What’s Worth Watching: Survivor, Face Off, Strong and more for Wednesday, April 13
Survivor (8/7c, CBS): Nothing like a good blindside, especially when it takes out someone as deserving as arrogant “beauty” Nick. But last week’s triumph, engineered by brawny knockout Cydney, will likely come with a price, as the castaways who didn’t see this coming—most prominently her boorish fellow surviving “brawn” members Scot and Kyle—seek to restore their balance of power. Fun times.
Face Off (9/8c, Syfy): The final three—Melissa, Walter and Rob—see their own personal fantasies come true in the season finale, as they create scary make-ups for horror-movie shorts and watch as directors put their vision on camera. They’re like the proverbial kids in a very icky candy store, and you can feel the rush as they work feverishly on set to fulfill the director’s needs. Crowning a winner will almost seem anticlimactic.
Strong: (previews 9/8c; regular time period Thursday, 8/7c, NBC): More reality competition: Sylvester Stallone joins producers of The Biggest Loser and American Ninja Warrior to present a new series that’s a bit of a hybrid of the two, pairing 10 women with 10 elite male trainers for grueling strength and conditioning challenges. Amid the sweat and tears in the first back-to-back episodes, there’s plenty of inspirational fitness talk, and even the losers get to take a final transformational bow.
The Americans (10/9c, FX): What a week for Alison Wright. She’s tremendous as the troubled Martha, who becomes the focus of a gripping episode (directed by series star Noah Emmerich) as the FBI mole and secret faux wife of Philip/Clark (Matthew Rhys) is watched from all sides, suffering panic attacks for good reason. This weekend, she’ll appear as Clarence Thomas’s grimly supportive wife Ginni in HBO’s excellent docudrama Confirmation. Score one for TV’s great character actors.
The Last Panthers (10/9c, SundanceTV): The channel that brought us the original French The Returned and the German thriller Deutschland 83 scores again with an authentically gritty French import—yes, that means reading subtitles—about a diamond heist in Marseilles that leads to a deep dive into an international criminal underworld. The most familiar faces belong to Samantha Morton and John Hurt as British insurance investigators on the thieves’ tangled trail.
Inside Thursday TV: On ABC’s The Middle (8/7c, ABC), Sue (Eden Sher) now has a college boyfriend, the campus activist last seen chained to a tree (Will Green), and when she introduces him to Frankie (Patricia Heaton), poor mom is put immediately on the defensive about her, and the world’s, wrongs. … PBS’s Nova asks the provocative question “Can Alzheimer’s Be Stopped?” (9/8c, check local listings at pbs.org), as scientists and researchers investigate the molecular cause of this devastating illness while testing therapies that could slow and possibly prevent the onset. … Wedding bells are ringing on ABC’s black-ish (9:30/8:30c) for Dre’s (Anthony Anderson) sister, Rhonda (Raven-Symoné), and her bride Sharon (Elle Young), which prompts several subplots about tradition and acceptance. … On the eve of his Brooklyn debate with Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders makes his fourth appearance on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore (11:30/10:30c).