Worth Watching: Return of ‘Goliath’ and ‘Peaky Blinders,’ ‘Raising Dion’ on Netflix, ‘Jeopardy!’ Hits 8000, ‘Godzilla’ on TCM
A selective critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
Goliath (streaming on Amazon Prime Video): Billy Bob Thornton returns to his Golden Globe-winning, and highly enjoyable, role of underdog lawyer Billy McBride, advocate for the helpless, in a third season of the offbeat crime/legal drama. Leaving the beach for California’s arid and drought-plagued Central Valley, Billy finds himself in a Chinatown-style conflict against powerful corporate ranchers who control local water rights, leaving rivals and many citizens high and very dry. It’s survival of the wettest, and fans will relish every confrontation between Billy and smug moguls like Wade Blackwood (a grinning Dennis Quaid) and his sister Diane (Amy Brenneman), who’s sucking up more than her share of moisture for her almond-based lifestyle brand. (The Blackwoods may be the creepiest siblings since Susan and Mel Profitt from the first season of Wiseguy.) Adding to the fun: colorful guest stars Beau Bridges, Griffin Dunne and Ileana Douglas, while Nina Arianda steals every scene as Billy’s abrasive sidekick, Patty Solis-Papagian. Good to have this team back fighting the good fight.
Peaky Blinders (streaming on Netflix): The fifth season of the galvanizing British crime drama takes a political bent when Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) becomes a member of Parliament — which doesn’t mean he’s going legit. Not when the family takes a financial dive following the 1929 Wall Street crash, sending them back to their violent criminal roots. And there’s even more intrigue when cousin Michael (Finn Cole) returns from America with a wife (Anya Taylor-Joy) who’s linked to Boston’s underworld.
Also new on another busy Friday for Netflix: Raising Dion is an engaging superhero series about a widow (Alisha Wainwright) still reeling from the death of her husband (Michael B. Jordan) when she discovers her pre-teen son (Ja’siah Young) has superhuman abilities and has to figure out how to protect his secret… Stephen King is still all the rage after all these yeas, and In the Tall Grass adapts the creepy novella by him and son Joe Hill that follows unfortunate characters into a sinister field from which there may be no safe escape… The raunchy animated comedy Big Mouth in its third season of tortured puberty, adding Westworld‘s Thandie Newton to the voice cast as Missy’s new Hormone Monstress.
Also streaming: Hulu doubles down on horror, with the latest installment of its monthly Into the Dark anthology. In “Uncanny Annie,” college students are trapped in a scary board game on Halloween. Which makes it a good fit with Light as a Feather, launching the remaining eight episodes of its second season, with McKenna (Liana Liberato) and her friends hoping they’ve escaped the curse from playing the “Feather” game. They probably haven’t.
Jeopardy! (syndicated, check local listings): Another milestone for TV’s greatest quiz show, which marks its 8000th episode in a 36th season that continues to produce memorable contestants and riveting game play. We wish Alex Trebek all the best as he continues to host with style despite a cancer diagnosis that has sent him back to chemo.
Godzilla (8/7c, TCM): Turner Classic Movies’ third annual “Monster of the Month” in honor of Halloween is none other than the immortal Godzilla, the radioactive creature who’s spent more than a half-century terrorizing mortals. The tribute, airing each Friday through October, begins with director Ishiro Honda’s original 1954 Godzilla from Japan, followed by the Americanized version released in 1956, Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (9:45/8:45c), in which Raymond Burr was inserted into the action. The mayhem continues with 1955’s Godzilla Raids Again, 1964’s Mothra vs. Godzilla and 1962’s Mothra.
Inside Friday TV: NBC’s The Blacklist (8/7c) is back for a seventh season, with Red (James Spader) in enemy territory after his kidnapping, while Liz (Megan Boone) and the Task Force embark on a desperate search… Fox turns over its Friday lineup to wrestling for the new WWE’s Friday Night Smackdown (8/7c)… The term “witch hunt” is used too easily these days, but in Travel Channel’s Haunted Salem: Live (8/7c, 5 pm/PT), they mean it. The channel’s paranormal all-stars convene for a four-hour invasion of Salem, Mass., broadcast live from three historic sites associated with the infamous 17th-century witch trials. It builds to, what else, a séance… More paranormal mysteries in a new season of History’s In Search Of (10/9c), hosted by Zachary Quinto, which opens with the legend of the Loch Ness Monster… In another live event, Disney Channel presents Just Roll with It: You Decide LIVE! (9/8c, 6/PT), a Halloween-themed episode of the improvisational comedy in which viewers can vote on which way the plot turns… In the latest installment of Comedy Central’s Good Talk with Anthony Jeselnik (11/10c), the host engages in a deadpan showdown with the notoriously taciturn, but very funny, Tig Notaro.