Worth Watching: ‘Visible: Out on Television,’ ‘Strike Back’ Final Season, Lyle Lovett on ‘Blue Bloods’
A selective critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
Visible: Out on Television (streaming on Apple TV+): Through personal anecdotes and a wealth of footage, this wonderfully thorough and impassioned five-part docuseries tracks the progression of LGBTQ representation on TV. Once, gay characters existed only in the margins, and while there has been progress — Ellen DeGeneres‘ comeback story is among the most relevant — it hasn’t come without backlash. And yet, as Oprah Winfrey herself explains: “When you see images that are reflective of your own life, it’s a reminder to you that your life matters.” (See the full review.)
Other streaming premieres: Hulu presents a gender-swapped adaptation of Nick Hornby‘s High Fidelity, starring Zoë Kravitz as Rob, the hipster record-shop owner in Brooklyn who endlessly replays her busted relationships, addressing the camera in a non-stop wallow. (Not sure I would have made it past the first date myself) … Also music-themed, Hulu’s hip-hop sci-fi hybrid Utopia Falls takes place in a futuristic society where an annual music competition, The Exemplar, threatens to rock everyone’s world after a rebel is exposed to hip-hop in a mysterious archive.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Disney+ revives Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings, hosted by Dancing with the Stars‘Allison Holker and husband Stephen “tWitch” Boss (Ellen), and spotlighting romantic ceremonies at (where else) Disney destinations around the world. In the opener, David plans an underwater proposal for Megan (a Little Mermaid fan, perhaps?) in Hawaii.
Strike Back (10/9c, Cinemax): As the premium-cable network winds down original-series production, the action series that helped put Cinemax on the map suits up for its last explosive mission. The seventh and final season begins with the antiterrorism heroes of Section 20 reuniting to rescue a biochemist kidnapped by the Albanian Mafia in Kosovo, where a lethal virus is in play. Ivana Milicevic (of the fondly remembered Cinemax pulp thriller Banshee) guests as the Mafia family’s matriarch.
Blue Bloods (10/9c, CBS): It’s like McCloud has come to the Big Apple when Grammy-winning musician Lyle Lovett guests on the long-running procedural as Texas Ranger Waylon Gates. He teams up with Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) and Baez (Marisa Ramirez) to hunt down the Lone Star Killer. In other Reagan family news: When Eddie’s (Vanessa Ray) partner shoots an undercover cop by accident, Jamie (Will Estes) comes under Internal Affairs scrutiny for improper supervision.
Inside Friday TV: Zombies, werewolves and cheerleaders, oh my! Disney Channel’s musical-romantic-fantasy sequel Zombies 2 (8/7c) reunites Dancing with the Stars alum Milo Manheim as zombie football star Zed with American Housewife‘s Meg Donnelly as cheerleader Addison. Their prom plans are disrupted by local anti-monster laws that are reenacted when a werewolf pack arrives in Seabrook… The cat-and-mouse game on NBC’s Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector (8/7c) escalates when the serial killer taunts Lincoln (Russell Hornsby) and Amelia (Arielle Kebbel) with clues to multiple victims across New York City… Enjoying momentum from the New Hampshire primary, presidential hopeful and Sen. Amy Klobuchar is the top-of-show interview guest on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher (10/9c).