Worth Watching: ‘Last Man’ Has Faith, a Frenemy Returns on ‘Crazy,’ the ‘Dirt’ on Netflix
A selective critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
Last Man Standing (8/7c, Fox): On an above-par episode directed by series star Tim Allen, Last Man does something rare: treating religion with respect and good humor. It starts when Mike (Allen) shirks his duty and gets son-in-law Kyle (Cristoph Sanders) to teach Sunday School in his place — and when the typically dim-witted lad turns out to be surprisingly good at it, Reverend Paul (comedian Bill Engvall) experiences his own crisis of faith. A subplot in which visiting daughter Eve (Kaitlyn Dever) urges exchange student Jen (Krista Marie Yu) to stand up to her sisters makes us think we’d love to see a showdown between Eve and The Conners‘s Darlene (Sara Gilbert), two masters of the savagely droll put-down.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (9/8c, The CW): As the inspired musical comedy winds down, it makes sense that memorable characters from Rebecca’s (Rachel Bloom) past would make repeat visits. Cue her longtime frenemy Audra (Rachel Grate) — remember the “JAP Battle” number from the first season? — who calls on Rebecca to help her in a crisis. This is the “new Rebecca,” so maybe she’ll rise above. The same may not be true for the three men—Nathaniel (Scott Michael Foster), Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III) and Greg (Skylar Astin) — who find themselves still competing for her affections. Are they crazy?
The World of Streaming: Netflix makes some noise with The Dirt, a raucous biopic based on the best-selling autobiography from infamous ’80s glam metal group Mötley Crüe. The members are played by Douglas Booth (as Nikki Sixx), Iwan Rheon (Mick Mars), Colson Baker (Tommy Lee) and Daniel Webber (Vince Neil)… Also on Netflix, Brit Marling’s sci-fi fantasy The OA returns for a second season of interdimensional intrigue, as trippy as it is pretentious and sluggish. (Trying not to be bitter, but whenever I witness follies like this, I keep thinking, “And they killed One Day at a Time?”)… On Hulu, a third season of Canadian crime drama Cardinal finds Detective John Cardinal (Billy Campbell) reeling from personal tragedy, which he begins to suspect may be foul play.
Inside Friday TV: Jessica (Constance Wu) starts taking college classes on ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat (8/7c), but her first decision — putting Evan (Ian Chen) in charge of the household as “vice mommy” — may not have been the smartest move… All these years after Dallas, Patrick Duffy is still turning heads, now as the resident hottie in Shady Meadows on Fox’s The Cool Kids (8:30/7:30c). Margaret (Vicki Lawrence) would love to date him, if only she could shake needy Leonard (One Day at a Time’s Stephen Tobolowsky)… Diva alert: PBS’s Great Performances remembers one of opera’s greats in Birgit Nilsson: A League of Her Own (9/8c, check local listings at pbs.org), hitting the high notes of the career of the renowned Swedish dramatic soprano.