“Mom,” 9 p.m., CBS.
Mid-way in its third
season, “Mom” has it all. It has crisp writing -- broad and
jokey, yet believable – plus a strong set of supporting characters
and two gifted-but-opposite stars.
Next week's episode
(a great one) focuses on Christy (Anna Faris); she's small and
overwhelmed, but a survivor. This week is her mom Bonnie (Allison
Janney) – big, brash, plowing through a lifetime of mis-steps.
Bonnie takes pride in her sexual adventures, mostly with men; now she
meets a woman who was her lover. Rosie O'Donnell is solid in a guest
role; Janney, a five-time Emmy-winner, is perfect.
II: “American Idol,” 8-10 p.m., Fox.
For the swarms of
rejected “Idol” singers, there was always the consolation of
“come back next year.” Caleb Johnson was rejected twice, never
reaching the top 24; the third time, he was the winner.
But this 15th
season is the last; anyone rejected must abandon “Idol” dreams.
That makes tonight more emotional: “Hollywood Week” ends and the
judges choose their 24, leaving lots of others in dismay.
ALTERNATIVE: “You, Me and the Apocalypse,” 8-9 p.m., NBC.
As a comet streaks
toward Earth, bringing total destruction, our characters scramble. A
mild librarian (Jenna Fischer) took the rap for her hacker son; now
she's escaped from prison with a neo-Nazi (Megan Mullally). A somber
“widower” tries to find out why his wife – not dead at all –
is with someone who looks just like him. And a priest (Rob Lowe)
researches end-of-world prophesies.
All of that is done
with droll wit, reflecting this show's British roots. And now we
learn the librarian's brother is the nation's leading – albeit
inept – post-apocalypse strategist. The story builds.
(2015), 11:55 a.m. and 9 p.m., Starz. Kenneth Branagh, a master
Shakespearean, has started directing pop-culture hits. He made this
gorgeous film. He also did the first “Thor”; fellow Shakespearean
Tom Hiddleston, whom he cast as Loki, is key to the sequel (2013), at
7:30 p.m. on FX.
p.m., ABC. The conclusion of this two-night mini-series watches
Bernie Madoff's financial scheme crumble, bringing fierce aftershocks
to friends, family and investors.
“The Big Bang
Theory,” 8 p.m., CBS. Sheldon has always talked fondly about his
grandmother. Now she finally arrives; she's played by June Squibb,
who emerged from obscurity two years ago (at 84), to get an Acadmy
Award nomination for “Nebraska.”
“Life in Pieces,”
8:31 p.m., CBS. June (Dianne Wiest) has a nephew (Greg Grunberg of
“Heroes”) who manages to annoy everyone. Also, Tyler introduces
his sexy girlfriend to his great-grandmother.
Junior” finale, 9-10:32 p.m., Lifetime. It's time for Fashion Week
and a winner.
“London Spy,” 10
p.m., BBC America. On one hand, this five-week mini-series has a
compelling story and brilliant actors. On the other, it's painfully
slow. Danny (Ben Whishaw) has apparently been cleverly framed for the
murder of his gay lover; only an older friemd (Jim Broadbent) will
help. Danny seems encased in a perplexing thicket – as do viewers.
p.m., FX. “I'll take happiness where I can find it,” Chip (Zach
Galifianakis) says tonight. The problem is that he can't find it
anywhere. He has a wife who ignores him, a friend he ignores and a
profession (rodeo clown) no one cares about. This episode goes beyond
the sad-clown traditions of the past; amid some humor and warmth, it
sinks near hopelessness.