Worth Watching: ‘Jane’ Is Back, FX’s Hilarious ‘Shadows,’ a ‘Survivor’ Twist and a ‘Million Dollar Mile’
A selective critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:
Jane the Virgin (9/8c, The CW): The delightful telenovela parody that helped put The CW on the map — at least in terms of critical/awards attention — begins its final chapters with lovable Jane (Gina Rodriguez) reeling from last season’s jaw-dropping cliffhanger: the apparent return from the dead of her husband Michael (Brett Dier). Is he a ghost? What does it mean? And how will this affect her relationship with baby daddy Rafael (Justin Baldoni)? The narrator is going to have his work cut out for him, making sense of all of this madness.
What We Do in the Shadows (10/9c, FX): Adapting the cult 2014 horror comedy into a weekly series, moving the action — or inaction — from New Zealand to Staten Island, the deliciously droll Shadows introduces a ramshackle household of bickering vampires who feel like the undead equivalent of the Three Stooges: Nandor :the Relentless” (Kayvan Novak), surly Laszlo (Matt Berry) and jaded seductress Nadja (Natasia Demetriou). The mock-documentary format captures the mundane and macabre in equal measure, adding to the mix a boarder, Colin (Mark Proksch), who’s a day-walking “energy vampire” leeching the vim and vigor from unsuspecting dupes with his insidious droning. He puts his victims to sleep, but Shadows will have the opposite effect on those seeking a good, creepy laugh. (Read the full review.)
Survivor (8/7c, CBS): In a pivotal episode the entire season has been building toward, the tribes finally merge — but the joy is interrupted by the arrival of the five castaways voted out and who’ve been cooling their heels (if not their tempers) at the “Edge of Extinction.” Which will fight their way back into the game, and how that affect the group dynamic going forward? Sounds like a classic Survivor moment of reckoning.
Followed by the premiere of a new athletic competition from LeBron James, Million Dollar Mile (9/8c), with football’s Tim Tebow as host. Contestants get a two-minute head start as they embark on a one-mile obstacle course on the streets of downtown L.A. — a race complicated by an army of elite athlete “defenders” lying in wait to keep them from reaching the million-dollar finish.
Inside Wednesday TV: Hulu’s darkly compelling The Act lets Dee Dee (Patricia Arquette) and daughter Gypsy (Joey King) out of the house, where they attend a costume convention and attract admirers. Gypsy’s into it, but Dee Dee isn’t about to let strangers get too close to their bizarre situation… Syfy’s deranged black comedy/thriller Happy! (10/9c) is back for a second season, with ex-cop Sax (Chris Meloni) trying to clean up his act as Easter approaches. But soon enough, he and his imaginary blue flying sidekick Happy (voice of Patton Oswalt) are back on the trail of malevolent child kidnapper Sunny Shine (Christopher Fitzgerald) and all bets are off… Could no-feelings Frankie (Lauren Cohan) be getting jealous on ABC’s Whiskey Cavalier (10/9c)? When Will (Scott Foley) hits it off with a sexy British spy (Elementary‘s Ophelia Lovibond) while on assignment in London, his partner isn’t sure how to process this new arrangement… IFC’s brilliant Documentary Now! series (11/10c) ends its third season with a parody of the pro-bowling documentary A League of Ordinary Gentlemen. Michael C. Hall (Dexter) and Saturday Night Live‘s Bobby Moynihan play rival bowlers on the circuit.