Worth Watching: A New Killer on ‘Prodigal Son,’ ‘Voice’ Goes Live, Revisiting ‘Battle of Midway’ & More Memorial Day TV
A selective critical checklist of notable Monday TV:
Prodigal Son (9/8c, Fox): With the notorious Martin “The Surgeon” Whitley (Michael Sheen) now in solitary after last week’s outrageous antics, the intensely entertaining psychological thriller focuses on the identity of his supposed protégé, the “Junkyard Killer.” This mystery man is very good at getting under the skin and into the already tormented head of Martin’s son, NYPD profiler Malcolm (Tom Payne). As desperate as he is to stop this fiend, Malcolm is even more eager to learn more about the “girl in the box” who haunts his nightmares, among other fragmented remnants from the suppressed memories of his childhood.
NBC’s The Voice (8/7c) goes live, kicking off its playoff round, with the Top 20 singers performing before coaches Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani in hopes of making it to the Top 13. In related reality-competition news, ABC’s tainted Dancing with the Stars (8/7c) salutes boy bands and girl groups in the musical selections, but if Sean Spicer isn’t kicked off after this week, it will all feel more like a funeral dirge.
Battle of Midway: The True Story (8/7c, Smithsonian Channel): If the latest big-screen treatment of the Pacific air battle whetted your appetite, this Veterans Day special promises an hour-by-hour recount of the decisive naval engagement, focusing on the three key aircraft: the Devastator, Avenger and Dauntless… Other Veterans Day-themed documentaries include the Epix film Alive (9/8c), which tracks the recovery of injured U.S. soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and two on PBS (check local listings at pbs.org): The Warrior Tradition (9/8c), which details the complicated history of Native Americans who serve in the U.S. military; and on Independent Lens, The Interpreters (10/9c), profiling Afghan and Iraqi interpreters who risked their lives to help U.S. troops, and their struggles to come to the U.S. afterward through the Special Immigrant Visa program.
Inside Monday TV: I grew up with Mr. Peabody and Sherman, but a new generation can get more substantial animated history lessons in the new PBS Kids series Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum (check local listings at pbs.org), in which three inquisitive youngsters — Xavier, sister Yadina and BFF Brad — time-travel to visit such inspirational historical figures as Amelia Earhart and Charles Dickens when they were just kids… Streaming on Acorn TV: the third season of the exotic romantic dramedy The Good Karma Hospital, set in a chaotic and underfunded Southern India facility, which is rocked when one of the overburdened nursing team survives a violent attack… In another fictional hospital, San Jose St. Bonaventure of ABC’s The Good Doctor (10/9c), Dr. Shaun (Freddie Highmore) realizes his autism can help him relate to a patient isolated from others because of an immune deficiency… In the finale of HBO’s Catherine the Great (10/9c), the ruler (Helen Mirren) faces her mortality and tries to block her unworthy son from the line of succession. But it’s her bitter split with Potemkin (Jason Clarke) amid the pressures of war that will haunt her to the end of her days.