'Legion' Returns, 'Roseanne' and 'The Middle,' Tracy Morgan's Comeback in 'The Last O.G.'
A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
Legion (10/9c, FX): Noah Hawley’s trippy fantasy drama is back for a second season, with psychic mutant David Haller (Downton Abbey’s charismatic Dan Stevens) and his fellow gifted misfits seeking the evil Shadow King. This season, their nemesis takes on a new corporeal form of ancient being Amahl Farouk (Homeland’s Navid Negahban), the better to achieve his goal of world domination. But not if David can escape the weird orb that captured him in last year’s cliffhanger and rejoin his team.
'Fargo' and 'Legion' creator Noah Hawley pays homage to 'Twin Peaks' mastermind David Lynch
Roseanne (8/7c, ABC): The physical comedy is priceless as Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) grudgingly accepts Dan’s (John Goodman) gift of a stair-rail elevator chair to help her get upstairs with her bum knee. But the real bite of another strong episode lies in Roseanne and Dan laying into Darlene (Sara Gilbert) for her hands-off parenting of surly teen Harris (Emma Kenny). “Here’s why you can’t trust your kids—’cause they’re stupid!” shrieks Granny Rose, who’s fed up with her unhappy granddaughter’s attitude: “She needs to respect her elders, or I’ll make sure she never becomes one!”
The sons of Roseanne and Jackie are noticeably absent from the revival.
The Middle (8:30/9:30c, ABC): Moving a half-hour later to complete an hour of top-tier working-class comedy, this great successor to Roseanne takes us to somewhere unexpected: into eccentric Brick’s (Atticus Shaffer) love life, which has escalated to the degree that Dr. Fulton (Dave Foley) sounds the alarm when Brick and Cindy (Casey Burke) are discovered making out all over school. In a more traditional romantic subplot, Sue (Eden Sher) works up the courage to reveal her feelings to Sean (Beau Wirick) and maybe even give him the snow globe.
The ABC series is in its ninth and final season.
The Last O.G. (10:30/9:30c, TBS): Tracy Morgan’s terrific new comeback comedy (see full review here) is a triumph of the never-say-die spirit. The Saturday Night Live alum plays Tray, who after 15 years in prison returns to a gentrified Brooklyn he doesn’t recognize—and an ex (the sensational Tiffany Haddish) who has moved on, raising twins he never knew existed. Instead of exhibiting anger, Tray sees only possibility. For all of its slapstick antics, The Last O.G. is sweetly appealing.
The funny man returns to TV.
Inside Tuesday TV: PBS’s American Experience rebroadcasts the 2010 documentary Roads to Memphis (8/7c, check local listings at pbs.org) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. The film, directed by Stephen Ives, tracks the disparate paths that led Dr. King and his assassin, James Earl Ray, toward this world-altering tragedy on April 4, 1968. … Michael Douglas discusses his career with TCM host Ben Mankiewicz in Live From the TCM Film Festival: Michael Douglas (8/7c), followed by screenings of 1979’s gripping The China Syndrome (9:15/8:15c) and Romancing the Stone (12:45 am/11:45c). … Kathy Griffin doubles down on the sort of political satire that temporarily made her a pariah, impersonating Kellyanne Conway in Comedy Central’s Make America Great-a-Thon: A President Show Special (11/10c), opposite the fake president of Anthony Atamauik.