Trevor Noah Returns to South Africa, ‘Good Doctor’ Winter Finale, Mandy Moore Explores Her Roots
A critical checklist of notable Monday TV:
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: Self-Deportation Edition (11/10c, Comedy Central): It will be a very special homecoming for the Daily Show host, who returned to South African to host Sunday’s Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium. (The lineup was scheduled to include Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams & Chris Martin and Usher, among many others.) In the special edition of The Daily Show, Noah revisits haunts from his hometown and looks at Nelson Mandela’s lasting legacy on South Africa and beyond.
The Good Doctor (10/9c, ABC): All hands on deck to handle a medical crisis in the winter finale of the popular medical drama, which returns from hiatus on Jan. 14. When Shaun (Freddie Highmore) and Dr. Park (Will Yun Lee) treat two patients who collapsed at the airport with symptoms suggesting an airborne infection, the staff works to keep the infection from spreading to other ER patients. Can you say Happy Quarantined Holidays?
Mars (9/8c, National Geographic): An outbreak also endangers the interplanetary settlers in the sci-fi portion of this fascinating series, when a mysterious illness sickens (in one case fatally) colonists from the science and mining camps. The scientists scramble to discover the source of the transmission. Present-day documentary segments follow a Greenpeace activist who’s trying to expose a health crisis being covered up by the Russian government to protect its oil interests in Siberia.
Who Do You Think You Are? (10/9c, TLC): The Emmy-winning genealogy series is back with four new celebrity-driven episodes, starting with This Is Us star Mandy Moore. She is surprised to learn about ancestors from Australia, which occasions a far-flung research trip to discover how they got there and what they sacrificed along the way.
My Brilliant Friend (9/8c, HBO): In another gorgeous but unsettling episode of this evocative coming-of-age period piece, the demure Elena (Margherita Mazzucco) turns 15 while spending the summer on the island of Ischia, where she helps tend to a family from Naples and relives a childhood crush. Back home, the spirited Lila (Gaia Girace) resists the aggressive wooing of neighborhood stud Marcello (Elvis Esposito), which sets her family on edge — especially after the rich kid brings a brand-new TV into their home!
Inside Monday TV: Acorn TV imports the Irish comedy Finding Joy for a six-episode run, starring Amy Huberman (Striking Out) as Joy, whose well-ordered life is upended when her boyfriend dumps her and hew new job as a vlogger propels her into a series of misadventures, romantic and otherwise… In a takeoff on Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, CBS’s The Neighborhood (8/7c) finds Tina (Tichina Arnold) less than enchanted when son Marty (Marcel Spears) brings his new girlfriend (Alexander Chando) home for a family meal… HBO’s documentary Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland (10/9c) takes a hard look at the tragic case of Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old African American from Chicago who was arrested in 2015 in a small Texas town for a traffic violation and three days later was found hanging in her jail cell. HBO describes Say Her Name as a “legal thriller and a parable about race in America.”