Worth Watching: A ‘Crazy’ Final Bow, ‘Our Planet’ on Netflix, ‘Boat’ Hits 100, ‘Warrior’ on Cinemax
A selective critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (8/7c, The CW): What would the grand finale of a musical comedy be without a traditional (and in this case, meta) “11 o’clock number?” No one knows the rules of the musical game better than Rachel Bloom — so as her character of Rebecca works through her relationship issues, making a choice that could define the rest of her life, she first has to figure out who she truly is. Cue the medley: “Oh, good, an abstract theatrical space. Now I can actually think.” And sing. It seems all of West Covina is awaiting news on what, and possibly who, Rebecca will decide to move forward with. It’s a satisfying, even moving, finale that gives all of these beloved characters a chance to say goodbye.
Did you say encore? Crazy hears you loud and clear. Which is why after the series finale airs, it’s immediately followed by Yes, It’s Really Us Singing: The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Concert Special (9/8c), in which cast members belt out live versions of some of the show’s best-remembered original songs, a few of which are not safe to mention in this space. But always worth another listen.
Our Planet (streaming on Netflix): The streaming giant dives into the crowded nature-TV space with glorious results in a visually spectacular eight-part series, narrated by Sir David Attenborough (with Penélope Cruz and Salma Hayek for Spanish and Latin America audiences). Filmed in 50 countries, from pole to pole with seas and deserts and forests and jungles in between, Our Planet celebrates the resilience of the earth’s wildlife and natural habitats while warning against their fragility and what could be lost if we don’t take steps to preserve these interconnected ecosystems now. Plus: It’s just great visual TV.
Fresh Off the Boat (8/7c, ABC): Much as Jessica (Constance Wu) hates to admit it, the family misses Eddie (Hudson Yang) when the brat heads to Taiwan on a student cultural exchange program for the family sitcom’s 100th episode. Warnings by Jessica and Louis (Randall Park), who know the perils of being strangers in a strange land, fall on deaf ears, as Eddie promptly finds himself lost and broke and depending on the kindness of strangers on his very first outing. It’s all worth it to see Jessica succumbing to sentiment, whining, “Why are cheesy things right?”
Warrior (10/9c, Cinemax): Those mourning the imminent departure of AMC’s Into the Badlands can take solace in a new martial-arts adventure, inspired by the writings of Bruce Lee, that harks back to Chinese immigrant conflicts in 1870s San Francisco. Barely has lean, mean fighting machine Ah Sahm (Andrew Koji) landed on American soil than he’s whipping his fists and feet of fury at bigoted authorities — which endears him to one of Chinatown’s most powerful tongs just as a war is brewing between rival clans. Not to mention the antagonistic Irish mob and corrupt politicians, all seemingly out for blood — which this blunt melodrama delivers without even breaking a sweat.
Inside Friday TV: Former Saturday Night Live star Jon Lovitz guests on Fox’s The Cool Kids (8:30/7:30c) as former teen idol Kip Samgood, a special favorite of Sid’s (Leslie Jordan)… In a change of pace for CBS’s Hawaii-Five-0 (9/8c), the team’s search for a girl who has bought a gun from a junkie becomes a history of this single firearm, which turns out to have affected each of their lives over several decades… In a second season of HBO’s topical docu-series Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas (11/10c), the former Daily Show comedian takes on America’s embattled education system… In the streaming world: Amazon Prime Video’s goofy superhero parody The Tick is back for a second season, as is the Netflix supernatural hit Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Also on Netflix: the movie Unicorn Store, a coming-of-age fable starring and directed by Oscar winner Brie Larson (Room).