Parental Matters on NBC Comedies, Day of the Dead on ‘Grey’s,’ ‘Murphy’ Anchors Midterms
A critical checklist of notable Thursday TV:
Superstore (8/7c, NBC): One of the best aspects of this underrated comedy is its understanding of class and status, and that has never been more evident than when Amy (American Ferrera) and Dina (Lauren Ash) both go into labor — and because Dina can enjoy Glenn’s (Mark McKinney) managerial perks giving her access to a top-notch hospital, Amy and Jonah (Ben Feldman) aren’t so lucky with their ordeal in a local clinic.
The Good Place (8:30/7:30c, NBC): Let’s hope the Superstore babies never grow up to be as damaged as Eleanor (Kristen Bell), who only now learns in her current state of limbo that her mother is still alive. As part of the Soul Squad’s mission to help others get into the Good Place, Eleanor pays a visit to her wayward parent (Leslie Grossman, who barely seems old enough), and instantly suspects her incognito mom’s new suburban life (with Review’s Andrew Daly as her adoring husband) is a scam. As usual, Michael (Ted Danson) tries to mediate, telling Eleanor this isn’t about her — but when does that ever work?
Will & Grace (9/8c, NBC): Another parental reckoning takes place when Grace (Debra Messing) reluctantly goes on a road trip with her dad (Robert Klein), and a painful buried memory from her teenage past emerges. On the lighter side, Karen (Megan Mullally) and Will (Eric McCormack) face off in a lip-sync “monologue throwdown” to decide who’ll be best man at Jack’s (Sean Hayes) wedding. Anyone who suspects Will isn’t up to the challenge will be happily surprised.
Grey’s Anatomy (8/7c, ABC): As if we needed reminding, the doctors think back on all the loved ones they’ve lost over the year when Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) treats a patient whose family is celebrating the Mexican holiday of the Day of the Dead. (Walking down that memory lane could take quite some time.) In other news, Jo (Camilla Luddington) urges Link (Chris Carmack) to pitch woo to one of the doctors — but who’ll be lucky enough to catch the fancy of the “ortho God”?
Murphy Brown (9:30/8:30c, CBS): Coverage gets awfully punchy on both sides of the cable-news spectrum as Murphy gets topical with an episode set on the day of the midterm elections. For some reason, Murphy’s (Candice Bergen) network is letting the Murphy in the Morning team, including an energy-drink-addicted Frank (Joe Regalbuto) and menopausal Corky (Faith Ford), stay on air for the entire all-day-and-night cycle. Over at the Wolf Network, Avery (Jack McDorman) shares the couch with blowhard “conservative superstar” anchor John Haggerty (Peter Gallagher), whose “alpha” ways raise the more objective hackles of the younger rising new star whom Buzzfeed calls “the millennial Anderson Cooper.” The real point of the episode, though, is to encourage voting, because “Elections have consequences.”
Inside Thursday TV: Action figures come to terrifying life on The CW’s Supernatural (8/7c), thrusting the heroes into a real-life horror movie — which you’d think they’d be used to by now… Grey’s Anatomy’s Bailey (Chandra Wilson) does double duty this week, appearing on ABC spinoff Station 19 (9/8c) to have a marital heart-to-heart with Ben (Jason George). … Grey’s Anatomy’s Debbie Allen moonlights on CBS’s S.W.A.T. (10/9c) Hondo’s (Shemar Moore) mother, offering emotional support to her son when he’s rocked by a suspect’s death… Rizzoli & Isles star Sasha Alexander guests on NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (10/9c) as a lawyer who goes missing, after her husband and kids are found stabbed in their beds… For the third season of the high-tech drama StartUp (all 10 episodes streaming on Sony Crackle), Mira Sorvino comes aboard as NSA Agent Rebecca Stroud, snooping around ArakNet and causing Wes (Ron Perlman) to reconsider financing the company.