Worth Watching: Three’s a Crowd on ‘Will & Grace,’ Michael Sheen Joins ‘The Good Fight,’ ‘Network’ on TCM, the NCAA Tournament
A selective critical checklist of notable Thursday TV:
Will & Grace (9:30/8:30c, NBC): Relationships heat up when Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing) are each asked by their respective boyfriends — McCoy (Matt Bomer) and Noah (David Schwimmer) — to move in with them. And as the longtime roomies use each other as an excuse to wriggle out of this situation, we’re reminded why they can’t have nice things. All this happens as a blizzard rages, trapping Karen (Megan Mullally) at the office, where she meets Nikki (Orange Is the New Black‘s Samira Wiley), an upstairs tenant who has the new divorcee questioning her single status.
The Good Fight (streaming on CBS All Access): Not since Boston Legal’s Denny Crane have we seen a lawyer as outrageously bombastic – and quite possibly unhinged — as Roland Blum, an unprincipled huckster played to the hilt by Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex) in a giddy, grody tour de force. He upstages Maia (Rose Leslie) at every opportunity as co-counsel on a case, doing his damnedest to lure her to the dark side. (Cue the musical interlude deconstructing Blum’s idol, the infamous Roy Cohn.)
Network (10:15/9:15c, Turner Classic Movies): All month, TCM has devoted its Thursday lineup to “Journalism in the Movies,” and with the help of Anderson Cooper, the focus turns this week to TV news — most particularly Paddy Chayefsky’s lacerating 1976 Oscar-winning Network, eerily prescient in its dark view of a medium that would sacrifice anything — including its “mad as hell” anchor, Howard Beale (Oscar winner Peter Finch) — on the altar of ratings. TV news comes off somewhat better in 1979’s The China Syndrome (8/7c), starring Jane Fonda as a TV reporter and Michael Douglas as her cameraman, unearthing deadly doings at an unstable nuclear plant. Jack Lemmon memorably co-stars.
Inside Thursday TV: The NCAA College Basketball Tournament gets underway, with first round games through the afternoon (starting at noon ET) and into the evening on CBS, truTV, TBS and TNT. You never know where the first upset will come from or who will emerge as the new Cinderella… Snarkmeister Joel McHale is a guest judge on VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race (9/8c), with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow making a guest appearance as the drag-licious contestants participate in a Grease-inspired political musical spoof… Sam (Pamela Adlon) takes a stand for employee safety on a terrific episode of FX’s Better Things (10/9c) when things deteriorate on her monster-movie set. And yes, that’s Star Trek: Discovery‘s Doug Jones (Saru) in full costume as a sympathetic co-star… Callie Thorne guests on NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (10/9c) as a defense attorney who’s raped after a police charity event, a crime that has Benson (Mariska Hargitay) looking among New York’s finest for a suspect. Bosch star Titus Welliver appears as an NYPD lawyer.