Best-bets for Feb. 23: It’s time to call Saul

1) “Better Call Saul” season-opener, 10:05 p.m, AMC. As its fifth season begins, this show wallows in weirdness. Before the opening titles, it has a 13-minute, black-and-white stretch with the former “Saul” hiding out as a mall Cinnabon worker. Then it bounces back to Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk, shown here in a previous episode); he’s molding his identity as Saul, the fast-talking, low-budget lawyer for the guilty, while his wiser girlfriend tries to rein him in. There’s more here, involving Gustavo and drug deals. Much of it disconnected, most is fascinating. Read more…

At last: We can love Carrey’s ‘Kidding’

Some shows – like some people – make themselves difficult to love.
.Jim Carrey’s “Kidding” has been like that. It’s fresh and original, with a warm heart, weird humor and talented cast. But it keeps pushing viewers away, deflating any sense of hope.
Now, however, it has redeemed itself. The next episode (shown here, with Ariana Grande), at 10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, is exceptionally good … and different. Read more…

Best-bets for Feb. 22: Farewell “Family,” hello honors

1) “Almost Family” finale, 8 and 9 p.m., Fox. One of the season’s more promising shows never caught on. Juggling serious drama with light humor, it ended up with neither audience. The story started with an esteemed fertility doctor (Tim Hutton) arrested for secretly substituting his own sperm. His daughter (Brittany Snow, shown at right) reluctantly bonded with two of her half-sisters, Edie and Roxy. Now his trial begins, as Edie faces an ethical disclosure and Roxy plans a drastic move. Read more…

Best-bets for Feb. 21: Farewell to “Fresh,” country

1) “Fresh Off the Boat” series finale, 8 and 8:30 p.m., ABC. This began six years ago with the real life of Eddie Huang. In the 1980s, his family moved from Washington, D.C., to Orlando … where he and his brothers felt like the only Chinese kids. That’s reflected in tonight’s first episode: The boys return to Washington to dig up their time capsule. In the second, Eddie wants to become a chef (which he did do in real life); then his mother sees his high SAT scores and tries to change his mind. (Shown here are Hudson Yang and Randall Park, as Eddie and dad.) Read more…

Best-bets for Feb. 20: Everything’s gonna be great

(Here are the five TV best-bets for Thursday, Feb. 20; feel free to use in any form, all or some, print and/or web)

1) “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay,” 8:30 p.m., Freeform. This may be one of the best half-hour episodes this season. It’s also a weird one, not for everyone. Nicholas has just hooked up his Skype; now his mother – in an Australia hospital – looms over his living room on a giant screen. He’s in the U.S., watching his teen-aged half-sisters … who arrive with friends (shown here in a previous episode), dogs and crises. It’s a big episode, centering on a long-shot dream of Matilda, who’s autistic. Stick aroound for the great closing minutes. Read more…

“Okay” finds random joy in teen life

Leaping across continents, Josh Thomas has ignored TV’s assumptions.
American networks try to be relatable and universal and such. Instead, he’s turned his offbeat Australian teen years into sometimes-great TV.
“Teenage girls are like so funny to me, right?” Thomas said. “And I just really wanted to write a teenage girl.”
He’s written a lot of them– led by Kaylan Cromer, shown here — for “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay.” And in the next episode (Feb. 20), they converge in wonderfully odd ways. Read more…

Best-bets for Feb. 19: CBS is losing its “Minds”

1) “Criminal Minds” series finale (shown here), 9 and 10 p.m, CBS. For 15 seasons, the team has chased grisly killers. That apparently puts “Minds” No. 5 among all-time dramas, trailing only “Gunsmoke,” “Lassie” and two editions of “Law & Order.” This final mission involves Everett Lynch, known as “The Chameleon,” who preys on middle-aged women. He’s eluded the team three times, once almost killing Rossi. Now Lynch gives Dr. Reid hallucinations of ghosts from his past. Every finale needs that. Read more…

Busfield: From killer-cats to top-drawer drama

Hollywood has plenty of people who flash and fade, sizzle and fizzle.
And it has Tim Busfield, 62, who seems eternal. “I’ve done killer-cat movies and ‘Field of Dreams,’” he said. “Good shows and bad shows.
He’s directed, produced and, mostly, acted. His new “For Life” role is part of a far-ranging career that has gone from “Thirtysomething” (shown here) to silliness. Read more…

Best-bets for Feb. 18: Endless Amazon, headless Marie

1) “Frontline: Amazon Empire,” 9-11 p.m., PBS. Yes, Amazon (shown here) has had startling success. By 2013, it had 40 per cent of U.S, book sales – then gobbled other fields.; now it’s nearing a million employees worldwide. This balanced documentary also views the dark side. There’s “a strategy to monopolize the markets,” says anti-trust expert Stacy Mitchell. Dealing with Amazon “was like going out to dinner with the Godfather,” a publisher says. Other issues range from taxes to unions and working conditions. Read more…

Best-bets for Feb. 17: New champion, old George

1) “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” finale, 8-10 p.m., NBC. This started by throwing together 40 acts that had done well in “Got Talent” shows – 22 in “America’s Got Talent.” Now the field is down to 10 – six from “AGT,” four from elsewhere. There are three singers (one — Hans, shown here — adding accordion and dance) and three dance groups (one adding acrobatics), plus acrobats, a trapeze act, a dog act and a violinist. Last Monday, viewers had their final vote; tonight, one act is named “world champion.” Read more…