Letterman Talks to Clooney, Olympics Opening Ceremonies, ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’
A selective critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction (Netflix): David Letterman’s monthly series of in-depth conversations continues with an up-close-and-personal chat with George Clooney, who reflects on his childhood and long path to stardom, his meeting and marriage to Amal, and his humanitarian activities in Sudan. Outside the studio, the host follows Clooney to Augusta, Kentucky, where he helped resettle an Iraqi refugee.
Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony (8/7c, 5 PT, NBC): Given the weather reports of frigid conditions in PyeongChang, South Korea, this year it may be true that you’ll have the best seat in the house for watching the elaborate cultural extravaganza that officially opens the XXIII Winter Games. Katie Couric returns to NBC to co-host the ceremony with Mike Tirico, who succeeds Bob Costas as Olympic prime-time host.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (8/7c, The CW): Even by the berserk standards of this beyond-offbeat musical comedy, Trent (Paul Welsh) is a bizarre character. The turtlenecked weirdo’s unhinged obsession with Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) makes her look almost grounded. His return in the penultimate episode of the brilliant third season interrupts Rebecca’s plan for some much-needed “me time,” although the opening production number’s speculation on her non-romantic future is so funny it’s almost sad. And here’s a thought for the future when Crazy’s wacky story is over: Reteam Bloom and Donna Lynne Champlin (BFF Paula) as a modern-day Lucy and Ethel, which comes to mind during this week’s typically wacky caper.
Inside Friday TV: If you missed the hilarious Brockmire on IFC, starring Hank Azaria as a broken-down baseball announcer seeking a comeback by way of a rust-belt minor-league team, the first season is now available for streaming on Hulu. Don’t miss it. … New to Netflix: the documentary Seeing Allred, profiling impassioned women’s rights lawyer Gloria Allred, and the horror film The Ritual, starring Downton Abbey’s Robert James-Collier and Rafe Spall (The Big Short) as friends encountering an ancient evil while hiking in the wilderness of northern Sweden. … Hot wheels rule on Amazon Prime. In the latest episode of The Grand Tour, the guys test SUVs in Canada, and Michael Douglas hosts the new four-part docuseries Grand Prix Driver, going inside the McLaren-Honda team’s 2017 Formula 1 season. … Comedian Eddie Griffin marks his 30th year in the biz with the Showtime stand-up special Eddie Griffin: Undeniable (10/9c), in which he pays tribute to late idols including Charlie Murphy, Bernie Mac, Dick Gregory and Richard Pryor.