Daily Best Bets

Best-bets for May 27: Two starts and a finish

1) “Agents of SHIELD” season-opener, 10 p.m., ABC. In a summer when the superhero movies have been delayed, we need something. The likable “Stargirl” is Tuesdays on CW; now this Marvel show begins its seventh and final season. The team finds itself in 1931 New York City (shown here), with its ship ready to time-jump at any moment. It must figure out what happened, before the past and future face disaster. To lure us in, ABC has Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” (2014), from 8-10 p.m. Read more…

Best-bets for May 26: Noisy reality, serious documentaries

1) “America’s Got Talent” season-opener, 8-10 p.m. NBC. This ratings champion works at a high-octane, high-decibel level. It wants lots of energy from performers, judges and studio audience. So it’s good that the auditions were done early, when crowds were still allowed. Later this summer, “AGT” may follow the “Idol”/”Voice” style of social-distancing; for now, however, here’s the full commotion. Sofia Vergera is the new judge, alongside Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel; Klum and Vergara are shown here, seducing a sow. Read more…

Best-bets for May 25: Movies, mini-series (two new ones), more

1) “Barkskins” debut, 9 and 10:03 p.m. ET, National Geographic; rerunning at 11:03 p.m. and 12:03 a.m. ET. This was supposed to be a big night for Nat Geo, launching “Genius: Aretha.” Alas, that was delayed and this eight-hour tale (shown here) – beautifully crafted, but grim and brutal – was inserted. Author Annie Proulx (“The Shipping News, “Brokeback Mountain”) is descended from French settlers who arrived 15 years after the Mayflower. This tells of indentured servitude, mail-order brides and a scheming land grab. Read more…

Best-bets for May 24: Crowd-less concert still has stars

1) “National Memorial Day Concert,” 8 p.m., PBS, rerunning at 9:30. The Washington event (shown here in a previous year) usually draws a mega-crowd. It was canceled this year, but the TV show, — with passionate tributes and powerhouse music — continues. A few tributes and choral groups will rerun from past years, but there are new performances — taped by small crews — from stars of country (Trace Adkins), classical (Renee Fleming) and Broadway – Tony-winners Cynthia Erivo and Kelli O’Hara and Tony-nominee Christopher Jackson. Read more…

Best-bets for May 23: Combat, in basketball and in life

1) “The Last Dance,” 8-10:02 p.m., ABC. After drawing praise and strong ratings on ESPN, this 10-hour documentary gets a second life, this time on the broadcast side. Over the next five Saturdays, it will show Michael Jordan (shown here) and the Chicago Bulls pursue their sixth championship in eight years. Cameras followed the team in 1997-98, profiling Jordan, Scottie Pippin, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr and their coach, Phil Jackson; this also has dozens of current-day interviews with rivals and others. Read more…

Best-bets for May 22: Roe vs. a “stomping on” world

1) “AKA Jane Roe,” 9-11 p.m., FX. Norma McCorvey (shown here) spent her life in the spotlight. She was “Jane Roe” in Roe vs. Wade … then was outspoken on both the pro- and anti-abortion sides. In this film (shot shortly before her death in 2017), she flips again and says she went anti for the money. Still, neither side will feel much joy. Deep pain ripples through a woman who says her role “was to be stomped on and spit on.” Her one joy was a lesbian romance … which the evangelists convinced her to shed. Read more…

Best-bets for May 21: A fun night for charity

1) “Celebrity Escape Room,” 8 p.m., NBC. Do we really want to watch other people try to escape from rooms? Yes, if they’re clever people who make droll comments to each other and the camera and game-master Jack Black. Against an ’80s-teen theme (show here), we learn that Ben Stiller doesn’t know how to play “rock, paper, scissors” … Adam Scott hasn’t been to a prom … Courteney Cox frightens easily … and that Lisa Kudrow doesn’t know the song “Fight For the Right (to Party),” but “might have solved a Rubik’s cube once; let’s say I have.” Read more…

Best-bets for May 20: The last masks are gone

1) “The Masked Singer” finale, 8 p.m., Fox. The big surprise came last week, when Barry Zito was unmasked, finishing fourth. He’s now a musician (as his parents and sister have been), but is mostly known as a retired baseball star – a Cy Young Award winner and World Series champion. Now he has topped such pros as Chaka Khan, Bret Michaels, Hunter Hayes and the angelic-voiced Jackie Evancho. Tonight, the show unmasks the final three — Frog (shown here), Turtle and Night Angel –and has a champion. Read more…

Best-bets for May 19: “Voice” ends, “Stargirl” begins

1) “Stargirl” debut. 8 p.m. CW. When her mom remarries, Courtney is whisked from California to small-town Nebraska, where the high school is full of Hollywood-stereotype mean kids. She’s not happy. Then, of course, she finds her dad ha s a magic staff that only she can control. After a messy start, “Stargirl” becomes a well-crafted tale of angst and awe. Brec Bassinger (shown here) is immensely likable as Courtney and Luke Wilson brings real depth as her dad. Read more…

Best-bets for May 18: A night for music and (maybe) lust

1) “The Voice” finale, 8-10 p.m., NBC. The final five singers have one more shot at our votes, before the winner is announced Tuesday. Performing from home, they’re a varied bunch. Toneisha Harris, in Georgia, is 44; Todd Tilghman, a Mississippi pastor, is 41 and a father of eight. Others are from South Carolina (CammWeiss, 21), Hawaii (Thunderstorm Artis, 23, shown here) and Japan (Micah Iverson, 25). Read more…