Worth Watching: Reba on ‘Young Sheldon,’ ‘Narcos: Mexico’ Returns to Netflix, ‘Impractical Jokers’ Celebrates 200 Episodes
A selective critical checklist of notable Thursday TV:
Young Sheldon (8/7c, CBS): Remember when “February Sweeps” was still a thing, and you could count on Very Special Episodes of your favorite shows, often with Special Guest Stars? The Big Bang Theory spinoff honors that tradition with the introduction of country legend Reba McEntire (whose own self-titled sitcom was no slouch) as June, the ex-wife of Coach Dale (Craig T. Nelson), whom Meemaw (Annie Potts) is currently dating. After initial awkwardness, June and Meemaw hit it off, and the rapport between McEntire and Potts sparkles. Especially once June gets a look at Meemaw’s former beau, Dr. Sturgis (Wallace Shawn). “You don’t have a type, do you?” she observes.
Narcos: Mexico (streaming on Netflix): The gritty crime drama returns for a second season, tracing the roots of the modern drug wars in the conflict between kingpin Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo (Diego Luna) and DEA agents out for blood after the murder of undercover agent Kiki Camarena (Michael Peña). Leading the American charge: Walt Breslin (Scoot McNairy), who’s not above bending the rules when facing a foe this deadly.
Also launching on Netflix: Love Is Blind, the latest TV show to devalue romance by taking The Dating Game to the extreme, in this case separating couples by an opaque barrier so they get to know each other without ever laying eyes on their potential mate. The drama begins one there’s a proposal, they finally meet in the flesh, and then re-enter the real world.
Star Trek: Picard (streaming on CBS All Access): It’s old-home-week for Trek fans, when Next Generation colleague Jonathan Frakes directs his former captain (Patrick Stewart) — and another familiar face enters the picture before it’s over. “The man can’t even take a guilt trip without using a starship,” gripes Raffi (Michelle Hurd) when Picard delays their mission to Freecloud by making a stop at Vashti, a planet that evokes painful personal memories from 14 years earlier, when he was helping Romulan refugees relocate before everything went wrong. He reunites with Elnor (Evan Evagora), a Romulan he knew as a boy and who has grown into just the type of warrior he needs on his team.
Impractical Jokers (9/8c, truTV): The hidden-camera prank show has plenty to celebrate as the jokers (Joe Gatto, James “Murr” Murray, Brian “Q” Quinn and Sal Vulcano) mark their 200th episode. First comes an hour of reminiscence (“The First Hundred” and “The Second Hundred”), then at 10/9c, the actual 200th, which takes the guys to Hollywood. In L.A., they try their hand at directing, hang with Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith) and throw a big Tinseltown party.
Inside Thursday TV: With Valentine’s Day in the air, CBS sitcoms play the dating game. On The Unicorn (8:30/7:30c), Wade (Walton Goggins) learns there are consequences for a bad date, when daughter Natalie (Makenzie Moss) suffers after he strikes out with the mom of one of her friends. And on Mom (9/8c), Marjorie (Mimi Kennedy) turns to Christy (Anna Faris) for help to prepare for her first date since her husband’s death… Wife Swap is back on Paramount Network (9/8c), with culture shock ensuing when a strict Nigerian mom trades places with an overwhelmed mom whose spoiled kids run wild… Jesse Williams directs an episode of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy (9/8c), during which Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) gets the results of her paternity test, and Suits‘ Sarah Rafferty continues her role as Suzanne, a patient with a mysterious incurable disease… UMC (Urban Movie Channel), now part of AMC Networks, presents a six-episode romantic dramedy Stuck with You, starring Timon Kyle Durrett (Queen Sugar) and Tammy Townsend (K.C. Undercover) as a celebrity couple whose private life leaves a lot to be desired.