Worth Watching: ‘Ozark,’ ‘Making the Cut’ Lead Streaming Premieres, Chuck Norris Visits ‘Hawaii,’ PBS Visits ‘Inn at Little Washington’
A selective critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
Ozark (streaming on Netflix): Can the Byrdes’ marriage be saved? Should it? Those questions haunt the third season of the engrossing crime drama, which intensifies the stakes after a sluggish second year when an estranged Marty (Jason Bateman) and Wendy (Laura Linney) clash over the future of their money-laundering business. He wants to keep his head down and maintain the status quo with their new casino, while Wendy wants to expand, urging cunning lawyer Helen (Janet McTeer) and lethal cartel boss Navarro (Felix Solis) to agree to her ambitious but dangerous plans. At least that crackerjack Ruth Langmore (Emmy winner Julia Garner) is on their side, even more so when Wendy’s volatile brother (Banshee‘s Tom Pelphrey) arrives on the scene.
Making the Cut (streaming on Amazon Prime Video): Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, the Emmy-winning hosts formerly of Project Runway, reunite for a new fashion competition that traverses the globe from Paris to Tokyo — filmed well before the virus outbreak. Cut gives 12 ambitious designers a chance to display their brands, with each episode’s winning look going for sale instantly on (where else) Amazon. Unlike on Runway, the designers get the help of seamstresses to execute their visions, but time pressures are still paramount as they frantically prepare their runway shows — the first has the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop. The ultimate winner will receive $1 million and a platform to create an exclusive line on Amazon.
More streaming premieres include the Disney+ family cooking competition Be Our Chef, in which two families face off in challenges. In the opener, families must transform a classic comfort food into a gourmet meal… Hulu’s six-part thriller Baghdad Central is set in U.S.-occupied Iraq six months after the fall of Saddam Hussein, and focuses on an Iraqi ex-policeman (Waleed Zuaiter) who’s trying to keep his sick and missing daughter safe… The Netflix movie Uncorked depicts the conflict between a son (Mamoudou Athie) pursuing his desire to become a sommelier and his father (Courtney B. Vance), who insists his offspring take over the family’s Memphis barbecue joint… A treat for cinephiles: 2019’s award-winning Portrait of a Lady on Fire, a French period drama about the forbidden love between a female painter and her aristocratic title subject, is now available for streaming on Hulu.
Hawaii Five-0 (9/8c, CBS): With only one episode to go before the series finale, H50 reaches back to the network’s past to recruit Chuck Norris (formerly Walker, Texas Ranger, soon to become a CW series) as guest star. He plays retired Sergeant Major Phillips, who comes to the aid of a good Samaritan (Lance Gross) who’s run afoul of some dangerous enemies. Setting up the finale, McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) receives a posthumous letter from his mother that includes a mysterious cypher that someone wants enough to attack Danny (Scott Caan) for it.
Foodies Delight: Need something substantive to snack on? PBS offers two tantalizing options (check local listings at pbs.org): First, the premiere of a six-part series, Somewhere South (9/8c), featuring author/restaurateur Vivian Howard (A Chef’s Life) as she travels the American South to celebrate and explore regional traditions, starting with the portable and versatile hand pie. Followed by the special The Inn at Little Washington: A Delicious Documentary (10/9c), which profiles self-taught chef Patrick O’Connell, whose establishment at the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains in Virginia is one of the most sought-after dining experiences in the nation. The documentary follows his pursuit of a third Michelin star.
Inside Friday TV: Hallmark Channel reprises its “We Need a Little Christmas” marathon of holiday movies through Sunday, and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries follows suit with its own “Miracles of Christmas” movie marathon all weekend long… Joely Richardson (Nip/Tuck) guests on NBC’s The Blacklist as an old flame who reunites with Red (James Spader) on a private island in a scheme to profit off of stolen art… Syfy’s Vagrant Queen (10/9c), based on a comic-book series, boasts an all-female team of writers and directors. Adriyan Rae stars as Elida, child queen turned orphaned outcast, who finds new allies in her quest to take on the Republic government that seeks to wipe out her bloodline.