Worth Watching: ‘Veep’ Series Finale, ‘JAG’ Star on ‘NCIS: LA,’ Emma Thompson Hosts ‘SNL,’ Trebek on ‘Sunday Morning’
A selective critical checklist of notable weekend TV:
Veep (Sunday, 10:50/9:50c, HBO): It’s an end of an era, as one of HBO’s most honored comedies ever signs off with a satirical flourish after seven brutally funny seasons of political chicanery. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is obviously a front runner for a seventh Emmy for her deliciously profane portrayal of Selina Meyer, but what of Selina’s own chances to grab the presidential brass ring? We’re promised an “historic finish” in the nearly hour-long series finale, and one thing is pretty clear: Nice guys, if there even are any, won’t finish first.
Also close to the finish line on HBO’s powerhouse Sunday lineup: Game of Thrones (9/8c), which if tradition holds will deliver some shockers in its penultimate episode, as the siege on King’s Landing presumably gets underway; and as Barry (10:20/9:20c) nears the end of its second season, the hitman-turned-actor Barry (Bill Hader) prepares for his first professional audition, with the help of Gene (Henry Winkler).
NCIS: Los Angeles (Sunday, 10/9c, CBS): The NCIS franchise comes full circle by welcoming back original JAG star David James Elliott as Navy Capt. Harmon “Harm” Rabb. (Originally NCIS began as a JAG spinoff way back in 2003.) Now the XO on an aircraft carrier, Harm works with the L.A. team to uncover ISIS sympathizers. This is the first of a two-part finale, with Harm’s former partner Sarah “Mac” MacKenzie (Catherine Bell) joining him the following week. Could a JAG reboot be imminent?
Saturday Night Live (Saturday, 11:30/10:30, NBC): How is it possible that the fabulously witty Emma Thompson has never been invited to guest-host SNL? That oversight has now been remedied, and let’s hope the material is up to this Oscar winner’s standards. Adding to the fun: the reunited Jonas Brothers return for their second stint as musical guests.
CBS Sunday Morning (Sunday, 9 am/8c, CBS): The best reason to watch TV on Sunday mornings features two news-making interviews with iconic personalities. Anchor Jane Pauley sits with Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek for a candid conversation about his battle with pancreatic cancer, in which he speaks of “writhing in pain” in his dressing room between tapings and wearing a hairpiece during production of the quiz show — and during this very interview. In another segment, correspondent Tracy Smith chats with the always-outspoken Howard Stern about a recent health scare, his years on radio, and the many celebrities he has dished with on the air, including the current president.
Killing Eve (Sunday, 8/7c, BBC America and AMC): You thought it was weird a week ago when Eve (Sandra Oh) arranged for Villanelle (Jodie Comer) to be hired for her latest hit — with Eve as the target? The unlikely and perverse partnership between agent and assassin gets even stranger and more insidious, driving what could be a permanent wedge between Eve and her disenchanted husband, Niko (Owen McDonnell).
Inside Weekend TV: The citizen rebellion in Paris, complete with barricades, enmeshes the sprawling cast of characters in the next-to-last chapter of the Masterpiece classic Les Misérables (Sunday, 9/8c, check local listings at pbs.org), with tragic heroics the order of the one-day-more… In the stirring two-hour finale of the CBS limited series The Red Line (Sunday, 8/7c), Jira (Aliyah Royale) organizes a student rally to protest police brutality. While not quite as eventful as the Les Mis standoff, the fallout could lead to social change… The season finale of Fox’s Family Guy (Sunday, 9/8c) pays homage to the late Adam West (who recurred on the show) when Brian proposes to rename Quahog’s high school after the late mayor. When that crusade succeeds, Brian decides to run for the open mayoral seat, but finds himself going up against Quagmire.