“New Girl,” 8 and 8:30 p.m., Fox.
This delightful –
and under-noticed – show peaks with each “Jess-out”: Jess
(Zooey Deschanel), fueled by pure emotion – becomes crazed or
brilliant or both. There are hilarious ones in both of these
episodes, first during a test drive, then while getting stuck in a
football helmet ... really.
Both stories play
off the jealousy between Jess' previous boyfriend (Nick) and her
(Sam). In each case,
a secondary story – Winston's pranks-obsessed girlfriend, a
show-business audition for Ferguson the cat – is mostly silly; the
Jess ones, however, have moments of hilarity.
“Containment” debut, 9 p.m., CW.
Lately, CW has been
into fantasy flings. Now, however, comes something that seems
terribly real and possible – a deadly virus spreading across
Atlanta ... and maybe beyond.
It starts in a
hospital, where “Patient Zero” quickly leaves. Stricken doctors
are isolated, other people – including visiting schoolkids – are
quarantined. Then comes the broader push, led by a federal official
(Claudia Black of “Farscape” and “Stargate”) and a local cop
(David Gyasi) whose girlfriend is trapped amid the horror. This is
stark drama; it's involving, but not necessarily entertaining.
ALTERNATIVE: “10 Towns That Changed America,” 8 p.m., PBS (check
nothing new to Americans. The oldest colonial town (St. Augustine,
Fla.) began in 1565, using 148 rules from Spain. Then the concepts
kept changing, this slick, surface report says.
William Penn planned
Philadelphia to have wide streets; Seaside, Fla., has narrow ones,
encouraging bikes and pedestrians. Levittown, NY, was dedicated to
autos, sweeping people to suburbia; the Pearl District of Portland,
Ore., makes drivers compete with a new streetcar line. A District of
Columbia neighborhood plowed most of its old buildings; Portland
celebrates the old, as part of its quirky mood.
ALTERNATIVE II: “The Night Manager” opener, 10 p.m., AMC.
We'd kind of assumed
that hotel night managers have dull lives. Not so, apparently. In
1993, John le Carre's first post-Cold War novel had a manager
suddenly enmeshed in a world of Latin American drug lords, Caribbean
bankers and timid government officials.
Now this mini-series
has modernized the tale, starting it during Egypt's 2011 uprising.
Tom Hiddleston – famous for everything from Shakespeare to Thor's
quirky Loki – stars; Hugh Laurie convincingly plays the the
terribly proper villain. Quietly and intelligently, this opener grips
all night, cable news networks. New York's presidential primaries,
suddenly crucial in both parties, will get thorough attention.
“NCIS,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. Everyone – the NCIS, the FBI and Homeland Security – gets
involved, when two British prisoners (one of them a spy) escape and
slip into the U.S.
Orleans,” 9 p.m., CBS. This reruns an episode that includes a
citywide blackout. In the midst of the chaos, Pride probes a case
involving a family friend.
Nine-Nine” season-finale, 9 p.m., Fox. Like “New Girl,” this
show has delivered solid laughs and flimsy ratings. Now the team goes
after a hit man ... then feels Holt may be in danger.
9:30 p.m., Fox. Chances are, the network has been lecturing producers
about simplifying their stories. This episode starts and ends with
discussions of simple-vs.-complex; in between, it has an immensely
tangled plot. Four characters are working on deceptions, some of them
colliding with each other. The result, like a theater farce, is both
bizarre and funny.
10 p.m., NBC. When a teen is an innocent victim in a gang war, Casey
tries to use his clout as a councilman. Also, Severide helps an
undercover cop, watching her son at the firehouse.