What’s Worth Watching: Better Things, Grey’s Anatomy, Chopped, Project Runway and more for Thursday, October 20
Better Things (10/9c, FX): I can’t help wondering what a Mother’s Day episode of this terrific new comedy (already renewed for a second season) would look like. Only ABC’s The Middle comes close to keeping it this real in its depiction of overwhelmed motherhood, and Sam (creator-star Pamela Adlon) doesn’t even have a Mike to lean on. In another strong and very funny episode, written by Adlon and Louis C.K., Sam juggles an unwelcome playdate and a recalcitrant eldest teenage daughter (the fearsomely sullen Mikey Madison) who’s told her refrain of “I hate you” is losing its sting. Although you can tell it isn’t. Sam finds herself unexpectedly bonding with a judgmental Mormon mom (Sarah Baker, great as usual) when she drags the family to church despite copious reservations. There are few better things on TV right now than Better Things.
Grey’s Anatomy (8/7c, ABC): Lots of pregnancy storylines already this season, and could Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) be joining the ranks of the expecting? The promos certainly make it seem like a possibility. But the fireworks I’m most anticipating this week are between Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Bailey (Chandra Wilson), who go to war when both of their patients are in need of a liver transplant. Memo: Grey’s is always at its best when it remembers it’s still a medical drama.
CMT Artists of the Year (9/8c, CMT): What would a week be without another country-music awards show? This ceremony, from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, focuses on the top five chart-toppers of the year, as designated by CMT: Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett. Legend Shania Twain is the first female to receive the “Artist of a Lifetime” award, and Kelsea Ballerini gets the “Breakout” award. Expect tribute performances from the likes of Meghan Trainor and Jill Scott.
Inside Thursday TV: The Rocky Horror Picture Show isn’t a perfect musical, and Fox’s Let’s Do the Time Warp Again remake (8/9c) succumbs to its flaws by the sputtering end, but for a while, it’s lots of fun, thanks to the bravura performance of Laverne Cox as a glamorously unhinged Dr. Frank-n-Furter. … Food Network’s Chopped: Beat Bobby Flay (9/8c) mashes up two of the culinary channel’s most potent brands in a new challenge, where the winner of three rounds of improvisational cooking faces off with Bobby Flay in a bonus round, with a $25,000 grand prize at stake. … Lifetime’s Project Runway: Fashion Startup (10:30/9:30c), a companion piece to the pioneering reality competition, is a Shark Tank for fashion mavens, as entrepreneurs in beauty and design pitch their business ideas to a panel of stylish investors.