Worth Watching: ‘Murders’ Finale, ABC’s ‘Queens’ and a New ‘Bachelorette,’ American Masters on Helen Keller
The killer is revealed in the uproarious season finale of Hulu’s hit comedy-mystery Only Murders in the Building. ABC premieres the raucous hip-hop soap Queens, about a reunited ’90s group, and welcomes Michelle Young as the next Bachelorette. PBS’ American Masters explores the life and legacy of human-rights advocate Helen Keller, immortalized in The Miracle Worker.
I’m happy to report that this sparkling mystery-comedy nails the ending in a satisfying and at times hysterically funny season finale. A twist at the end of last week’s episode propels the plot to its big reveal—who killed Tim Kono?—with the great benefit of allowing Steve Martin to remind us of his gifts for physical comedy. The set-up for an already commissioned Season 2 is just as inspired.
Calling Cookie Lyon! Empire’s deluxe diva would be right at home among the hip-hop queens—notorious for a fleeting moment in the ’90s as Nasty Bitches—who reunite as Queens when a trendy young rapper samples one of their golden-oldie hits. Yes, this is exactly the same set-up as Peacock’s Girls5Eva, but playing it for soapy drama rather than broad comedy. Eve (as a supermom trying to get her groove back) and Brandy (as a singer-songwriter currently struggling in Nashville) come to Queens with the most musical cred, joined by Power’s Naturi Naughton (as the most complex Queen, a closeted lesbian Catholic) and My Name Is Earl’s Nadine Velazquez (a disgraced talk-show host in need of a career boost).
The course of synthetic love rarely runs smooth—because if it did, there wouldn’t be a reason for an 18th season of the made-for-TV romance-a-thon, now featuring Minnesota teacher Michelle Young as the woman who’ll try to find a soulmate among 30 telegenic guys. Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams are the hosts and mentors.
Helen Keller was immortalized in the play and movie version of The Miracle Worker, depicting her breakthrough as a deaf and blind child when she learned to communicate. Her adult legacy as an advocate for social justice and people with disabilities is the focus of an American Masters documentary, closing the distinguished series’ 35th season. Cherry Jones reads Keller’s writings, with actor/dancer Alexandra Wailes adding American Sign Language interpretation of her words—and writer/rapper Warren “WAWA” Snipe offering ASL interpretation through the rest of the program. Keller lived to the age of 87, gaining renown and some controversy as a writer and advocate for civil rights and socialism.
Inside Tuesday TV:
- The Voice (8/7c, NBC): It’s the final night of the battle rounds. Which means the knockouts start next Monday, bringing in Ed Sheeran as Mega Mentor.
- The Resident (8/7c, Fox): Halloween provides some distraction for a grieving Conrad (Matt Czuchry) when he attends to a group of witches in the ER.
- La Brea (9/8c, NBC): The survivors in the prehistoric parallel world get their hopes up as they search for the pilot (Nicholas Gonzalez) of the plane they just saw crash. It’s just as well they don’t know that above ground, the government has suspended the mission into the sinkhole.
- Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (10/9c, HBO): Segments in the sports newsmagazine include Jon Frankel’s report on the fallout from the NCAA rule change that allows student-athletes to endorse brands and make money from their NIL (name, image and likeness). Mary Carillo profiles former NBA star Jalen Rose and his Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, established to provide free education to Detroit’s underserved youth.
- Impeachment: American Crime Story (10/9c, FX): To the horror of Monica Lewinsky (Beanie Feldstein) and President Clinton (Clive Owen)-though for wildly different reasons—the news breaks about the investigation into their affair, sending the media and late-night TV into a frenzy. Edie Falco finally enters the picture as Hillary Clinton, awakened by her fretful husband. “Is there something you need to tell me?” she fatefully asks.
- Games People Play (10/9c, BET): In the second season of the sexy basketball drama, team owner’s daughter Eden Lazlo (Claws’ Karrueche Tran) becomes VP of basketball operations for the L.A. Vipers, but her primary goal may be to insert herself into star player Marques King’s (Sarunas J. Jackson) love life.
- The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula (streaming on Shudder): The supernatural-themed answer to RuPaul’s Drag Race opens its fourth season with 10 diverse drag contestants challenged to reinvent classic horror icons.