What's Worth Watching: American Crime, black-ish, Suits and more for Wednesday, February 24

Michael Fell
American Crime, Lili Taylor, Connor Jessup
Felicia Graham/ABC

American Crime (10/9c, ABC): One of the most impressive aspects of this searing drama is the way it depicts the consequences of tragic acts—here, the school shooting in the wake of Taylor's (Connor Jessup) bullying and his sense of hopelessness and injustice when his mom (Lili Taylor) is targeted in an online smear campaign. There's no justification, of course, for taking a gun to school to kill a tormentor, and Jessup is astonishing in the aftermath of his desperate crime—"Why should I be hurting me? They did this to me. They did it to you," he cries. Everyone rises to the occasion (Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton in particular) when the shock waves at the Leyland School lead those involved to blame anyone but themselves as they shirk responsibility for the way events unfolded.

black-ish (9:30/8:30c, ABC): It's always a shock when the real world intrudes on a TV comedy of any sort, let alone a family sitcom. But that's the point for this exceptional episode (reminiscent of the Norman Lear era) in which the multigenerational Johnson family gathers around the TV to watch and debate what unfolds in another case of police exerting excess force with an African-American teenager. Bow (Tracee Ellis Ross) would like to shield her youngest, twins Diane (Marsai Martin) and Jack (Miles Brown), from the harsh realities and keep hope alive, but as Dre (Anthony Anderson) insists, "They're black children and they need to know the world we're living in." There is levity, of course, as when little Jack muses, "Why is everybody acting surprised that we can hear their conversation?" Black lives matter, and so do words, in one of TV's most relevant comedies.

Suits (10/9c, USA Network): Torn between loyalty to the firm and self-preservation—so what else is new—Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman in the role of a lifetime) has to decide whether to turn on his fellow partners and accept zealous prosecutor Anita Gibbs' (Leslie Hope) offer of immunity. Things aren't looking good in court for Harvey (Gabriel Macht) and Mike (Patrick J. Adams), but the fat lady hasn't proverbially sung yet, so there may yet be hope.

Inside Wednesday TV: Fox's American Idol (8/7c) is getting closer to naming its final top 10. Judges will pick eight of the 10, then America gets to vote on which two of the remaining six will make the cut for Thursday's first live show. … The CW's Arrow (8/7c) moves closer to its showdown with Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), as Oliver (Stephen Amell) enlists old pal Vixen (Megalyn E.K.) to use her animal powers to track down the master villain. … Oscar nominee Kate Winslet narrates the aww-inspiring Nature story of Snow Chick (8/7c, PBS, check local schedules at pbs.org), following a baby Emperor penguin's first six months of life in the Antarctic. … If you liked AMC's futuristic Humans last summer, you might want to check out Nova's look at the Rise of the Robots (9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org), which examines new advances in cutting-edge robotics with the potential of replacing humans in certain situations. … CBS's Code Black (10/9c) wraps its first season with Leanne (Marcia Gay Harden) trying to come up with enough money in the hospital budget to keep Jesse (Luis Guzman) and the nursing staff from staging a walkout. Something tells me they'll be back on the job if CBS renews the medical drama for next fall.