Celebrating Betty White, Jodie Comer in ‘Help,’ Childbirth Trauma on ‘Lone Star,’ Family Intrigue on ‘Promised Land’
The stars come out to honor Betty White in a prime-time special on NBC, where she had one of her biggest hits in The Golden Girls. Acorn presents a harrowing drama about the early days of the pandemic, starring Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer as an overwhelmed caregiver. Grace goes into labor during a seemingly unending ice storm on 9-1-1: Lone Star. With stories playing out in two timelines, ABC’s Promised Land revs up the soapy intrigue.
Celebrating Betty White: America’s Golden Girl
The late, great Betty White, who passed away on New Year’s Eve just shy of her 100th birthday, had one of her greatest successes on NBC with her Emmy-winning turn as Rose on The Golden Girls. The network honors her legacy with an all-star salute featuring clips, some never-seen footage and anecdotes about a class act who loved animals as much as she loved entertaining. Among the friends and admirers weighing in: Hot in Cleveland co-stars Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick, plus Cher, Bryan Cranston, Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Goldie Hawn, Vicki Lawrence, Jay Leno, Jean Smart, Mary Steenburgen, President Biden and many more.
Not to be confused with the classic Beatles movie, this harrowing film from Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) stars Killing Eve’s excellent Jodie Comer as Sarah, a dedicated care worker at an understaffed nursing home that’s ill prepared for the ravages of the COVID-19 epidemic. Stephen Graham (Line of Duty) co-stars as Tony, whose early onset Alzheimer’s makes him one of the younger residents, and he comes to her aid during a terrifying overnight shift when Sarah is alone and unable to get emergency help to assist her low-priority elderly patients. A very difficult film to watch, but also necessary and important. (See the full review.)
9-1-1: Lone Star
Has Texas ever seen an ice storm that has raged this long? And to the surprise of absolutely no one, Grace (Sierra McClain) has found this most inopportune moment to go into labor with her first child. Husband Judd (Jim Parrack) joins forces with Owen (Rob Lowe) and Tommy (Gina Torres) to find her and get her and the baby to safety.
No matter how hard vineyard patriarch Joe (John Ortiz) tries to bury the past, including burning photos that reveal his undocumented roots—a backstory that plays out in a parallel flashback timeline—his legacy continues to haunt him, especially with resentful stepson Mateo (Augusto Aguilera) threatening blackmail in order to get his own parcel of land. This being a prime-time soap, Mateo’s vindictive mom, and Joe’s ex, Margaret (the delicious Bellamy Young) will also do all she can to make Joe’s life miserable. Flashbacks reveal how the younger Margaret got to know Joe and his fellow migrants, who toiled on the Honeycroft vineyards before taking over the Heritage House label.
Inside Monday TV:
- Kenan (8/7c, NBC): The second season ends with back-to-back episodes, in which Kenan (Kenan Thompson) and brother Gary (Chris Redd) walk down memory lane while sorting through childhood memorabilia, then head with the rest of the morning-show staff to Miami for some R&R.
- Snowpiercer (9/8c, TNT): So who is this new survivor who Layton (Daveed Diggs) discovered in an icy bunker? The Good Wife’s Archie Panjabi is introduced as Asha, a former nuclear tech who could be the train’s link to the warming New Eden.
- The Cleaning Lady (9/8c, Fox): A desperate Thony (Elodie Yung) tracks down the reluctant potential donor (guest star Lou Diamond Phillips) who could save her ailing son. While pleading her case, she’s also coerced by agent Garrett (Oliver Hudson) to spy on Arman (Adan Canto).
- Adults Adopting Adults (10/9c, A&E): A 10-part docuseries examines the unusual circumstances in which adults seek to legally adopt other grown-ups, often for family and financial reasons but sometimes for shadier motives.
- Missing in Brooks County (10/9c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): Independent Lens presents a troubling documentary following several families’ desperate search for loved ones who disappeared after crossing the Mexico border into the unforgiving terrain of South Texas.