‘Girlfriends’ Guide’ Final Season, ‘Strange Angel,’ and ‘Alone’
A selective critical checklist of notable Thursday TV:
Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce (10/9c, Bravo): The dramedy about sexy exes enters its fifth and final season with more romance in the air, though as always complicated by everyone’s considerable personal baggage. This is a good opportunity to reacquaint yourself with the show, as the gal pals reflect on recent events while at a red carpet event. Abby (the terrific Lisa Edelstein) wants to take the next step with Coach Mike (James Lesure) and start the process of blending their families. And will Barbara (Retta) let her own ex, Leon (Aaron D. Spears) get in the way of her relationship with Darrell (Malcolm-Jamal Warner)?
Strange Angel (streaming on CBS All Access): Strange indeed. You’d never confuse Jack Parsons (Jack Reynor) with a typical CBS hero — which may be the point of this intriguing but slow-moving new original drama on the network’s premium streaming site. Inspired by Parsons’ true story, Angel tracks the obsessions of Parsons, who works by day at a chemical factory in 1930s Los Angeles and at night experiments with rocketry. (He would later be a co-founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.) Thanks to a new neighbor, played with creepy allure by Homeland’s much-missed Rupert Friend, Jack and wife Susan (Bella Heathcote) are introduced to the underground world of the occult, where Parsons becomes entranced by the cult religion Thelema and its exotic sex rituals. Something tells me we won’t see this become a subplot in future seasons of The Big Bang Theory.
Alone (10/9c, History): The survival series takes on a déjà vu quality in its fifth season, when 10 former participants return for yet another exotic challenge, hoping for a better outcome. These also-rans are dropped in Northern Mongolia, where subzero temps and feral wolves are just a few of the obstacles they’ll face as they vie for a cash prize of $500,000.
Inside Thursday TV: In its new time period, NBC’s Little Big Shots (8/7c) returns with a 6-year-old “American Ninja Warrior” hopeful — because why not? Host Steve Harvey also interacts with an 8-year-old voiceover artists and a young painter with mad brush skills… NBC’s summer sitcom Marlon (9/8c) opens a second season with back-to-back episodes, starting with a moral crisis when Marlon (Marlon Wayans) and Ashley (Essence Atkins) decide to let son Zack (Amir O’Neil) model for a kids’ athletic line — only to discover his shirt is altered with a slogan they find racist… Having watched older sister Maddie (Lennon Stella) grab the spotlight, now it’s Daphne’s (Maisy Stella) turn on CMT’s Nashville (9/8c) — although as usual there are strings attached. Notably, the fact that the villainous Brad (Jeffrey Nordling) is the one pulling the strings at the music competition providing Daphne’s star turn. Deacon (Charles Esten), as usual, is understandably concerned.