‘Vikings’ Sequel and Madea Homecoming on Netflix, ‘Blacklist’ on the Move, ‘Magnum’ Plucks Heartstrings, Detective Story on ‘Afterparty’

Vikings: Valhalla follows the exploits of the Norse warriors 100 years after the original series. Tyler Perry dons the Madea cloke again for a new Netflix movie. NBC’s long-running The Blacklist moves back to Friday. Magnum P.I. spotlights helicopter pilot T.C. as he fosters an abandoned teen. The penultimate episode of Apple’s mystery-comedy The Afterparty focuses on Tiffany Haddish as the detective who’s gone rogue to crack the case.

Leo Suter as Harald in Vikings: Valhalla
Bernard Walsh/Netflix

Vikings: Valhalla

Series Premiere

You don’t need to have seen History’s hit Vikings (though it wouldn’t hurt) to enjoy this action-packed sequel, set a century later as it tracks the adventures of 11th-century explorer Leif Eriksson (Sam Corlett), his fearless pagan sister Freydis (Frida Gustavsson) and Harald (Leo Suter), the ferocious prince of Norway. In this era, the Vikings are torn between pagan and Christian beliefs as the story moves from Greenland to Norway, Denmark and England in a relentless battle for survival and conquest.

'Tyler Perry's A Madea Homecoming,' Netflix, Tyler Perry as Madea
Netflix/Tyler Perry Studios

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Homecoming

Movie Premiere

The blockbuster movie franchise finds a home on streaming as multi-hyphenate director-writer-producer-star Tyler Perry assumes his most famous comic persona as the indomitable Madea. She returns to attend her great-grandson’s college graduation, an event that promises (or threatens) to expose all kinds of dramatic family secrets. Look for Irish actor Brendan O’Carroll to give Madea a run for her money as Agnes Brow

James Spader on The Blacklist
Will Hart/NBC

The Blacklist

Now back on Fridays, the long-running crime drama—just renewed for a 10th season—puts Cooper (Harry Lennix) and his reconstituted FBI task force on the trail of an untraceable cellular network for criminals. Red (James Spader) is otherwise engaged in trying to get his loyal accountant Heddie (Aida Turturro) out of a jam.

Jay Hernandez in Magnum PI

Magnum P.I.

An emotional subplot involves copter pilot T.C.’s (Stephen Hill) efforts to become a foster parent to 16-year-old Cade (Martin Martinez), the abandoned kid he met earlier this season. But first, he and Detective Katsumoto (Tim Kang) make one last effort to find Cade’s long-missing mother before the arrangement can become official. Where are Magnum (Jay Hernandez) and Higgins (Perdita Weeks) through all of this? On the hunt for a woman who skipped out on a $250,000 bond, leaving a dead P.I. in her wake.

The Afterparty - Tiffany Haddish - Apple TV+
Apple TV+

The Afterparty

With only one more episode to go, and most of the prime suspects having already been grilled by Detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish) in this wildly entertaining mystery-comedy, the unconventional cop turns the spotlight on herself to reveal why it’s so crucial to her career that she solve this case of the fallen pop star. In flashbacks, we see how Danner struggled to prove herself in a case involving a famous TV writer (Fred Savage), when her smug nemesis, Det. Aldrin Germain (Veep’s Reid Scott), keeps trying to keep the ambitious beat cop in her place. Now Danner worries Germain will railroad the most obvious (yet unlikely) suspect, Aniq (Sam Richardson), if she doesn’t get to the truth first.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - Season 4 - Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein
Prime Video

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

In two new episodes of the raucous period comedy, Susie (Alex Borstein) pays tribute to a fallen friend—the episode is dedicated to the late Brian Tarantina, who played her roomie and Gaslight emcee, Jackie—while Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) struggles on at the strip club. (Tony winner Santino Fontana, of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend fame, is the snarling backstage manager.) Emmy winner Luke Kirby makes a welcome reappearance as Lenny Bruce, while another Emmy champ, Tony Shalhoub as Midge’s father Abe, gets the worst and most farcical subplots, facing the heat after filing a negative review and then petulantly sparring with longtime friend Asher (Jason Alexander) during an FBI investigation.

Inside Friday TV:

  • Brain Games: On the Road (8/7c, National Geographic): Comic Chuck Nice hosts a traveling version of the mind-bending game show, which lets teams of competitive friends, family and coworkers match wits in their hometowns. Four back-to-back episodes air on Fridays through March 25.
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race (8/7c, VH1): Get ready to groove with the Rupremes, the Runettes and the Shangrulas as the queens compete in a 1960s girl group challenge.
  • Framed by My Sister (8/7c, Lifetime Movie Network): Triple the trouble in this melodrama, as Scout Taylor-Compton assumes three roles when vengeful Trinity, a triplet separated at birth from her sibs Reina and Alex, plots to frame one for murder and assume the identity of the other. Yikes.
  • True Crime Watch: ABC’s 20/20 (9/8c) features Deborah Roberts’ exclusive prison interview with Diane Staudte, who with daughter Rachel plotted to poison their family one by one. On Dateline NBC (10/9c), Keith Morrison reports on the 2020 Mother’s Day disappearance of Colorado mom Suzanne Morphew.
  • Blue Bloods (10/9c, CBS): Tony Danza guests as Lt. Raymond Moretti, whose family comes under investigation by Frank (Tom Selleck) after a shooting in his home. Will Hochman returns as prodigal grandson and police officer Joe Hill, who alerts Erin (Bridget Moynihan) on witness tampering in an ongoing trial.

On the Stream:

  • Severance (streaming on Apple TV+): In the third episode, the chilling workplace satire escalates the disorientation when rogue ex-employee Petey (Yul Vasquez) tries to alert Mark (Adam Scott) on the outside about the dark side of Lumon Industries: “Don’t you want to know what you’re doing down there?” One co-worker who refuses to fit in without a fight: rebellious Helly (Britt Lower), Petey’s replacement, who risks being sent to the infamous “Break Room.”
  • The Amber Ruffin Show (streaming on Peacock): The Late Night with Seth Meyers breakout star-writer returns with new episodes of her acclaimed late-night comedy series.
  • Reno 911! Defunded (streaming on the Roku Channel): The rebooted cop-show spoof is back with new episodes (but less funding) with guest stars including Jamie Lee Curtis, Weird Al Yankovic and George Lopez.
  • No Exit (streaming on Hulu): Mayday’s Havana Rose Liu stars in a thriller as Darby, who’s stranded at a highway rest stop during a blizzard when she discovers an abducted girl in a van in the parking lot. Mayhem ensues.
  • The Fame Game (streaming on Netflix): Bollywood star Madhuri Dixit headlines a global thriller series, filmed in India, as a famous actress whose sudden disappearance leads to an investigation that strips away the superstar’s glamorous image.