Worth Watching: Kate Walsh Returns to ‘Grey’s,’ Back on the Runway, A ‘Kids Tonight Show,’ ‘B Positive’ Reinvents Itself
Grey’s Anatomy welcomes back one of its former stars, Kate Walsh, to stir things up as Dr. Addison Montgomery. The pioneering fashion-design competition Project Runway launches its 19th season at Lincoln Center. Kids put on their own version of The Tonight Show in a new Peacock series. Chuck Lorre’s B Positive moves past its kidney-donor premise in its second season, becoming an almost entirely new sitcom.
One of the most dynamic doctors ever to grace Seattle’s famous fictional hospital returns when Kate Walsh blows into Grey Sloan Memorial as Dr. Addison Montgomery, the infamous first wife of McDreamy and star of her own spinoff, Private Practice. She’s been enlisted to help Richard (James Pickens Jr.) whip the new batch of residents into shape, but she’s not likely to stop there.
The show that started a trend in skill-based style competitions is back for a 19th season, with 16 new designers gathering at New York’s Lincoln Center for a colorful first challenge. They’re split into two teams (cue the groaning), each tasked to create an eight-piece monochromatic high-fashion look highlighting a single color. Season 4 winner Christian Siriano returns as mentor, with Nina Garcia, Elaine Welteroth and Brandon Maxwell judging the looks.
If Elmo can have his own late-night-style talk show, why not actual kids? Four seasoned youths, ages 9 to 12, hold court with monologues, sketches, celebrity interviews and games—just like their mentor and producer Jimmy Fallon, who pops in from across the hall at 30 Rock as one of their first guests, along with Jojo Siwa. The hosts are musician Recker Eans, child actors Mykal-Michelle Harris and Olivia Perez, and rapper/actor Young Dylan Gilmer (America’s Got Talent).
The kidney-transplant surgery was a success—so what next? The initial premise of this Chuck Lorre sitcom always seemed a bit limited, and now that Drew (Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch) is living with wacky pal Gina’s (Annaleigh Ashford) donated organ, the series takes a steep dive into new terrain, basically becoming an entirely new sitcom in its second season. The change begins when Gina learns that one of her favorite patients in the retirement home where she works has passed, and the aftermath promises to change her life. For Drew, his feelings for Gina have deepened, but are these romantic stirrings authentic? Either way, he’s feeling instantly less essential to a show that’s now emphasizing the robust comic talents of the Tony-winning Ashford. (Just listen to her find new variations on the word “shoes” after she goes on a spree.)
Kate Beckinsale gives journalism a bad name in this painfully ridiculous dark-comedy/mystery hybrid as brittle Beth Burgess, a disgraced reporter in Colorado who senses a comeback in the story of an incarcerated woman (Jules Latimer) who insists she’s innocent of murdering her gun-running husband. Beth is so self-absorbed it’s hard to empathize when she’s being patronized by a ditzy new boss or being threatened by the criminals she’s snooping around. Even by anti-hero standards, she’s an unusually unpleasant character, guilty of not being the last bit funny or engaging.
From the Stream:
- Phoebe Robinson: Sorry, Harriet Tubman (streaming on HBO Max): The 2 Dope Queens comedian/author performs her first solo stand-up special, showcasing her winning style of no-holds-barred confessional humor.
- What Happened, Brittany Murphy? (streaming on HBO Max): A two-part docuseries explores the too-brief career of the actress and the mysteries surrounding her untimely death in 2009 at 32.
- Aquaman: King of Atlantis (streaming on HBO Max): A three-park animated miniseries for family audiences takes a playful look at the DC superhero’s early days ruling the underwater kingdom.
- Crutch (streaming on discovery+): A documentary profiles performance artist/dancer Bill Shannon, who was born with a degenerative hip condition and despite chronic pain learned to express himself by dancing and skateboarding on crutches.
- Covenant (streaming on ALLBLK): Kaye Singleton (Saints & Sinners) created and stars in the first of an anthology of four two-part dramas modernizing stories and characters from the Bible. In the opener, “The Promise,” Singleton plays a middle-aged menopausal woman desperate to give her husband a child.
- Star Trek: Lower Decks (streaming on Paramount+): In the Season 2 finale of the animated space comedy, the Cerritos crew accompanies an Excelsior-class starship on a first-contact mission. On this show, these encounters rarely go well.
Inside Thursday TV:
- America’s Big Deal (9/8c, USA): Shark Tank meets HSN in a competition series where entrepreneurs get three minutes to pitch a product on live TV. Whoever sells the most during the hour gets a shot at a deal with a major retailer.
- Legacies (9/8c, The CW): The fourth season opens with what were meant to be the final four episodes of last season, curtailed by the pandemic. The action picks up with the Salvatore School’s “supersquad” continuing their efforts to take down the golem Malivore, who has taken over Cleo’s (Omono Okojie) and Landon’s (Aria Shahghasemi) bodies.
- Ghosts (9/8, CBS): When Viking ghost Thorfinn’s (scene-stealer Devan Chandler Long) bones are found on the property in this clever supernatural comedy, new owners Sam (Rose McIver) and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) are torn between giving the spirit the Viking funeral he’s desired for centuries or selling the relics to a museum for profit. And because the ghosts know nothing about boundaries, Sam insists they vote for a “ghost representative” to be their liaison.
- True Crime Story: Indefensible (11/10c, SundanceTV): In a mordant twist on the true-crime genre, Jena Friedman (The Daily Show) travels the U.S. to mine dark humor from the flaws within the criminal justice system. The opener involves an Arizona wife-killer who claims a temporary insanity defense because of her nagging.