Worth Watching: Have Yourself an ‘Evil’ Little Christmas, ‘Great American Baking Show,’ Dis-Union in ‘Superstore’
A selective critical checklist of notable Thursday TV:
Evil (10/9c, CBS): Deck the Halls with Bowels all Bloody … I’m not sure even this deliciously creepy series would go that far, but to celebrate Yuletide in its first season, Evil sends the team — Kristen (Katja Herbers), David (Mike Colter) and Ben (Aasif Mandvi) — on the trail of a new Christmas song that’s unnervingly addictive as it spreads among the student populace. The investigation tackles one of the series’ primary preoccupations: the rise of evil through the Internet, in this case the dangerous symbiosis between online influencers and their lemming-like followers. (My Christmas wish: going off the grid for a while.)
The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition (9/8, ABC): May a crew of 10 new amateur bakers rise to the occasion as they toil over sweet and savory cakes (including a surprise ingredient of olive oil) and then knead their way through a bread challenge as the U.S. offshoot of the beloved The Great British Baking Show returns for a fifth season. Emma “Baby Spice” Bunton hosts with former NFL star Anthony “Spice” Adams. (See a theme there?) Judging the bakers’ creations: acclaimed pastry chef Sherry Yard and Baking Show veteran Paul Hollywood.
Superstore (9/8c, NBC): Things may never be the same for Cloud 9 when Jonah (Ben Feldman) and Sandra (Kaliko Kauahi) represent the store during union negotiations with hardline corporate suits (including guest star Ian Gomez). The workers could use a win at Christmastime, which may explain why an antsy Amy (America Ferrara) joins Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom) and Dina (Lauren Ash) on a hunt for the perfect tree, ax in hand.
Inside Thursday TV: If Wade’s (Walton Goggins) new gal pal looks familiar on CBS’s The Unicorn (8:30/7:30c), it may be because Sarayu Blue had her own Thursday-night show, NBC’s short-lived I Feel Bad, a year ago. Blue returns this week as Anna, who has captured Wade’s fancy like no other since he put himself back on the dating market… The always amusing Kate Micucci (The Big Bang Theory) returns to CBS’s Mom (9/8c) as Christy’s (Anna Faris) latest AA mentee, Patty, who is treated to a litany of her sponsor’s painful childhood Christmas memories — which doesn’t sit too well with a remorseful Bonnie (Allison Janney), either… Tom Amandes (Everwood) and Kate Burton (Scandal) guest on NBC’s Perfect Harmony (9:30/8:30c) as Reverend Jax’s (Rizwan Manji) judgmental and world-famous missionary parents, whose unexpected return unsettles the typically upbeat minister of the Second First Church of the Cumberlands. When they turn out to be big fans of Arthur (Bradley Whitford) as a conductor, he sets out to win them over to Jax’s less rigid way of celebrating the holidays… The upcoming movie version of the musical Cats provides inspiration for the designers on Bravo’s Project Runway (9:30/8:30c), as they attempt to adapt animal prints into cool street-style looks. Expect some very catty judging.