoc, a
cold-eyed killer who was in seven episodes of the original series and
is already in his fourth one here. Last week, Mac pretended to be
him, after intercepting a message. Now Murdoc wants a former cellmate
to land a job as a lab technician at the Phoenix Complex, and then
kill everyone.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERATIVE: “The Toy Box,” 8 p.m., ABC.

The tradition of a
pinata goes back forever – some say 500 years (Mexico) or 700
(Europe) or more (China). Suddenly, Americans want to change it. Last
week, one proposed a “party cannon,” shooting out candy if you
hit the target; tonight is the “pinata backpack,” sort of tag
with candy at the end.

That's one of
several ideas, alongside ballet dolls, fruit characters, snappy
(literally) little cars and two-sided books that can be seen by the
reader and the kids. Unlike “You the Jury,” it's harmless fun.

TONIGHT'S
MUST-AVOID: “You the Jury,” 9 p.m., Fox.

A complex subject –
someone's personal responsibility for crude comments that others post
on social media – is reduced to a circus atmosphere, with an awful
host (Jeanine Pirro) and a cheering crowd.

Last week's episode
– a civil-suit version of a murder trial – at least stayed
somewhat on-point. This one weaves in odd directions, while the crowd
claps, Pirro exaggerates and one person breaks down in tears. Jerry
Springer may be worse, but he's not dealing with vital subjects that
deserve some thought.

Other choices
include:

“Fortitude,” any
time, Amazon. In its first season – on the now-departed Pivot
network – this mixed gorgeous Arctic visuals and a small-town
mystery. Now it's finally back; also returning via streaming (on
Netflix) is the oft-hilarious “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”

“Rosewood,” 8
p.m., Fox. Rosie and friends head to a little town, where the former
mayor was killed.

“Great
Performances,” 9 p.m., PBS. Charles Gounod's 1867 “Romeo et
Juliette” works fairly well for people not into Shakespeare or
opera ... even if Vittorio Grigolo and Diana Damrau, 40 and 45, bear
no resemblance to the title teens.

“Hawaii Five-0,”
9 p.m., CBS. The show returns to the subject of Pearl Harbor. While
working the murder case of one of the last survivors, McGarrett
learns of his grandfather's involvement.

“Hop” (2011),
9-11 p.m., Disney. As the Easter weekend begins, families should
watch or record this pleasant film, mixing live actors and a cartoon
bunny. Other key films are “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014) at 8
p.m. on FX, “You've Got Mail” (1998) at 8 on Pop and “Selena”
(1997) at 8:30 on Bravo.

“Blue Bloods,”
10 p.m., CBS. Erin helps a former witness who wants to shut down a
drug operation in his apartment building.