Month: March 2019

Best-bets for April 4: “Big Bang” is back

1) The Big Bang Theory,” 8 p.m., CBS. For two weeks – basketball blotted out TV’s best comedy night. Now it’s back – “Mom” and “Young Sheldon” and, especially, “Big Bang,” for the final seven episodes of its final season. Sheldon craves a Nobel Prize, but two competitors (Kal Penn and Sean Astin, shown here) are charming in a publicity tour. Now Sheldon tries to lobby some of the past winners. Read more…

Amid hostility, nature thrives on TV

Since its earliest days, TV has given us animals.
They were caged — “Zoo Parade” in 1950, the British “Zoo Express” in ’54 — then wild. Still, there’s never been anything like this surge.In December, BBC America concluded “Dynasties.”
On Monday, the National Geographic Channel launches “Hostile Planet” … four days before Netflix’s “Our Planet.” Read more…

Week’s TV top-10 for Monday, April 1

1) Academy of Country Music awards, 8-11 p.m. Sunday, CBS. Generations and genres blend, with fresh collaborations.
It will be Brooks & Dunn with Luke Combs; Kane Brown with Khalid; Dierks Bentley with Brandi Carlile; George Strait with Miranda Lambert (who also does a flashback medley). Kelly Clarkson separately joins Dan + Shay and Jason Aldean … who also links with Florida Georgia Line. Others performers include Reba McEntire (who hosts), Chris Stapleton and Carrie Underwood. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for March 25

1) “Abby’s” debut, 9:30 p.m. Thursday, NBC. A quarter-century after “Cheers” closed its doors, NBC has a new Thursday bar. It’s outdoors and probably illegal. Its proprietor (Natalie Morales) is a foot shorter than her best customer (Neil Flynn) or her worst obstacle (Neil Franklin), but she’s an ex-Marine and people obey her.
Be warned that many critics dislike “Abby’s”; we disagree and find two of the barflies (played by Jessica Chaffin and the massive Leonard Ouzts) hilarious. See what you think. Read more…

A family mystery … and making love to Grandpa

Most families have secrets, Ruth Wilson figures. Most aren’t like the ones in her family.
There was her grandmother, who devoted her final decades to religion. “She was very reserved.”
And then she wrote a memoir for her family. As Rebecca Eaton, chief of PBS’ “Masterpiece,” explains it: “Ruth’s grandmother discovered – at the end of her husband’s life – that he had a completely other life, several other wives and an entire career she didn’t know about.”
Fortunately, Ruh Wilson is a prominent actress who could re-tell the story. In “Mrs. Wilson” — three hours, spread over two Sundays of “Masterpiece” — she plays her own grandmother. Read more…

Life’s complicated when dead husbands turn up

Strange things can happen in the telenovela world
.Evil twins appear, dead husbands re-appear … and the star has a seven-minute, high-octane monolog.“It was a phenomenal challenge,” said Gina Rodriguez.
Viewers will see that Wednesday, when “Jane the Virgin” starts its fifth and final season.
Read more…

A quiet New Zealander finds big laughs in the shadows

Away from Hollywood – 7,000 miles away, actually – Jemaine Clement grew up in obscurity.
That was in rural New Zealand, where he wasn’t much in school. “I became the funny guy,” he said. “I never really applied myself.”
What would happen to this big (6-foot-1), quiet guy with a dry wit? A lot, actually. He’s been a singing crab and an evil cockatoo. He’s had albums, an HBO series and now what could be cable’s surprise hit.“What We Do in the Shadows” has already drawn advance raves from critics.
As John Solberg of FX explains the series, it’s “about a group of vampires … in Staten Island, who have been roommates for hundreds of years, sent over to colonize the new world.” Read more…