Month: February 2024

Best-bets for Feb. 29: “Elsbeth” shines, “Purple” soars

1) “Elsbeth” debut, 10 p.m., CBS. During the 12 seasons of “Good Wife” and “Good Life,” Elsbeth Tascioni was merely a bonus. A lawyer with a sharp mind and a quirky soul, she did 19 episodes, bringing an Emmy for Carrie Preston and fun for viewers. Now she moves to New York for a weekly mystery. The opener is great fun, centering on Stephen Moyer (shown here with Preston) of “True Blood” as a theater director. Read more…

Elsbeth gets her Columbo moment

Waiting for the pandemic to end, Robert and Michelle King re-discovered a key fact: People like stories that end.
“Every night, we wanted to watch an episode of ‘Columbo,’” Robert said, “instead of the eight-hour movies that were thrown our way.”
So they created “Elsbeth” (shown here), the fun murder-mystery that debuts at 10 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 29) on CBS. It fits a pattern that works for CBS. Read more…

Beat-bets for Feb. 28: One reality show starts, another stops

1) “Survivor” season-opener, 8-10 p.m., CBS. This diverse batch of contestants ranges from a slot-machine salesman, 22, to a parenting coach, 48. It includes natives of India, Guyana and Hong Kong. There’s an actor, an artist and a musician; also, a science teacher, an aerospace technician and a software engineer. Now they get muddy (ahown here) in a hurry; after a couple weeks of two-hour episodes, this will recede to 90 minutes. Read more…

Best-bets for Feb. 27: romantic “Rookie,” troubled “Trouble”

1) “Good Trouble,” 10 p.m., Freeform.. A week from its finale, this excellent series has Mariana (Cierra Ramirez, shown here in a different episode) overloaded with ugly problems and handsome guys. She’s helping Joaquin try to expose a cult leader; she’s also co-CEO with Evan, whose near-death left him unable to remember their romance. There’s more here (including so-so show-business plots), peaking with big romantic moments. Read more…

Best-bets for Feb. 26: “Deal” starts, “Most Wanted” ends

1) “Deal or No Deal Island” debut, 9:30-11 p.m., NBC. The flimsy “Deal” has been turned into a sort of “Survivor” clone – complete with “Boston Rob” (from many “Survivor” editions) as a contestant. There’s a handsome host (Joe Manganiello) and wild stunts, starting with a mud bog (shown here). The players are interesting, but only one gets to win much; for now, they’re just building up the pot. Read more…

A good try, but a bit too Austen-ish

When adapting a Jane Austen novel, the trick is to not be too … well, Jane Austen-ish.
Keep her plot and her sharp sense of character, but relax her stiff, centuries-old dialog.
Lately, several projects have done this quite well. The newest one, however, is a decent attempt that’s sometimes buried in Austen excess.
That’s “Sense and Sensibility” (shown heere), at 8 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 24) and 5 p.m. Sunday on the Hallmark Channel. It’s of special interest because it: Read more…

Best-bets for Feb. 25: “Dead” starts strong; “Woman in the Wall” ends big

1) “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” opener, 9 p.m., AMC, rerunning at 10:21 and 11:42. For nine years, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) dominated “Walking Dead.” He fought zombies, led survivors, married Michonne … then was hauled away. Now we finally see him again (shown here). In the compelling start of this six-parter, he makes extreme (and gory) attempts to escape and find his wife. Stick with this episode to the potent end. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Feb.26: new Deal, new Elsbeth

1) “Elsbeth” debut, 10 p.m. Thursday, CBS. Elsbeth Tascioni has been an occasional delight. A lawyer with a sharp mind and a quirky soul, she did 19 episodes of “The Good Wife” and its spin-off, spread over 12 years, bringing an Emmy for Carrie Preston. Now she moves to New York and gets a weekly mystery; in this fun opener, she probes a theater program led by Stephen Moyer (shown here) of “True Blood.” Read more…