Sci-Fi Finales (‘Discovery,’ ‘Wolves’), ‘Welcome to Flatch,’ NCAA First Round, ‘Minx’ and ‘DMZ’ on HBO Max
Sci-fi fans will thrill to the emotional season finale of Star Trek: Discovery and the Season 2 climax of the endlessly bizarre Raised by Wolves. Fox takes a droll mockumentary-style look at small-town life in Welcome to Flatch. One of sports’ great annual events begins as the NCAA college basketball tournament kicks off its first round of play. HBO Max launches the cheeky comedy Minx and the limited-series thriller DMZ.
Star Trek: Discovery
The Season 4 arc comes to an intense and emotional climax as the Discovery crew tries to communicate with the mysterious Ten-C alien species—which seems to be empathetic, though uncomprehending of Federation ways—while the countdown nears for the aliens’ DMA device to unknowingly unleash destruction on the home planets of Earth and Ni’Var. Discovery’s Capt. Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) faces tough decisions about her rogue lover, Book (David Ajala), while back home, Tilly (Mary Wiseman) and Admiral Vance (Oded Fehr) orchestrate a perilous evacuation.
Star Trek: Picard
Elsewhere in Trek world, Picard (Patrick Stewart) makes good on his pledge that “to save the future… we have to repair the past.” So once they use the Borg Queen (Annie Wersching) to extricate themselves from the bizarro world of a totalitarian alt-reality, it’s off to 2024 Los Angeles, where the search is on for a “watcher” while everyone takes pains not to disrupt the timeline. “Everything we do here has consequences,” Picard needlessly points out. Don’t be surprised if all does not go smoothly in the 21st century. And Q (John de Lancie) is watching.
Raised by Wolves
In the Season 2 finale of one of TV’s most haunting and visually powerful sci-fi dramas, android Mother (Amanda Collin) takes the veil—a sensory filter worn by the revived “Grandmother” robot—so she can confront her serpent offspring “No. 7” in a climactic showdown that could decide the fate of humanity. It gets weirder from there.
Welcome to Flatch
Small-town life is spoofed in a mockumentary based on a British format, relocated to rural Flatch, Ohio (pop. 1,526), where the living is easy if you keep your expectations low. Creator Jenny Bicks and director/executive producer Paul Feig score droll but obvious points in the jokey set-up, introducing best friend/cousins Kelly (Chelsea Holmes) and Shrub (Sam Straley) as “walking disappointments” who are destined to fail once again at Flatch’s annual Scarecrow Festival. (One of several title cards informs us of the “correlation between small-town traditions and community happiness.”) Among the newer Flatch residents: well-meaning pastor “Father Joe” (Seann William Scott) and his ex, Cheryl (You’re the Worst’s Aya Cash), who’s taken over the local newspaper. If you like what you see, the first seven episodes are available for binge-watching on Hulu, Fox Now and On Demand. But as they say in Flatch, what’s the rush?
Flatch’s Paul Feig is also among the executive producers of this cheeky period comedy, with a similar vibe to GLOW and Boogie Nights in its generous attitude toward societal outliers. Set in the early 1970s, Minx (created by Ellen Rapoport) stars Ophelia Lovibond as idealistic feminist Joyce, a crusader from suburban Pasadena whose dreams of launching a Matriarchy Awakens manifesto hits a wall of indifference until she crosses paths with unruly porn-mag merchant Doug Renetti (New Girl’s Jake Johnson). And thus Minx is born in a Van Nuys studio, a magazine wrapping its message of female equality in the titillating guise of male erotica. As Joyce rationalizes: “The ability to look makes a woman feel powerful.” It’s also a good excuse for a classic pay-cable revel in unabashed frontal nudity. Also new to HBO Max: DMZ, a four-part limited series based on a DC graphic novel, starring Rosario Dawson in a dystopian thriller as a woman seeking her lost son in a demilitarized zone within Manhattan, whose streets are meaner than ever.
While Top Chef continues on Bravo, Fox launches an eighth season of the youthful culinary competition, with 16 junior chefs aged 8 to 13 donning the white apron to impress the judges in hopes of winning the $100,000 grand prize. Joining the ubiquitous Gordon Ramsay and chef Aaron Sanchez on the judging panel: wellness advocate/author Daphne Oz. In the first round, the young chefs punch holes in a wall to retrieve their mystery ingredients.
The gripping docudrama about the fraudulent reign of health-care entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes (Amanda Seyfried) takes its darkest turn yet, when the Theranos CEO hires celebrity lawyer David Boies (Kurtwood Smith) to silence her critics. This creates an internal problem when troubled chief chemist Ian Gibbons (a poignant Stephen Fry) is subpoenaed to testify. Michaela Watkins is chilling as the in-house counsel intimidating employees under their NDAs. Joining the cast: 13 Reasons Why’s Dylan Minnette as new Theranos hire Tyler Shultz, grandson of board member George Shultz (Sam Waterson) and starstruck by Elizabeth—until Tyler enters the lab and discovers the level of deception and fear under which everyone is operating.
Inside Thursday TV:
- NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (starts at noon/ET, CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV): The road to the Final Four runs through first-round regional play in San Francisco, San Antonio, Chicago and Philadelphia, with games scheduled for all afternoon through the evening. If you haven’t filled out your bracket yet, now’s the time.
- Station 19 (8/7c, ABC): It’s opening day for the Dean Miller Memorial Clinic, time for Sullivan (Boris Kodjoe) to give Capt. Beckett (Josh Randall) an ultimatum.
- Law & Order (8/7c, NBC): After tackling a series of high-profile celebrity cases in the reboot’s opening weeks, detectives Bernard (Anthony Anderson) and Cosgrove (Jeffrey Donovan) investigate the murder of a controversial family court judge.
- Million Dollar Hustle (10/9c, Lifetime): A reality series goes inside the world of transformational marketing, where self-made millionaire Stormy Wellington oversees a “Circle of Bosses” including her daughter Maniya and Dianna Williams, aka Coach D from Bring It!
- Single Drunk Female (10:30/9:30c, Freeform): The first season of the dark comedy ends with Sam (Sofia Black-D’Elia) attending Brit’s (Sasha Compére) wedding, the latest test in her year of newfound sobriety.
- The Three Drinkers in Ireland (streaming on Prime Video): Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, a travelogue features three drinks professionals (that’s a thing?) who journey to local pubs as well as regions where specific types of alcohol originated.
- Below Deck Down Under (streaming on Peacock): An Australian version of the sea-bound reality series drops its first three episodes.
- Heartland (streaming on UP Faith & Family): The heartwarming Canadian drama is now in its 15th season, with Amy Fleming (Amber Marshall) raising her daughter on an Alberta horse farm.
- Rescued by Ruby (streaming on Netflix): Also aww-inspiring, The Flash’s Grant Gustin stars as a Rhode Island state trooper who adopts shelter underdog Ruby and trains her in hopes of joining a K-9 search and rescue unit.