Daily Best Bets

Best-bets for March 8: Mondays become sci-fi turf

1) “Snowpiercer,” 9 p.m., TNT, rerunning at 10. Most humans have already been killed by the bitter cold. Now the few survivors – on a thousand-plus-car train – have added to the toll; Till and Layton (shown here in a previous episode) investigate the latest murders. This hour is dark and downbeat – even for an apocalyptic thriller – but sharply crafted. It also finds people worrying about Miss Audrey: Ostensibly on a date with Mr. Wilford, she planned to plant a listening device. Now she hasn’t returned. Read more…

Best-bets for March 7: royals who fled, moms who robbed

1) “Oprah With Meghan and Harry,” 8-10 p.m., CBS. Exactly a year ago, Meghan Markle had her last official duty in the royal family. She and her husband, Prince Harry (they’re show here), have since moved to the U.S. and become financially independent. Their son Archie turns 2 on May 6; their third anniversary is May 19. This Valentine’s Day, they announced that Markle is pregnant. Now this special – scheduled for 90 minutes, then expanded – has her conversing with Oprah Winfrey; then they’re joined by Harry. Read more…

Best-bets for March 5: Mac, Murdoc, Murphy, more

1) “MacGyver,” 8 p.m., CBS. Murdoc (shown here) has been Mac’s prime villain forever … and now he’s showing up more often. In the original show (which started in 1985), he did seven episodes in seven year; now, midway through its fifth season, the reboot has its 11th Murdoc episode. He links with Andrews (Joe Pantoliano) to hack devices and steal secrets from Mac and friends. Read more…

Best-bets for March 4: FBI folks fret; teens sing

1) “Clarice,” 10 p.m., CBS. This richly crafted series has had one persistent flaw: It uses the cliché of higher-ups who ignore evidence and just get in the way. That’s been especially true of Clarice’s FBI boss, Krendler; a terrific actor (Michael Cutlitz, shown here) has been stuck in a one-note role. Now the remedy begins by a simple means – bringing in someone much worse. As Krendler is investigated, he adds much-needed depth. It’s a good episode – in a darkly Gothic way – but ends with the story in limbo. Read more…

Best-bets for March 3: “Resident Alien” keeps topping itself

1) “Resident Alien,” 10 p.m., Syfy. This clever gem seemed simple at first: An alien (shown here) arrived to kill all Earthlings, but lost parts of the device he needs. To buy time, he killed Harry (a reclusive doctor) and assumed his human form; the mayor’s son is the only one who sees through his disguise. Then the twists began: Last week, Harry’s wife arrived; now we meet the town’s new doctor, plus an obsessive general (Linda Hamilton of “Terminator” fame). There’s humor, as usual, and then a dramatic finish. Read more…

Best-bets for March 2: Hospitals and “news variety”

1) “New Amsterdam” season-opener, 10 p.m., NBC. Filming in New York, where the pandemic peaked early, this hospital drama abruptly ended its season. Now, almost a year later, it’s back. First, a terrific montage takes us through the crisis; then we’re in a post-pandemic time, with emotions still raw for Max (Ryan Eggold, shown here with Freema Agyeman) and one of the doctors near death. And then … well, a plane crashes. It’s a strong hour. Read more…

Best-bets for March 1: NBC rules with “Voice,” “Debris”

1) “Debris” debut, 10 p.m. , NBC. When an alien spacecraft exploded, it scattered debris over the hemisphere. Those chunks have an other-worldly power to manipulate physics (including a floating body, shown here) and feelings. Now officials, working in secret, try to find and suppress the debris; bad guys want to harness the energy. “Debris” faces an eternal problem: Networks often cancel sci-fi shows abruptly, leaving crises in limbo. Still, this one can tell a self-contained story with each piece found; the opener packs strong emotions. Read more…

Best-bets for Feb. 28: Golden Globes rule the night

1) Golden Globe awards, 8 p.m. ET, NBC, with red-carpet at 7; on the West Coast, 5 p.m. PT (red-carpet at 4), rerunning at 8. Two terrific hosts, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler (shown here) are back … but not together. They’re in New York and Los Angeles, respectively. Viewers might not recognize many of the nominated movies; even the TV shows – all from cable or streaming – are sometimes obscure. The dramas: “The Crown,” “The Mandalorian,” “Ozark,” “Ratched” and “Lovecraft Country”; comedies: “Emily in Paris,” “The Great,” “Ted Lasso,” “Schitt’s Creek” and “The Flight Attendant.” Read more…

Best-bets for Feb. 27: Clark Kent and Nick Jonas

1) “Saturday Night Live,” 11:29 p.m., NBC. Nick Jonas (shown here) has his first turn as host (and second as music guest), launching a busy streak for NBC. Coming are the Golden Globes on Sunday and the season-openers of “The Voice” (with Jonas in one of the spinning chairs) on Monday and “New Amsterdam” on Tuesday, plus the debut of “Debris” – a well-made, science-fiction show – on Monday. Read more…