What's On: ‘Mom’ Takes a Sobering Turn, and Alec Baldwin Gets Competition as Another Faux Trump Gets His Own ‘The President Show’
Mom (9/8c, CBS): Sometimes it seems that Christy (Anna Faris) has nothing but painful memories from her past as an addict. And some are more traumatic than others, as this exceptional episode from CBS’s best comedy reminds us. When she recognizes a visitor to their regular meeting who triggers an especially painful flashback to the bad old days, her first impulse is to turn to her sponsor, Marjorie (the wonderful Mimi Kennedy). Unfortunately, the usually rock-solid Marjorie is taking a break for personal reasons, and the person who steps in to be the group’s tough-love “answer lady” is Christy’s mom, Bonnie (Allison Janney). That earns a “yikes.”
The President Show (11:30/10:30c, Comedy Central): Even fans of Alec Baldwin’s iconic impersonation of Donald Trump might admit a little of that over-the-top act goes a long way. This weekly late-night spoof will test that theory, as another accomplished Trump impersonator, Anthony Atamanuik, takes center stage in a mock talk-show format, lampooning the president behind a desk with a fake Mike Pence (Peter Grosz) as his sidekick. Heeeeeere’s … Trumpy!
Scandal (9/8c, ABC): Netflix’s provocative new comedy series Dear White People (launching Friday) features an inspired parody of this series, titled Defamation, which the African-American students on a mostly white Ivy League campus gather to hate-watch on a weekly basis. Kind of reflects how I feel about Scandal these days, which now finds Olivia (Kerry Washington) and Mellie (Bellamy Young) and much of the rest of the gang quaking at the murderous antics of the covertly power-grabbing Peus. Last week’s dispatching (via golf club) of a prominent recurring character was just the latest bloodily improbable twist. Where will the show go next? The guilty-pleasure addict within will keep watching, even though we all know better.
Inside Thursday TV: Three’s not company on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory (8/7c) when Penny (Kaley Cuoco) is offered a job by her ex, Zack (Brian Thomas Smith), reigniting Leonard’s (Johnny Galecki) insecurities and jealousy. … Fox’s Masterchef Junior (8/7c) looks back on the show’s most memorable moments from the first five seasons in a retrospective that includes updates on former contestants to see how they’ve grown, including in the kitchen. … Life on Fire Island is explored in a new Logo reality series (8/7c) following young gay professionals through the summer in a beachfront share house. Let’s hope they behave better than those troglodytes from the Jersey Shore. … This could be one of the tougher matches on Spike’s Lip Sync Battle (10/9c), as Ne-Yo takes on Taye Diggs, whose rendition of “Vogue” may be hard to beat, even when Ne-Yo interprets the funk classic “Candy.”