Worth Watching: 'Little Fires Everywhere,' Final Season of 'Brockmire,' Witches in the 'Motherland'
A selective critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:
Little Fires Everywhere (streaming on Hulu): An eight-part adaptation of Celeste Ng's juicy best-seller stars Reese Witherspoon as a control-freak supermom from the rigidly planned community of Shaker Heights, Ohio, whose world is shaken by the arrival of an agent of chaos: Kerry Washington, as a single-mom artist who shuns conformity. As their families become interconnected, Fires scorches with emotional intensity. Hulu opens with the first three compulsively watchable episodes, with the rest airing weekly. (See the full review.)
Brockmire (10/9c, IFC): What to do while we wait for the delayed baseball season to begin? Try the fourth and final season of the irreverent sports satire, which jumps far ahead to the 2030s, when reformed alcoholic sportscaster Jim Brockmire (Hank Azaria) becomes the national pastime's last hope in the "blighted hellscape" of a globally overwarmed dystopia. ("Not a great time to be outdoors in America.") When team owners recruit Brockmire to be baseball's new commissioner, he and disgraced ex-lover Jules (Amanda Peet) do their damnedest to hit it out of the park. (See the full review.)
Motherland: Fort Salem (9/8c, Freeform): If only the witches of Charmed knew the armed forces was an option. That's the fantasy contrived in the latest YA excursion into the supernatural with an empowered-female twist. In the world of Fort Salem, witches stopped being persecuted centuries ago when they vowed to use their powers for good and fight on the front lines to keep America safe from terrorists and other enemies. (Too bad a rogue coven known as The Spree is sowing mass-suicide chaos across the land). The pilot episode introduces three recruits from widely different backgrounds and temperaments: Raelle (Taylor Hickson), the rebel with a personal chip on her shoulder; the comparatively naïve and eager Tally (Jessica Sutton); and legacy recruit Abigail (Ashley Nicole Williams), from one of the first families of warriors. Surviving basic training may not be as difficult as surviving each other.
Inside Wednesday TV: NBC's Chicago Med (8/7c) marks its 100th-episode by putting relationships to the test while the docs respond to challenges including an ailing 4-year-old and a wounded police officer… Community's Joel McHale joins the panel on Fox's The Masked Singer (8/7c) as the remaining contestants in Group "C" strut their stuff, and the hilarious Nicole Byer (Nailed It!) pops in on Fox's Lego Masters (9/8c)… You're the Worst star Chris Geere guests on ABC's Modern Family (9/8c) in an episode where Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet) consider adding to their own family with another adoption, and Claire (Julie Bowen) faces an obstacle on the way to a job interview: that blasted staircase… The soon-to-depart sitcom is joined by American Housewife (9:30/8:30c) on its new night… The iconic star of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise hosts Travel Channel's True Terror with Robert Englund (10/9c), which revisits haunting stories from America's past, using newspaper accounts and historian/expert perspective to separate spooky fact from fiction… In the next-to-last episode of the freshman season of ABC's Stumptown (10/9c), Dex (Cobie Smulders) follows leads that could shed new light on Benny’s death in Afghanistan.