Sandra Oh Is ‘The Chair,’ A Paula Abdul 2-Fer, ‘Mr. Corman’ Becomes ‘Mr. Morales,’ Streaming Cinema (‘Annette,’ ‘Reminiscence’)
Killing Eve’s Sandra Oh leaves behind the spy game for the academic satire of Netflix’s The Chair. Paula Abdul appears twice on CBS, to launch a new season of The Greatest #AtHome Videos and to assist a Secret Celebrity Renovation. A special episode of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Mr. Corman shifts focus to his roomie, Victor (Arturo Castro). Two high-profile films, the controversial Annette and the Hugh Jackman sci-fi/film noir hybrid Reminiscence, begin streaming.
The always watchable Sandra Oh trades the lethal assassins of Killing Eve for the world of academic character assassination in a broad satire of higher education. She plays Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim, staggering under the symbolic weight of being the first woman and person of color to run a mostly white university’s struggling English department. When a colleague inadvertently triggers a campus crisis, her ambitions and job are on the line. Holland Taylor scores as a bawdy Chaucer prof who’s finally had enough of being patronized by her male “superiors.” (See the full review.)
Secret Celebrity Renovation
Paula Abdul is CBS’s go-to gal tonight: First, she appears on Secret Celebrity Renovation (8/7c), showing gratitude to her childhood dance teacher by helping transform an L.A. recreation center into a state-of-the-art dance studio. Then she helps host Cedric the Entertainer launch a second season of The Greatest #AtHome Videos (9/8c), including a segment where they surprise a shy babysitter whose video went viral, revealing her impressing singing pipes. (Could American Idol be in her future?)
Netflix’s latest action potboiler stars Aquaman’s Jason Momoa as a widower who goes up against a powerful pharma company, putting him and his daughter (Isabela Merced) at risk. The cast includes such reliable scene-stealers as Justin Bartha, Amy Brenneman, Raza Jaffrey and Michael Raymond-James.
The fourth episode of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s affecting dramedy suddenly becomes “Mr. Morales” for a week, giving welcome new insight into the world of Josh Corman’s friend and roommate, Victor Morales (the terrific Arturo Castro). The supporting player takes center stage, and Castro is up to the challenge, warmly playing the single-dad UPS driver who’s desperately trying to connect to his abrasive 13-year-old daughter and show her he’s not the loser she seems to think he is. It’s a great showcase.
Also on Apple:
- Ted Lasso: Emmy-nominated supporting players step into the spotlight as Nate (Emmy-nominated Nick Mohammed) turns to Keeley (Juno Temple) to learn how to assert himself so he can command a restaurant’s window table for his parents’ anniversary. Back on the pitch, former soccer star and perpetually disgruntled Roy (Brett Goldstein) considers an offer from Ted (Jason Sudeikis).
- Truth Be Told: In her first TV lead role, Kate Hudson guests in the crime drama’s second season as media titan Micah Keith, a childhood friend of investigative podcaster Poppy Parnell (Octavia Spencer). When Micah turns to Poppy to help solve her husband’s murder, Poppy begins to suspect there’s more to her friend than she’s being told.
Movies at Home:
The lines continue to blur between the big and small screens, as the polarizing musical romance Annette begins streaming on Amazon Prime Video less than a month after it hit theaters, following a controversial Cannes Film Festival debut. Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard star as a stand-up comedian and opera star whose baby daughter must be seen to be believed. Premiering simultaneously in theaters and (for 31 days) on HBO Max: the sci-fi/film noir action hybrid Reminiscence stars Hugh Jackman as a “private eye of the mind” who can help clients (including the alluring Rebecca Ferguson) explore their lost memories in a Miami drowning from climate change. And for the family audience, Paramount+ begins streaming PAW Patrol: The Movie at the same time it hits movie theaters.
Inside Friday TV:
- The Loud House Movie (streaming on Netflix): Go figure. Although Nickelodeon’s long-running animated family comedy The Loud House is streaming on Paramount+, Netflix is distributing the feature-length movie version, in which the Louds head to Scotland and learn they’re descended from royalty. Which sounds like something to shout about.
- True Crime Watch: On Dateline NBC (10/9c), Andrea Canning reports on the latest news involving the abduction-murder of Texas mother Heidi Broussard, who was kidnapped in December 2019 with her infant daughter. On A&E, two popular true-crime series return: Cold Case Files (9/8c) and American Justice (10/9c).
- Bring Your Own Brigade (streaming on Paramount+ and the CBSN News App): Oscar-nominated filmmaker Lucy Walker’s timely documentary takes a hard look at the wildfires that ravaged California in 2018—a curtain-raiser to current calamities—seeking answers about how to curb the catastrophe and restore health to mismanaged woodlands.