Worth Watching: The End of ‘Arrow,’ ‘Miracle Workers’ in the Dark Ages, a ‘Biggest Loser’ Comeback, ‘Emergence’ Finale, Remembering Kobe
A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
Arrow (9/8c, The CW): The hooded vigilante (Stephen Amell) who launched an entire superhero multiverse finally hangs up his quiver after eight seasons, with Emily Bett Rickards returning as the beloved Felicity. The big finale is preceded by a special behind-the-scenes tribute, Arrow: Hitting the Bullseye (8/7c), in which Amell and his co-stars are joined by producers Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Beth Schwartz.
Miracle Workers: Dark Ages (10:30/9:30c, TBS): One of TV’s more peculiar anthology series returns for a second season, again inspired by the writings of series creator Simon Rich. He shifts gears from apocalyptic comedy-fantasy set in Heaven to an entirely new story, recalling Terry Gilliam’s Python-esque Jabberwocky in its grisly and scatological send-up of medieval times. Daniel Radcliffe again stars, this time as naïve and timid Prince Chauncley, son of the fearsome King Cragnoor the Heartless. (The prince, who has yet to earn a nickname, seems more interested in herding ducks.) The young royal’s journey is contrasted with that of Alexandra (Geraldine Viswanathan), a restless peasant who seeks education and adventure, believing there’s more to life than her cheerful dad’s (Steve Buscemi) profession of shoveling guess-what. Though polished in production values and blessed with a terrific cast, Miracle Workers still feels like a sketch extended beyond its means.
The Biggest Loser (9/8c, USA): The controversial reality competition returns, now on cable, with a focus more on total health — including group therapy and nutrition tips — than just the spectacle of rapidly shedding pounds. Host (and former trainer) Bob Harper oversees 12 contestants on their journey to fitness, with help from trainers Erica Lugo and Steve Cook.
This Is Us (9/8, NBC): Last Tuesday, it was “A Hell of a Week” for Randall (Sterling K. Brown), leading to his latest emotional breakdown, and now we see “Part Two” of the hellish week from the perspective of Kevin (Justin Hartley), which also becomes a poignant exploration of his off-and-on-and-off-again relationship with his ex, Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge). Director M. Night Shyamalan makes another guest appearance, and Jennifer Westfeldt makes a wonderful first impression as Sophie’s effervescent (as in Fresca) mom, who adores Kevin almost as much as we do.
Emergence (10/9c, ABC): Expect a nail-biter in the first-season finale of the sci-fi thriller, as Sheriff Jo (Allison Tolman) and Agent Brooks (Enver Gjokaj) face the wrath of the seemingly unkillable AI Helen (Rowena King). Will Piper (Alexa Swinton) save the day, and will we ever understand the extent of her powers? With the show’s future currently in limbo, let’s hope we’re not left hanging with too many questions.
Remembering Kobe Bryant: HBO’s distinguished newsmagazine Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (10/9c) pays tribute to Kobe Bryant in a retrospective segment that revisits two stories that bookended his career: a 2000 James Brown profile when he was in his fourth season with the Lakers, and a 2016 piece from Andrea Kremer that followed Bryant as he was transitioning from the NBA to new ventures in entertainment and business.
Inside Tuesday TV: Disney’s computer-animated 2019 remake of The Lion King begins streaming on Disney+… Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s Cheryl Hines guests on ABC’s The Conners (8/7c) as a restaurant supplier who may be taking advantage of Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) as they gear up to reopen the Lunch Box… A hit-and run on CBS’s NCIS (8/7c) has Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) fighting for his life in the ICU… Rainbow (Arica Himmel) is turning 13 on ABC’s mixed-ish (9/8c), and her paternal grandmother Eleanor (Malcolm in the Middle‘s Jane Kaczmarek) plans a visit, which could bring up emotional baggage from the son (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) she abandoned… PBS’s American Experience shares the little-known story of The Poison Squad (9/8c, check local listings at pbs.org), the name given to test subjects of government chemist Harvey Wiley in the late 1800s, in an effort to regulate food safety and remove toxic additives… Britbox begins streaming the cult Brit sitcom Mrs. Brown’s Boys, starring Brendan O’Connor in drag persona as Mrs. Agnes Brown, an Irish matriarch who can’t stop meddling in the lives of her six children.