Worth Watching: An Hour of 'Last Man,' Live Action 'Kim Possible,' More Valentines on ABC, 'Lorena' on Amazon
A selective critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
Last Man Standing (8/7c, Fox): ABC’s loss was Fox’s gain when the network picked up Tim Allen’s sitcom after a year’s absence, and Fox could see double the ratings bump with back-to-back episodes. Say a prayer for Chuck (Jonathan Adams) and Carol (Tisha Campbell) as they prepare to renew their vows, when Mike (Allen) volunteers to officiate. And add a thought for Outdoor Man, because with Chuck away, Ed (Hector Elizondo) takes over the security detail with a very different attitude.
Kim Possible (8/7c, Disney Channel): The animated hit becomes a live-action movie, with Sadie Stanley as the eponymous teen hero and The Goldbergs’ Sean Giambrone as her sidekick, Ron Stoppable. (Buffy’s Alyson Hannigan is Kim’s brain-surgeon mom, and Christy Carlson Romano — who voiced Kim in the original series — appears as a pop star named Poppy Blu.) With Team Possible learning the ropes of freshman year in high school, their extracurriculars include taking on super-villain Dr. Drakken (Todd Stashwick) and henchwoman Shego (Taylor Ortega). One carry-over: The Simpsons’ Nancy Cartwright continues to provide the voice of Rufus, Ron’s pet naked mole rat.
Ron's BFF is always a part of Team Possible's major adventures.
Fresh Off the Boat (8/7c, ABC): Valentine’s Day may be over, but not for ABC’s “TGIF” comedies. On Boat, parents Jessica (Constance Wu) and Louis (Randall Park) compete to give Evan (Ian Chen) Valentine’s tips for how to woo his new girlfriend, Sicily (Julia Garcia). Followed by Speechless (8:30/7:30c), in which JJ (Micah Fowler) celebrates with Izzy (Kayla Maisonet), but a dateless Ray (Mason Cook) ends up taking sister Dylan (Kyla Kenedy) on a prepaid night out. As for mom Maya (Minnie Driver) and dad Jimmy (John Ross Bowie), they scoff at the holiday until they realize they can make a profit from it.
The potential series would focus on the doctor in her teen years.
Proven Innocent (9/8c, Fox): She may be on the side of the angels, but Madeline Scott (Rachelle Lefevre) could be the season’s most annoying protagonist, a smugly self-righteous advocate for the wrongly imprisoned — because she was once one herself, convicted with her now-recovering-addict brother (Riley Smith) of murdering her BFF and spending 10 years behind bars before being exonerated. Now running a generic Injustice Defense Group operation in Chicago, Madeline and her bland sidekicks go to war against slimy state’s attorney Gore Bellows (Kelsey Grammer), who’s as odious and corrupt as his laughably Dickensian name suggests. Subtlety is not this show’s friend, and I’m thinking Fox had a reason for scheduling this legal migraine of a drama in a dead-end Friday time period.
The Fox legal drama premieres in February.
Lorena (streaming on Amazon Prime Video): Jordan Peele is executive producer of a four-part documentary revisiting the lurid story of Lorena and John Wayne Bobbitt, whose history of marital discord and spousal abuse escalated into a shocking incident of mutilation that made national headlines. The series takes perhaps too much time getting past the tabloid shock value to explore the issues of domestic violence and media coverage of this human tragedy.
The four-part documentary features new interviews with neighbors, police and even the Bobbitts themselves.
Inside Friday TV: Netflix’s big-ticket item of interest is The Umbrella Academy, another graphic-novel adaptation about disgruntled young-adult superheroes. When their adoptive father mysteriously dies, the estranged super-sibs reunite to avert an impending apocalypse… Christen a new queen on the grand season finale of VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars (8/7c). In the last round, the final four contestants write and perform a verse of RuPaul’s song “Super Queen” and appear on the “What’s the T” podcast with RuPaul and Michelle Visage. Guests include Todrick Hall and past winners Chad Michaels, Alaska and Trixie Mattel… With Jack (George Eads) gone, the team of CBS’s MacGyver (8/7c) welcomes a new recruit: Desi (Levy Tran)… Another movie awards show? At least this one knows its audience. PBS’s Great Performances presents the 18th annual Annual Movies for Grownups Awards (9/8c, check local listings at pbs.org) from AAPR the Magazine, hosted by Martin Short. Honored with a Career Achievement Award: Shirley MacLaine.