'Roseanne' Gets Real, Final Acts for 'New Girl' and 'Rise'
A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
Roseanne (8/7c, ABC): Hard-knock sitcoms like Roseanne are at their best when they’re at their most real. And so it is when Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) and Dan (John Goodman) celebrate their 45th anniversary as best they can, despite her aching joints and his sore back. “My knee is holding a gun to my head,” Roseanne finally admits when Dan confronts her over missing painkillers, and the Conners need to face the fact they’re among the many who are dealing with an opioid crisis. In a somewhat lighter but no less real subplot, sisters Becky (Lecy Goranson) and Darlene (Sara Gilbert) vie for a casino job when Roseanne’s pal Crystal (Natalie West) retired — despite the uniform’s “riverboat whore vibe,” it pays benefits. And good for a show like Roseanne to acknowledge what a big deal that can be to the sorts of families that may actually watch this show.
New Girl (9/8c, Fox): With the network moving away from quirky niche comedies to a more mainstream approach in its sitcoms and dramas, it’s hard not to see symbolic overtones to the departure of this giddy series — which, like many, probably overstayed its welcome by a year or two. Which is no reason not to celebrate the wedding day of Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson), as well as an equally momentous day for Winston (Lamorne Morris) and Aly (Nasim Pedrad). In the final reel, expect one last round of “True American” and some fond strolls down memory lane when the newlyweds discover they’re being evicted from their loft.
Rise (9/8c, NBC): The show must go on, even when the show has been canceled. It’s opening night for Spring Awakening at Stanton High, but most of the drama as usual is going on backstage. The mix of Glee uplift and Friday Night Lights angst never quite fit, and show director Lou (Josh Radnor) was a thorn in everyone’s side, so sadly, there won’t be an encore performance or second season of this ambitious but flawed musical drama.
Inside Tuesday TV: On the semi-final results show of NBC’s The Voice (8/7c), the contestants sweating it out once again take a back seat to marquee performers, including coach Blake Shelton and special musical guests Panic! At the Disco and country star Kane Brown. … In the penultimate episode of ABC’s The Middle (8:30/7:30c), Frankie (Patricia Heaton) is desperate to keep Axl (Charlie McDermott) from taking a job that will move him to Denver, and Sue (Eden Sher) is similarly bummed that Sean (Beau Wirick) is heading to Ghana without resolving their relationship issues. … The fractured marriage of Dre (Anthony Anderson) and Bow (Tracee Ellis Ross) continues to dominate the season finale of ABC’s black-ish (9/8c), as the couple begins to realize how hard it is to be on their own now that they’re living separate lives. Could this be the beginning of a new beginning? … Anglophiles are likely looking to BBC America for coverage of this weekend’s royal wedding. And the channel complies with Harry and Meghan: A Very Modern Romance (10/9c), a special that looks at the social and political backgrounds of the couple that has so fascinated the world.