Worth Watching: The End of ‘Broad City,’ ‘Other Two’ Finale, Premieres of ‘Tacoma FD’ and ‘Abby’s’
A selective critical checklist of notable Thursday TV:
Broad City (10/9c, Comedy Central): In a busy night for TV comedy, the biggest event is the sign-off of the influential NYC hipster comedy starring and created by Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson. Before Abbi heads to new horizons in Colorado, there’s time for one last New York City adventure, involving a found toilet on the street and a tearful rumination on the Brooklyn Bridge. This millennial Laverne & Shirley caper defines BFF-dom for the new-ish century.
The Other Two (10:30/9:30c, Comedy Central): My favorite new Comedy Central comedy series in ages — because while it does go to comedic extremes, it’s grounded in something beyond irony — wraps its first season with teenage overnight star Chase (Case Walker) making his first live performance at MTV’s VMAs. It’s a night that promises to change the lives of Chase, his struggling-actor brother Cary (Drew Tarver) — who’s now best known as Chase’s gay brother (from an instant-classic music video) — and their older sis Brooke (Heléne Yorke), who’s beginning to think career management may be her new vocation. And it is a transformative event, just not in the way that anyone expects.
Better Things (10/9c, FX): The best news of the week: FX’s announcement that star/auteur Pamela Adlon‘s terrific slice-of-life comedy has been renewed for a fourth season. In this week’s exceptional episode, Sam (Adlon) is informed by an unusually chipper ob-gyn, regarding her hot flashes and other assorted bodily woes: “This is normal. You’re degenerating.” Which prompts a long night of boozy soul-searching on a girls’ night out, and also a supposedly fun go-kart outing with her kids. When she encourages her frustrated youngest daughter Duke (Olivia Edward) to get it all out — “No limits” — the results are appallingly funny.
Tacoma FD (10:30/9:30c, truTV): The night’s best new comedy is the wacky creation of Super Troopers’ Kevin Heffernan and Steve Memme, who play members of a hapless firehouse crew who’ll never be confused for the hunky heroes of Chicago Fire and Station 19. For one thing, it’s set in one of America’s rainiest cities — meaning lots of time for idle chatter, inane macho challenges (one involves the potential for frostbite) and routine service calls that tend toward the bizarre.
Abby’s (9:30/8:30c, NBC): And then there’s this network misfire, whose one innovation is being filmed “in front of a live outdoor audience.” The air may be fresh, if only the content were. The setting is an outdoor bar in the backyard of blunt ex-Marine Abby (Natalie Morales), who sets up shop for neighborhood barflies including The Middle‘s invaluable Neil Flynn and Jessica Chaffin as a next-door mom who’d rather not spend time at home. Lacking the chemistry or sophisticated wit of Cheers, this bland barroom dud finds a drop of conflict when Abby locks horns with her milquetoast landlord Bill (Nelson Franklin), who inherits the property and is appalled, then drawn to, the unlicensed open-air shenanigans he discovers.
Inside Thursday TV: The Sweet 16 regional round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament kicks off with games on CBS (starting at 7/6c) and TBS (7:30/6:30c)… Expect emotional fireworks on an issue-driven episode of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy (8/7c), as Jo (Camilla Luddington) digs into her troubled past… Now that we’re learning more about Burnham’s (Sonequa Martin-Green) connection to the “Red Angel” in CBS All Access’s Star Trek: Discovery (8:30/7:30c), a reunion beckons with someone crucial to her personal history — and welcome to the show, Sonja Sohn (The Wire)… Also on CBS All Access: Liz’s (Audra McDonald) divorce gets ugly on The Good Fight, exposing the firm to more damage, and Diane (Christine Baranski) goes underground to join a political resistance movement. This series pulls no punches, including in a jaunty musical interlude about Russian troll farms… HGTV’s hit Flip or Flop Vegas (9/8c) is back for a third season, with Aubrey and Bristol Marunde taking on a 3,200-square-foot four-bedroom home.