Worth Watching: Black History Month on ‘black-ish,’ Finales of ‘Lethal Weapon’ and ‘Gifted,’ ‘Drunk History’ Sips From ‘Chicago’
A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
black-ish (9/8c, ABC): Getting in just under the wire, the topical sitcom tackles Black History Month when Dre (Anthony Anderson) gets irked that twins Jack (Miles Brown) and Diane (Marsai Martin) aren’t getting as rounded an education on the subject as he would like. So he attempts to bring black history to life at a school assembly. Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer guest-stars as herself, and the episode is directed by series star Tracee Ellis Ross.
Lethal Weapon (8/7c, Fox): Two on-the-bubble series wrap for the year, starting with the buddy cop drama that never quite recovered from losing one of its leading men (Clayne Crawford) between seasons. Weapon’s third-season finale brings unwelcome mayhem to the wedding of Cole’s (Seann William Scott) ex-wife Natalie (Maggie Lawson) and groom Andrew (Jonathan Sadowski). On the job, Cole’s own relationship with partner Murtaugh (Damon Wayans) is complicated by a new case. Will their bromance — and the show — survive? Hard to say.
Same goes for the second season of Fox’s The Gifted (9/8c), another Marvel-ous unfocused mess, ending with Reed (Stephen Moyer) trying to stay in control of his powers, though the Struckers soon realize that lacking enough serum, dad might just go over the top.
Drunk History (10/9c, Comedy Central): Tie one on with some notorious femmes fatales, starting with the real-life 1920s jazz babies who inspired the hit musical Chicago‘s killer tag team of Velma and Roxie (courtesy of original author Maurine Dallas Watkins). Malin Akerman and Lake Bell are Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner in this tipsy scenario. A second narrative slurs its way through the notorious antics of WWI double agent Mata Hari.
Inside Tuesday TV: Hulu begins streaming the fascinating documentary Three Identical Strangers, about three brothers born as triplets but separated at birth, who didn’t discover the others’ identity until adulthood. The joy of their meeting is colored by the dark backstory explaining why they were kept from each other for years… Laura Linney, Michael Moore and Chloë Sevigny make an eclectic trio, each learning fascinating details about their lineage on PBS’s Finding Your Roots (8/7c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org)… Is Peggy (Mary McCormack) finally loosening her housewifely apron strings on ABC’s terrific nostalgia-with-a-bite The Kids Are Alright (8:30/7:30c)? When Peggy’s candle-making talents take time away from domestic duties, Mike (Michael Cudlitz) starts to worry that family is no longer her top priority… An all-reality competition night on NBC begins with a second episode of Blind Auditions on The Voice (8/7c), followed by a two-hour premiere of World of Dance (9/8c), with Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough and Ne-Yo returning as judges for the third season… It’s Plain Clothes Day for the training officers on ABC’s The Rookie (10/9c), which means all the newbies must make all the decisions while on patrol.