Worth Watching: Streaming Essentials 'Catch-22' and 'Fleabag,' Gayle King Goes Royal, Jane Pauley on Traffic
A selective critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
Catch-22 (streaming on Hulu): Before there was M*A*S*H and Hawkeye Pierce, Joseph Heller set a high bar for subversive military satire in his classic 1961 novel, now vividly adapted as a six-hour miniseries by George Clooney and Grant Heslov, who each have significant roles. It's the often surreal story of beleaguered bombardier Yossarian (Christopher Abbott in a star-making performance), who's continually thwarted in his desperate desire to escape the insanity of war. (Read the full review.)
The actor also reveals how faithful Hulu's series adaptation is to the original novel.
Fleabag (streaming on Amazon Prime Video): Phoebe Waller-Bridge, perhaps best known now for creating Killing Eve, returns for the second and (regrettably) final season as writer and eponymous star of this saucy, caustic comedy about a libidinous Londoner. Breaking the fourth wall with abandon, casting cagey looks and quips to the camera, our unnamed heroine may have found her soulmate in, of all people, a potty-mouthed priest (roguishly charming Andrew Scott). (Read the full review.)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Amazon Prime Video comedy returns for its final season on May 17.
More streaming options: Need a good laugh? Netflix's Nailed It! is back with more hilarious cooking mishaps from very amateur bakers, including a Marvel-themed challenge — a Black Panther cake? — in which Felicia Day joins hosts Nicole Byer and Jacques Torres… Mixing sci-fi and #BlackLivesMatter social commentary, the Netflix film See You Yesterday (produced by Spike Lee) features two teens who try to put their time-travel backpacks to good use in hopes of averting the police-involved shooting death of one of their brothers.
The Netflix series will include tributes to Marvel and Michelangelo's David.
Meghan and Harry Plus One (8/7c, CBS): Gayle King, CBS News's newly anointed queen of morning TV, gets a prime-time berth to mark the one-year anniversary of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — better known as Meghan and Harry — and the birth of their bundle of joy, Archie. King chats with several of Meghan Markle's friends, including actress Janina Gavankar (True Blood), for personal insights.
Plus, King explains why CBS is doing another special about the royal couple.
CBS News follows this with No Exit! (9/8c), a special from the Sunday Morning team and anchor Jane Pauley, exploring America's obsession and frustration with driving, traffic and national gridlock. Among the segments: Ted Kopple riding around Washington, D.C. with car collector Jay Leno in a 1909 Ford Model T, David Pogue trying out a self-driving car, Richard Schlesinger testing a prototype flying car, Jim Gaffigan's humorous musings on the plus side of traffic, and Susan Spencer finding people whose commutes are unorthodox, including a unicycle. Whatever gets you there.
The president's true plan comes into focus in the sixth season closer.
Inside Friday TV: Season finales for renewed series include NBC's The Blacklist (8/7c), in which Liz (Megan Boone) and the Task Force go into action when the president's (Benito Martinez) intentions become clear, while Red (James Spader) has a secret meeting with someone with intel about his past… Airing at a later time, before moving to 8/7c in the fall, CBS's Hawaii Five-0 (10/9c) ends its ninth season with the team still in pursuit of escaped con Aaron Wright (Joey Lawrence), who's trying to sell cyberweapons to the highest bidder… PBS's Live From Lincoln Center (9/8c, check local listings at pbs.org), continues its terrific "Stars in Concert" series with Tony-winner Annaleigh Ashford (Masters of Sex) performing some Broadway favorites and eclectic standards, and in a special duet, reuniting with her Sunday in the Park With George co-star for Sondheim's "Move On"… CNN's Erin Burnett delves into The Trump Family Business (9/8c) in a CNN Special Report, investigating the president's many ongoing business entanglements and controversial financial past.