Veterans Day Programming, Return of ‘The Game,’ ‘Station-Grey’s’ Crossover, Gruesome ‘Ragdoll’
To mark Veterans Day, CBS’ United States of Al airs an episode reflecting veterans’ often rocky road to civilian life. MeTV repeats the iconic 1983 finale of M*A*S*H. Paramount+ revives the pro-football comedy The Game for a streaming audience. ABC’s Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy stage their latest crossover. AMC+ launches the freaky serial-killer thriller Ragdoll.
United States of Al
The laugh lines often fall awkwardly in this uneven sitcom, but few TV comedies are as well-intentioned as this story of an ex-Marine adjusting to life back home with his best friend, his former Afghan interpreter. For Veterans Day, the focus turns to Riley (Parker Young), who’s so rocked by his high disability rating that he’s unable to fully enjoy a holiday reunion with his combat buddies. His sister Lizzie (Elizabeth Alderfer), who lost her fiancé to combat, has trouble processing her own emotions when she opens a box of his belongings that she’s kept sealed for too long.
The popular sitcom, which aired on The CW and then BET from 2006-15, moves its pro-football setting from San Diego to Las Vegas for a splashy reboot. Wendy Raquel Robinson stars as sports agent Tasha Mack, managing the career of her son Malik (Hosea Chanchez), who’s aiming to take the Vegas Fighting Fury to the top. Look for special appearances by original cast members Coby Bell, Pooch Hall and Brittany Daniel.
Words that chill the blood of certain grown-ups: another Station 19–Grey’s Anatomy crossover, an attempt to force fans of the long-running hospital drama to spend the previous hour with the first-responder spinoff. It all begins when an explosion in a Seattle neighborhood upends the firefighters’ world, calling the Grey Sloan doctors into action. This is especially traumatizing for Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd), whose PTSD is triggered by the explosion, causing sister Megan (Abigail Spencer) to bring in Winston (Anthony Hill) and Hayes (Richard Flood) for support.
If your taste for British mysteries leans toward the very dark and morbidly amusing, this six-part chiller might be up your creepy alley. The madness begins with the discovery of a corpse comprised of body parts from six different victims. Dubbed, naturally, “Ragdoll.” Pretty Little Liars’ Lucy Hale plays a young American recruit joining the investigative team, which includes an emotionally fragile detective (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) who finds himself on the murderer’s kill list of six more potential victims. It’s all diabolically improbable, which is part of the grisly fun. Hannibal Lecter might even approve. (See the full review.)
Another fun episode of the terrific new supernatural comedy brings ’60s hippie Flower (Sheila Carrasco) into the spotlight, when Sam (Rose McIver) pitches the ghost’s colorful back story—her commune once robbed a bank in a Robin Hood-like scheme—to a magazine to jump-start her own career. But Flower won’t hear of her exploits going public, though no one—including fellow spirits Isaac (Brandon Scott Jones) and Alberta (Danielle Pinnock)—can figure out why. And Flower’s so spacy she might not quite remember, either.
A sampling of more Veterans Day programming:
- M*A*S*H (7/6c, MeTV): The best and most popular military comedy of all time scored with its supersized series finale in February 1983, watched by an estimated 106 million viewers, still a record for a scripted series. MeTV’s three-hour presentation of the uncut finale includes interviews with the cast and creators, reflecting on the series and the episode that sent these beloved characters home from the Korean War.
- Hidden Heroes: The Nisei Soldiers of WWII (8/7c, History): A documentary honors the sons of Japanese immigrants who volunteered for the U.S. military after Pearl Harbor and served—segregated—with bravery and distinction.
- The Best Years of Our Lives (8/7c, Turner Classic Movies): Two retired Army veterans, wounded in the line of duty, co-host a lineup of classic military films. U.S. Army Major (Ret.) Jeremy Haynes helps TCM host Eddie Muller introduce William Wyler’s Oscar-winning The Best Years of Our Lives, among the greatest coming-home movies ever. On a lighter note, U.S. Army Captain (Ret.) Leslie Smith cheers on Elvis Presley in 1960’s G.I. Blues (11/10c), which reflected the musical superstar’s own military service in Germany. Overnight offerings include Gary Cooper’s Oscar-winning turn as 1941’s Sergeant York (1 am/12c) and 1955’s great military comedy Mister Roberts (3:30 am/2:30c).
- 3212 Un-Redacted (streaming on Hulu): Not a celebratory story, but providing justice for four fallen soldiers, a documentary from ABC News examines the truth behind a 2017 ambush in Niger, Africa, that claimed the lives of four members of a U.S. Special Forces team. A three-year investigation reveals how Pentagon brass tried to place the blame for the tragedy on the soldiers, in a cover-up designed to protect the careers of senior officers responsible for the botched mission.
Inside Thursday TV:
- The Challenge: All Stars (streaming on Paramount+): The second season of the reality competition brings back 24 franchise vets, some who’ve been out of the game for more than 20 years, to overcome obstacles for the $500,000 prize.
- Paris in Love (streaming on Peacock): Never one to shy from publicity, the reality star Paris Hilton heads to the altar in style with fiancé Carter Reum, a venture capitalist, in a 13-part behind-the-scenes docuseries.
- South Side (streaming on HBO Max): Originally seen on Comedy Central, the comedy about two struggling entrepreneurs (Sultan Salahuddin and Kareme Young) from Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood moves to streaming for a second season.
- Soul Santa (streaming on BET+): In a holiday comedy, David Mann plays a businessman on the run from the mob, taking refuge in disguise as a mall Santa Claus.
- Young Sheldon (8/7c, CBS): Look who’s going into business with Meemaw (Annie Potts): her wayward grandson Georgie (Montana Jordan).
- Law & Order: Organized Crime (10/9c, NBC): A bombing rocks the NYPD, leaving several suspects in the wind. That can’t be good for business.