Worth Watching: ‘Great Performances’ Salutes Bernstein, Supernatural Finales (‘Midnight,’ ‘Z Nation,’ ‘Van Helsing’)
A critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
Great Performances: The Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood (9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): Filmed last summer at the famed music center in the Berkshires, this 100th-birthday salute to Leonard Bernstein enlists Broadway stars (Tony Yasbeck, Wicked’s Jessica Vosk) and classical greats (Yo-YO Ma, Thomas Hampson, Midori) to express the full range of the maestro’s talents. A gallery of great conductors including Keith Lockhart, John Williams and Michael Tilson Thomas helps lead an orchestra comprised of members from worldwide ensembles associated with Bernstein. The program includes the rousing “Overture” from Candide and selections from West Side Story.
Midnight, Texas (8/7c, NBC): The second season of the supernatural thriller concludes (inauspiciously on a pre-New Year’s weekend) with the town under the rule of Dark Witches. This bleak situation prompts psychic hero Manfred (François Arnaud) to make a significant sacrifice to save the town, and perhaps the world, as the good guys take on the powerful and deadly coven.
It’s also a wrap, for good, for Syfy’s Z Nation (9/8c) after five seasons. In the series finale, the heroes follow Warren (Kellita Smith) into Altura to stop Pandora (Lydia Hearst) from staging a coup. Followed by the third-season finale of Van Helsing (10/9c), in which Vanessa (Kelly Overton) faces off with Sam (Christopher Heyerdahl) to find the Last Elder.
The Wrong Teacher (8/7c, Lifetime): You know Christmas is in the rear-view mirror when Lifetime reverts to its standard movie formula of sordid melodrama. The titular teacher (One Life to Live‘s Jessica Morris) makes a wrong move when she has a one-night stand with a stud (Phil McElroy) who turns out to be a new 18-year-old transfer student at her high school. She regrets it, but he doesn’t — and becomes her stalker, to the consternation of the principal (Vivica A. Fox) and vice principal (Eric Roberts).
Inside Friday TV: A party game of “Never, Have I Ever” turns deadly during a New Year’s Eve reunion for four millennial girlfriends in New Year, New You, the latest installment of Hulu’s Into the Dark monthly horror anthology series… Discovery’s Gold Rush (8/7c) trawls with back-to-back episodes, in which Todd faces eviction after 150 days and Parker is teased about his “Castle on the Hill’ trailer… WE tv’s Extreme Love (10/9c), based on a popular digital series, isn’t kidding when it promises to spotlight far-out relationships. In the premiere, 31-year-old Kyle juggles geriatric girlfriends (at 92 and 68), Sid enables 700lb girlfriend Monica to keep overeating until she becomes pregnant, and engaged couple Shawna and Dave share a penchant for sex dolls.