Month: April 2024

Best-bets for April 19: the beauty of music and nature

1) “Now Hear This,” 9 p.m., PBS. As a young violinist, Scott Yoo was “tortured” by the demands of Nicolo Paganini’s music. Now he explores the legends – some true, some not – surrounding the composer. He also has interesting (but fairly pointless) looks at the masters of other fields. That’s followed at 10 p.m. by splendid virtuosos – saxophonist Joshua Redman, his band, and singer Gabrielle Cavasso (shown here). Read more…

Best-bets for April 18: An ocean crisis reruns

1) “9-1-1,” 8-11 p.m., ABC. The entire shipboard crisis reruns in one burst. After Bobby and Athena start their belated honeymoon, things unfold slowly: Late in the first hour, there’s a problem – and an explosion; late in the second, people onshore begin to suspect something’s wrong. Meanwhile, Bobby and Athena scramble to save lives (shown here). Read more…

TV is ready for Earth’s big day

The Earth, it seems, is a really large place. Maybe not compared to Jupiter or the sun, but compared to you, me and a chihuahua.
And Earth Day is a really big subject for TV. There will be a flurry of specials that day (Monday, April 22) and the weekend before it, starting Wednesday(April 17) with Netflix’s “Our Living World” (shown here). Read more…

The octopus becomes an Earth Day star

It’s easy to fall for something that’s cute, cuddly and koala-like. An octopus might be a bigger challenge.
Almost 2,000 years ago, Pliny, a Roman commander/philosopher. said: “No animal is more savage.” As recently as 20 years ago, writer Sy Montgomery told the Television Critics Association, people “thought: ‘Aren’t they monsters? Aren’t they gross?’”
They do look odd, but they also have remarkable skills and personalities And now, as researcher Christine Huffard put it: “Octopuses are having a moment.”
There was the fictional Hank in “Finding Dory” and real-life creatures in PBS’ “Octopus: Making Contact” (2019) and the Oscar-winning “My Octopus Teacher” (2020). Next is an Earth Day documentary mini-series from James Cameron. Read more…

Best-bets for April 17: quirky comedies and triple “Pyramid”

1) “Animal Control,” 9:02 p.m., Fox. The network’s only non-cartoon comedy has become a pleasant surprise, mixing brief animal sight gags and some solid character humor. Now we’re back to the dating woes of Frank (Joel McHale, shown here). Having flubbed the apps, he asks Emily to set him up. Also, Patel and Shred try to do the remodeling work on their investment property. Read more…

Best-bets for April 16: good doctor and great basketball

1) “The Good Doctor,” 10 p.m. Tuesday, ABC. On a rerun night for ABC, here’s the hour that introduced a likable actress to a broader audience. Kayla Cromer, who is on the autism spectrum, co-starred in a snall cable comedy; now she plays Charlie, who is autistic. Tonight (shown here) she works with Shaun (her inspiration for becoming a doctor) and promptly oversteps her role. Read more…

Best-bets for April 15: “NCIS” reaches No. 1,001

1) “NCIS” (shown here), 9 p.m., CBS. Counting all five “NCIS” shows, this is episode No. 1,000. Appropriately, it focuses on NCIS Director Vance (Rocky Carroll), who’s been in 369 of them. As his son questions Vance’s work, a crisis arrives. The team meshes and past stars appear briefly in flashbacks. It’s a big hour, but strains belief. One inaction by a Secret Service agent is totally absurd. Read more…

“SWAT” saved from cancellation

In a sudden reversal, CBS has decided “SWAT” will be back next season, after all.
The network had been saying this is the final season for the show. It said the same for “Young Sheldon” and “Bob (Hearts) Abishola” (which end in Ma) and “Blue Bloods,” which ends next fall, after a summer break.
But ratings have been solid for “SWAT,” which launches CBS’ successful Friday line-up. Fans lobbyed, producers negotiated and CBS had a rare reversal. Read more…

Best-bets for April 14: Joel leads a packed night

1) “The 100th,” 9-11 p.m., CBS. Billy Joel (shown here) has sold 160 million records and gathered all the big awards, including five Grammys. Now comes another milestone – his 100th monthly concert in the 20,000-seat Madison Square Garden, each a sell-out. He’s had three No. 1 hits (”Still Rock and Roll to Me,” “Tell Me About It,” “We Didn’t Start the Fire”), four No. 3’s and such album favorites as “Piano Man.” Read more…

Best-bets for April 13: Gosling, “Todd” and a sports deluge

1) “Saturday Night Live,” 11:29 p.m., NBC. For the second straight week, “SNL” has a big-deal host. Last week was Kristen Wiig (in, surprisingly, a so-so episode). Now it’s Ryan Gosling, fresh from soaring with “Barbie” (shown here) That brought his third Oscar nomination – others were for “La La Land” and “Half Nelson” — and an epic, Oscar-night song. Tonight’s music guest is Chris Stapleton. Read more…