Worth Watching: 'Good Fight' Keeps Punching, 'Project Runway' Back on Bravo, 'Top Chef' Finale
A selective critical checklist of notable Thursday TV:
The Good Fight (streaming on CBS All Access): In an episode later this season of the politically charged Good Wife spinoff, the elegantly outraged Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) wryly notes, "It's weird how quickly what starts out as satire becomes the real thing these days." An outrageous show for outrageous times, The Good Fight is unabashedly outspoken in its despair over the dangerously vulgar excesses of modern civic life, and in the third season, decides to fight back. As Diane joins the resistance, fueled by an incident involving her conservative husband (Gary Cole) that’s too juicy to spoil, her majority-African American law firm contends with its own #MeToo dilemma. An inspired new device this season — borrowed from series creator Robert and Michelle King's short-lived BrainDead CBS horror comedy — offers pithy animated musical sequences, a la Schoolhouse Rock, whimsically explaining tricky subjects like (this week) non-disclosure agreements. Or, as the song puts it: "NDA, well, you don't say." Does Good Fight go over the top at times? Who doesn't these days?
Project Runway (8/7, Bravo): The trendsetting fashion competition returns to its original home on Bravo after 11 cycles on Lifetime, and that's not all that's changing. Out are Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, replaced by statuesque supermodel host Karlie Kloss and "fierce" new mentor Christian Siriano, the Season 4 champ who immediately shows his usefulness as he helps the new designers refine their projects in the first challenge. Elle's Nina Garcia provides some continuity as a returning judge, joined by designer Brandon Maxwell and journalist/editor Elaine Welteroth. What hasn't changed are the impossibly short deadlines to produce drop-dead — and sometimes deadly wrong — fashions, culminating in buckets of frustrated and disappointed tears in the 90-minute premiere.
Top Chef (9:30/8:30c, Bravo): Another delectable season of the Emmy-winning cooking competition ends with four-course meals on the final menu for the remaining three chefs: Eric, whose African influences have helped him stand out, local-girl Kentucky favorite Sara, and Southern spitfire Kelsey. Only two of these will be given the chance to serve a complete meal in the last round before one is named Top Chef.
iHeartRadio Music Awards (Fox, 8/7c): Another month, another music awards extravaganza. T-Pain hosts the festivities from L.A.'s Microsoft Theater, with performers including Alicia Keys, Ariana Grande, Halsey, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Backstreet Boys, Ella Mai and Garth Brooks, who'll receive the first iHeartRadio Artist of the Decade award. Taylor Swift earns Tour of the Year honors for her Reputation Stadium Tour.
Inside Thursday TV: NBC's Will & Grace (9/8c) takes an unexpectedly dark turn, after Grace's (Debra Messing) dad, Martin (Robert Klein), develops a bleeding ulcer and refuses to take Will's (Eric McCormack) blood for a transfusion. Even Will's typically dithery mom, Marilyn (Blythe Danner), is horrified… Scandal's Guillermo Diaz and singer/actor Troye Sivan are guest judges on VH1's RuPaul's Drag Race (9/8c), where the drag-tastic contestants are participating in a live diva-worship talk show… Sharon Stone guests on FX's Better Things (10/9c) as the new girlfriend of Sam's (Pamela Adlon) pal, Jeff (Greg Cromer). Can Sam calm the waters when Jeff's ex, Sunny (Alysia Reiner), also shows up?