Worth Watching: A Killer ‘Women’ Finale, ‘Sheldon’ Discovers Tolkien, ‘Sunnyside’ Down, an ‘Evil’ Child?
A selective critical checklist of notable Thursday TV:
Why Women Kill (streaming on CBS All Access): It’s a literal dance of death in the season finale of Marc Cherry’s dark comedy of domestic turmoil across the decades. (Kill was just renewed for a second season, featuring all new characters — and presumably a different setting.) In a stylish twist, all three storylines converge in the same Pasadena house as climactic events overlap in 1962, 1974 and 2019, criss-crossing each other in a stimulating and melodramatic blur. In 1962, Beth Ann (Ginnifer Goodwin) comes to grips with the depths of husband Rob’s (Sam Jaeger) betrayal with a revenge plot befitting Hitchcock. Present-day couple Taylor (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) and Eli (Reid Scott) try to distance themselves from full-blown psycho Jade (Alexandra Daddario). And in what has surprisingly evolved from the campiest to the most moving tale, 1970s socialite Simone (Lucy Liu) takes the high road in dealing with her ailing husband (Jack Davenport), her young lover (Leo Howard) and even the vengeful mom-ster (Katie Finneran) who tried to ruin her life and reputation. There’s a high body count, but not all could be classified as murder.
Young Sheldon (8/7c, CBS): So this is how an obsession starts. When the family tries to wean the young genius (Iain Armitage) off of science, he turns to fantasy as a diversion, cracking Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings for the first time: “Ooh, that sounds intellectually bankrupt, I’ll give it a shot.” Before long, he’s diving deep into incompatible timelines, foreshadowing many a nerdy pop-culture debate in years to come on The Big Bang Theory.
A Million Little Things (9/8c, ABC): So just who is this mystery man Eric (Jason Ritter), who’s been hanging around Maggie’s (Allison Miller) mom (Melora Hardin) since she moved to Boston? The answer is revealed this week, and as usual, it doesn’t go over all that well with prickly Maggie, stirring more recriminations. This emotional crisis plays out against stormy weather that causes a blackout, which could be either the last straw for Regina’s (Christina Moses) struggling restaurant or a necessary wake-up call.
Sunnyside (9:30/8:30c, NBC): It’s curtains — on NBC, anyway — for this underpowered comedy about a reforming schnook (Kal Penn) who coaches a group of wacky immigrants on the path to citizenship. But the fall season’s first casualty isn’t over quite yet. After this week, the remaining episodes in the 10-episode order will stream online on Thursdays on the NBC app, nbc.com and other digital platforms. In the network finale, Garrett (Penn) helps social-media obsessives Jun Ho (Joel Kim Booster) and Mei Lin (Poppy Liu) get ready for a visit from their wealthy father. Better he should have taught them how not to be cultural stereotypes.
Evil (10/9c, CBS): In the strongest episode yet of this intriguing mystery of the soul, Kristen (Katja Herbers) and David (Mike Colter) take different paths as they dig into the troubled psyche of a sociopathic 9-year-old (Luke Judy). His worried parents fear young Eric is possessed by a demon who seeks to harm them and their new baby. Is an exorcism required? Or could there be environmental causes? On the home front, Kristen is worried for her four rambunctious daughters after they get caught up in a macabre game projected in the VR devices their grandmother (Christine Lahti) foolishly brought home.
Inside Thursday TV: Marc Antony receives the inaugural “Latin AMA International Award of Excellence” and performs during Telemundo’s Latin American Music Awards (7/6c), airing live from Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre… At a challenging time for immigrants in the U.S., HBO delves into the history of the iconic Statue of Liberty in the documentary Liberty: Mother of Exiles (9/8c)… Everyone is rattled on NBC’s The Good Place (9/8c) when a visitor from you-know-where arrives, sowing even more chaos than usual among our heroes as they try to save humanity… French Stewart (3rd Rock from the Sun) is back on CBS’s Mom (9/8c) as cantankerous Chef Rudy, who Christy (Anna Faris) feels obligated to accompany to court-ordered AA meetings… Ashton Kutcher is an executive producer of Going for Broke, a 10-part docu-series streaming on Crackle, which tackles the mounting crisis of federal student-loan debt by giving expert advice to cash-strapped millennials on how to manage their finances in hopes of achieving some monetary stability.