Worth Watching: ‘Blue Bloods’ and ‘Hawaii’ Turn 10, ‘Transparent’ Musical Finale, ‘Politician’ on Netflix
A selective critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
Blue Bloods (10/9c, CBS): Celebrating 10 seasons as one of the most popular scripted mainstays on Friday nights, the family police drama welcomes back several familiar faces for the season opener, including Callie Thorne as psychic Maggie, who enlists Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) and Baez (Marisa Ramirez) to follow up on a year-old homicide case; and Treat Williams as Frank’s (Tom Selleck) former partner, Lenny Ross, who could use some Reagan family support when his daughter is arrested. And how do Jamie (Will Estes) and Eddie (Vanessa Ray) celebrate their newlywed status? By going apartment hunting.
Hawaii Five-0 (8/7c, CBS): The original ran 12 seasons, and the reboot is catching up, starting its 10th year of tropical adventure with Katrina Law joining the cast, and eventually the team, as Quinn Liu, a former staff sergeant with the Army Criminal Investigation Command. She helps McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Five-0 track an assassin who’s targeting local mob bosses.
Transparent Musicale Finale (streaming on Amazon Prime Video): Buffy‘s reputation remains safe as having produced the best musical TV episode ever (“Once More with Feeling”). With tunes and lyrics by series creator Jill Soloway‘s sister Faith, this overwrought and indulgent 100-minute wrap-up to a once-provocative series proves there’s no show without Maura, the trans centerpiece of the family dramedy played by Jeffrey Tambor until he was fired after allegations of sexual misconduct. Judith Light (as Maura’s ex, Shelly) and Kathryn Hahn (as rabbi Rachel) have the best moments, but the grown kids are as annoying as ever, and it all ends with a group sing to a “Joy-ocaust” that is patronizing on multiple levels. Whether or not Maura is rolling in her grave, I’m betting Tambor has the last laugh being spared having to participate in this spectacle.
The Politician (streaming on Netflix): As hot messes go, Ryan Murphy‘s first Netflix project is at least watchable in its mash-up of Glee and The Candidate. The broad and garish satire stars Broadway’s Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hansen) as an obsessively ambitious Santa Barbara high-schooler who believes his ruthless bid for student-body president will be a stepping-stone to the White House. Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Lange add to the deranged glamour of this improbably fascinating, if exhausting, comic melodrama.
Inside Friday TV: Other Netflix premieres include the supernatural crime thriller In the Shadow of the Moon, starring Boyd Holbrook (Narcos) as a Philadelphia detective following the trail of a serial killer who resurfaces every nine years… ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat (8:30/7:30) gets fresh in its sixth-season opener when young Evan (Ian Chen) gets “the tingles” after watching Brandi Chastain celebrate her soccer win on TV, which means it’s time for “the talk”… CBS’s Magnum P.I. reboot (9/8c) starts its second season with Magnum (Jay Hernandez) awaiting word from Higgins (Perdita Weeks) on whether she’ll become his official partner — in crime-solving, anyway… ABC’s 20/20 (10/9c) launches its 42nd season with Las Vegas entertainers Siegfried & Roy opening up to correspondent Deborah Roberts in their first prime-time interview in more than a decade. They discuss the nearly fatal 2003 on-stage mauling of Roy Horn by a white tiger that changed their lives forever… The fourth season of Syfy’s Van Helsing (10/9c) continues the fight of Vanessa Van Helsing (Kelly Overton) against forces of evil as she tries to stop the resurrection of the Dark One… Icons collaborate on CMT’s CMT Crossroads: Sheryl Crow & Friends (10/9c), when Crow performs songs from her album Threads with guest artists Chris Stapleton, Emmylou Harris, Joe Walsh, Bonnie Raitt, Jason Isbell and the female duo Lucius.