TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “Murder in the First,” 10 p.m., TNT.
This second episode continues the bright promise of the
opener: Producer Steven Bochco, back after a five-year absence, delivers the
quality he gave us in “Hill Street Blues,” “LA Law” and “NYPD Blue.”
Last week’s opener saw a vile tech-billionaire linked to two
murder victims – his biological father and the stewardess he’d just fired. Two
smart cops (Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson) worked the case, while the
former was being shattered by his wife’s death from cancer. Opening with an
autopsy and a burial, this hour (the second of 10) is superbly directed (by
Bochco’s son Jesse), written and acted.
II: “24,” 9 p.m., Fox.
Squashing its typical, world-in-peril story into 12 hours
(instead of 24) has amped up the energy for what was already a high-octane
show. Now this eighth hour reaches a fresh peak.
Margot, the terrorist, has given the president (William
Devane) an offer: She’ll stop her drone attacks in exchange for his life. Will
he agree? Will someone – his daughter, her husband (the chief-of-staff), her ex-lover
(Jack Bauer) -- stop him? Can it all be averted by finding a way to re-gain the
drones? This show works because you really can’t guess; it’s another terrific
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Switched at Birth” return, 8 p.m.,
Before the show’s 10-week break, Toby thought he had an
Internet love. It was a cruel trick by a former friend, who also beat him up; a
bad day got much better when Bay found and romanced him. Also, Regina was fired
by her boss … yet reviled by neighbors for his development plan.
Now crises build on the day after. Some of this – especially
from Toby –is exasperating and illogical. Still, these are appealing people,
with great moments from the talented Vanessa Marano as Bay.
Other choices include:
“The Bachelorette,” 8-10:01 p.m., ABC. Josh and Brian get
one-on-one dates with Andi Dorfman, amid the beauty of the French coast. The
other nine guys, alas, spend time with a French mime.
“Whose Line Is It Anyway?” 8 and 8:30 p.m., CW. In a new
episode, Brad Sherwood joins the improvisers. Then a rerun has Greg Proops.
“Mike & Molly,” 9 and 9:31 p.m., CBS. In the first
rerun, Molly reluctantly sees a therapist. In the second, she encourages Samuel’s
hopes of being a stand-up comedian.
“The Fosters,” 9 p.m., ABC Family. The first season ended
with jolts: Brandon, the pianist, was beaten up and his hand was deliberately
crushed; Callie’s adoption was delayed. Tonight, some flashbacks are confusing
and a plot detour is absurd, but there’s a compelling twist at the end.
“The Normal Heart” (2014), 9-11:15 p.m., HBO. Here’s a
seething look at the sluggish response to the AIDS crisis. Despite one flaw –
the conflicts sometimes seem heightened for dramatic effect – this is a strong
and moving film.
“Mistresses,” 10:01 p.m., ABC. Savi (Alyssa Milano) has
trouble at work (clashing with newcomer Toni) and at home, where she and her
estranged husband argue about selling the house. Also, April faces a big
assignment from her daughter’s school.