A ‘Ghosts’ Possession, ‘Sex and the City’ Sequel, ‘Anne Boleyn,’ Kanye’s Benefit Concert
In the funniest episode to date of Ghosts, the fall’s freshest comedy, an accidental possession leads to farcical complications. Revisit the Sex and the City ladies — minus Samantha — in the series sequel, And Just Like That…. AMC+ presents a new look at the ill-fated Anne Boleyn in a three-part historical drama. Kanye West live-streams a benefit concert from L.A., with special guest Drake.
Just because Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) can’t see the ghosts in this spirited supernatural comedy doesn’t mean he can’t be possessed by one. And that’s just what happens in the funniest episode to date of the fall’s freshest new sitcom. It’s a tour de force for Ambudkar, who typically puts an understated droll spin on the absurdity of being the straight-man foil to a houseful of wacky ghosts he can’t see or hear. But when his body accidentally fuses with the spirit of haughty Hetty (Rebecca Wisocky), he jumps back and forth between a disoriented Jay and a Hetty who suddenly savors the sensory pleasures — including Cheetos — of being in a live body. His impersonation of Hetty is a hoot, and things only get crazier upon the arrival of a top-tier wedding planner (Veronica Mars’ Enrico Colantoni) whom Jay hopes to impress with his cooking.
And Just Like That…
Where did the time go? Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) is still indulging her shoe fetish in her 50s, and this 10-episode sequel to Sex and the City follows her and her crew — Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), Charlotte (Kristin Davis), though no longer Samantha (Kim Cattrall, who apparently had some sort of falling out with the gang) — through more misadventures in the Big Apple. Chris Noth returns as Carrie’s Mr. Big, joined by stalwarts including the late Willie Garson, Mario Cantone, David Eigenberg, and Evan Handler. New to the ensemble: former Grey’s Anatomy star Sara Ramirez as a non-binary queer podcaster who could become the group’s new BFF.
The striking Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen & Slim) brings a new dynamic to the historical figure of doomed queen Anne Boleyn, that endlessly fascinating martyr to royal lust and savage whim. The second wife of the murderously capricious Henry VIII (Mark Stanley), this Anne is a fierce Black diva whose never-mentioned skin color symbolizes her outsider status in a mostly white court that despises and ultimately condemns her. It’s a provocative premise, but this flimsy three-part limited series opens with the clock already ticking on her reign, meaning that it’s all downhill for Anne, stranding a simmering performance in a curiously pallid rehash. (I much preferred the spunky Anne in the current Broadway hit musical Six, where she’s played by a diminutive Asian spitfire.)
Free Larry Hoover Benefit Concert
In what is described as his first headlining show in five years, Kanye West performs a concert from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, with Drake as his special guest. The performance, dedicated to raising awareness for prison and sentencing reform, will also be live-streamed to select IMAX theaters across the country.
This can’t be good. The boy genius Sheldon Cooper (Iain Armitage) gets the science “yips” and has to learn how to not think. Is that even possible? On the home front, George Sr. (Lance Barber) plays handyman to help out around neighbor Brenda’s (Melissa Peterman) house. Given that their recent near-flirtation landed him in the hospital with a heart condition, this may not be the best use of his energies.
Back from a two-week break for the first of two episodes to wrap up 2021, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) is unfortunately still spending quality time in Minnesota, where new love interest Nick (Scott Speedman) invites her to join him in the operating room after she’s chewed out by Dr. Hamilton (Peter Gallagher). Back home in Seattle, Bailey (Chandra Wilson) hits some speed bumps as she and Dr. Lin (Lynn Chen) head to a recruitment fair to find some new doctors. An hour earlier, on Station 19 (8/7c), Bailey and Ben (Jason George) try to convince the parents of dearly departed Dean (Okieriete Onaodowan) to let them raise his daughter, Pru.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
On Special Victims Unit, former ADA Rafael Barba (Raúl Esparza) returns to defend the nefarious Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott), the Season 1 Organized Crime villain who’s being tried for the murder or Elliot Stabler’s (Christopher Meloni) wife, Kathy. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) is none too pleased to be cross-examined, along with Stabler and Angela Wheatley (Tamara Taylor), by her one-time colleague. The midseason finale continues on Organized Crime when, after the verdict, Stabler asks Benson to help find his son Eli (Nicky Torchia), who’s gone missing.
Star Trek: Discovery
Another solid episode of the space drama follows two very different missions, as a restless Tilly (Mary Wiseman) takes Adira (Blu del Barrio) on a training mission gone awry with a crew of disgruntled Starfleet Academy cadets. Diplomacy, not action, is the order of the day for Capt. Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Saru (Doug Jones) when they attend a summit to bring Ni’Var back into the Federation — but not without some tense give-and-take.
Inside Thursday TV:
- Music Box: Mr. Saturday Night (8/7c, HBO): The docuseries profiles Australian music mogul Robert Stigwood (1934-2016), who took movie soundtracks to the next level when he developed a magazine article into Saturday Night Fever, a hit for his clients The Bee Gees. His career also included managing artists like Eric Clapton, producing hit shows Evita and Tommy and movies both tremendously successful (Grease) and much less so ( Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band).
- Walker (8/7c, The CW): Ranger Micki (Lindsey Morgan) comes clean about her past to medic boyfriend Trey (Jeff Pierre) and makes an agonizing decision about her future.
- Doc Martin (11/10c, Ovation TV): The beloved British dramedy begins airing its first season in three-hour blocks. (Season 2 begins Dec. 23.)
- Bloods (streaming on Hulu): Like 9-1-1 played for mordant laughs, this dark comedy from UK’s Sky stars Jane Horrocks (Absolutely Fabulous) and Samson Kayo as mismatched paramedics working South London in an ambulance.
- Creamerie (streaming on Hulu): Shades of Y: The Last Man, this six-episode New Zealand import imagines a world eight years after a viral plague wiped out 99% of the male population — with the remaining 1 percent sent to a mysterious Facility in New Zealand.
The Yule Spool: It wouldn’t be a day in December without a Christmas movie or three. Among tonight’s offerings:
- A Fiancé for Christmas (8/7c, Lifetime): Marie Osmond appears in this romcom about a single lady (Amanda Peyton) who makes up a phony wedding registry as retail therapy, only to have the town throw her a real bridal shower, so she must come up with a fake fiancé (Adam Gregory) pronto.
- The Housewives of the North Pole (streaming on Peacock): Kyle Richards of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills infamy co-stars with Breaking Bad’s Betsy Brandt in a comedy about besties and local “Christmas Queens” who have a falling out, dividing their Vermont town and turning the annual Best Holiday House decorating competition into a ferocious feud.
- Merry Switchmas (streaming on BET+): Mayhem ensues when twin sisters decide to switch places at their parents’ Christmas party, learning more than they bargained for about their family and themselves.