“Dream role” brings scams, wigs and fun

Some roles require little acting – a subtle smile, a sly smirk, maybe a pregnant pause.
Then there’s Max, on “Wild Cards,” who does … well, everythinng. “It’s kind of like a dream role,” said Vanessa Morgan (shown here), who plays her.
The show (8 p.m. Wednesdays on CW) has a cop (Giacomo Gianniotto) reluctantly paired with Max. A lifelong con artist, she has a bag of tricks (literally) from which she has produced wigs, pistachios and a grappling hook. Read more…

She wrestles with superhero stardom

Javicia Leslie’s childhood prepared her for three careers – wrestler, martial artist or superhero,
She abandoned one after learning the World Wrestling Federation was fake. “I really thought (it) was real …. As I got older, I realized they were acting,” she told the Television Critics Association.
But now she’s merged the other two: She’s the new star (shown here) of “Batwoman” (8 p.m. Sundays on CW), flexing some martial-arts moves. Read more…

“Walker”: An eternal TV show walks anew

From time to time, people have asked Paul Haggis about “Walker, Texas Ranger,” which he co-created.
“You can’t kill it with a stick,” he would say with a grin.
Not that he would want to; the show has been an eternal payday. It ran for nine years and 196 episodes … was a TV movie … reran on cable … reached more than 100 countries … and now is back as “Walker,” debuting at 8 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 21) on CW.
It has spanned generations. When the show debuted in 1983, Jared Padalecki (shown here), the new Cordell Walker, was 11; Lindsey Morgan, who plays his ranger partner Micki Rodriguez, was 3. Read more…

CW is back (finally) with good, bad and Walker

If there’s a TV award for pandemic patience, it should go to the CW network.
Others scrambled to get many of their shows on the air by November; CW simply waited. Now – midway through the season – most of its shows are starting their seasons. The result, as usual, is mixed:
– One show is surprisingly good. The first season of “Batwoman” (8 p.m. Sundays), shown here, was beautifully crafted, in a grim and gloomy way. Then its star quit; the show found a way to keep the quality, while brightening a bit. “We wanted to add a little fun to the show,” said producer Caroline Dries, “because it is so bleak.” Read more…

“Stargirl,” a summer surprise, is renewed

Right now, we’re short of good news and of new, scripted shows in the summertime.
So here’s something that combines both: “Stargirl” (shown here) has just been renewed for next season.
The show was created for the DC Universe streaming service, then set a two-part plan: Each week this summer, a new episode reaches DC on Mondays, then airs at 8 p.m. Tuesdays on CW.
The result has been a pleasant surprise, with smart writing and sharp casting. It still has six more episodes for this summer … and now more: For next year, DC Universe will drop out; CW will air each episode first, then move it to its next-day streamers. Read more…

CW: Too much of a good (usually) thing?

If consistency is a virtue, then … well, the CW is our most virtuous TV network.
But if variety is the spice of life? This spice rack is almost empty.
The mini-network is in its premiere week now, two weeks after the big guys started. It has two new shows – the impressive “Batwoman” and the not-bad “Nancy Drew” — and lots of same-old.
Many of those shows have followed “Arrow” (shown here), which is starting its final, 10-episode season, “Who would have thought it would spawn six shows, a whole universe?” asked Mark Pedowitz, the CW’s programming chief. Read more…

It’s the good life (sort of), without money or prospects

This isn’t your usual TV-comedy turf. There’s no supersized apartment, no superfun job, no expectations.
“Florida Girls” has four women sharing a messy home and a messy life. They’re about 25, almost a decade after dropping out of school.
There used to be five of them, but Mandy went upscale. She got her GED, got a job, moved out and goes by Amanda. Read more…

As the seasons overlap, TV gets busy

There’s a time (a brief one) when seasons merge.
Baseball meets basketball and hockey; leftovers from the departed TV season overlap with the summer.
All of that is right now. Cable usually rules the summer, but even the five old-line networks are busy. Read more…

New kind of heroine — cynical, sexy, bitter and blind

The CW network already has TV’s most distinctive heroines.
One is super, one’s a zombie, three are witches and one is the world’s only witch-werewolf-vampire tribred. One breaks into song; another was jolted by the return of her dead husband.
Now there’s “In the Dark” and Murphy Mason. She’s “kind of a disaster,” said CW’s Paul Hewitt. “She smokes. She drinks. She’s into casual sex. She’s rude to pretty much everybody – her parents, her roommates, the cops, her guide dog Pretzel. Oh, and she’s blind.” Read more…