Worth Watching: ‘Station 19-Grey’s’ Crossover, the Real ‘Good Place,’ ‘Picard’ Returns to ‘Star Trek,’ a ‘Million’ Conflicts, Gayle King Previews Grammys
A selective critical checklist of notable Thursday TV:
Station 19 (8/7c, ABC): Nice try, ABC. You may have forced me this week to forego my aversion to unnecessary and inferior spinoffs by tying this firehouse drama to Grey’s Anatomy (9/8c) to resolve December’s cliffhanger, in which a car crashes into local hangout Joe’s Bar, putting a number of Station 19 and Grey Sloan regulars in mortal peril. But I’m not going to make it a habit. In the first hour, Andy (Jaina Lee Ortiz) and Sullivan (Boris Kodjoe) lead the rescue effort. And in the second hour on Grey’s, the docs toil into the wee hours to save those whose lives are on the line. As always, there’s time for personal detours, including Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) fretting whether to tell Link (Chris Carmack) what she’s learned about her pregnancy and Bailey (Chandra Wilson) coping with her recent miscarriage.
The Good Place (8:30/7:30c, NBC): When last seen, our lovably flawed heroes were floating toward the actual Good Place, and as they arrive in the penultimate episode of the heaven-sent comedy, everything seems too good to be true. Which means it usually is. The trajectory of this wonderful episode — featuring a celebrity cameo that rivals the recent appearance of Timothy Olyphant — is funny and surprising, and serves as a reminder that some shows, like life, are even more special because we know they can’t last forever.
Star Trek: Picard (streaming on CBS All Access): So much for retirement. In an eagerly awaited new chapter of the Trek franchise, former Next Generation captain and resigned Starfleet admiral Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) leaves his French chateau after 20 years to head back into space. It takes him a few episodes to get there, as he assembles a team for what appears to be a rogue mission, prompted by a mysterious encounter with a young woman named Dahj (Isa Briones) who has a special connection to someone near and dear to the stalwart leader. Engage!
A Million Little Things (10/9c, ABC): The truth hurts as the sudsy drama returns from holiday hiatus, jumping ahead three months from the pivotal moment when Delilah (Stephanie Szostak) revealed to her kids that Eddie (David Giuntoli), not their beloved late dad, is little Charlie’s actual baby daddy. While Danny (Chance Hurstfield), who’s about to experience his first stage kiss in a school production of Grease, tries to play peacemaker, adolescent brat Sophie (Lizzy Greene) is not in a forgiving mood. And once again, when Eddie levels with the adorable Theo (Tristan Byon) about another unpleasant truth, I find myself wishing more TV kids were like that.
Outmatched (8:30/7:30c, Fox): From the land of obnoxious sitcom kids comes this thin family sitcom starring Maggie Lawson (Psych) and American Pie‘s Jason Biggs as underachieving parents overwhelmed by having somehow spawned three child geniuses — although the youngest, Leila (Oakley Bull), appears “normal,” and is kind of funny. If the smarty-pants youngsters played it real, there might be some actual humor in the contrast, but one is hyper competitive and annoying, one is hyper nerdy and annoying, and the third wheel hasn’t seemed to develop much of a character yet. When the parents retreat to the basement to hide from their offspring, indulging in a little weed and occasional hanky-panky, it just made me miss That ’70s Show, where kids took over the basement, and didn’t try so hard to milk laughter.
The Gayle King Grammy Special (10/9c, CBS): Remember when Barbara Walters used to do celebrity interviews as a build-up to the Oscars? The CBS This Morning host is obviously this network’s go-to personality for star chat, and previews Sunday’s Grammys telecast with a slate of intimate interviews with nominees Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Jonas Brothers and Lil Naz X. Also on board: Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, who reveal they’ll be performing their duet “Nobody But You” live for the first time at the Grammys.
Inside Thursday TV: NBC’s tuneful comedy Perfect Harmony (9:30/8:30c) wraps its first season with the choir heading to the regional competition in Lexington, where Arthur (Bradley Whitford) hopes to lord it over his rival, the pompous Magnus (John Carroll Lynch)… Freeform launches a fourth season of The Bold Type (9/8c) with many changes afoot at Scarlet magazine… Court TV takes a deep dive into one of the most infamous trials of the last century in OJ25 (9/8c), replaying key moments of the O.J. Simpson murder trial 25 years later. Each episode of the 37-part series recaps a week in the life of the trial, with commentary from lawyers and other interested parties… Streaming highlights include the Netflix comic-book adaptation October Faction, in which 17-year-old teens are shocked to learn that their parents (J.C. MacKenzie and Bones‘ Tamara Taylor) are secretly monster-hunting assassins; and on SundanceNow, the six-part French crime drama The Red Shadows, about a family rocked when the 5-year-old daughter who was kidnapped and thought dead a quarter-century ago returns to the fold.