Worth Watching: Garth and Tricia Sing Live, Merge Time on ‘Survivor,’ Double the ‘Masked Singer’ Fun
A selective critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:
Garth & Trisha Live! (9/8c, CBS): In the new wave of music-variety specials, everyone’s home is the new concert hall. Following a successful Facebook Live event last week that attracted more than 5 million views within hours, superstar country couple Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood take requests from Brooks’ Inside Studio G show for an intimate prime-time concert special performed within their home recording studio. As a bonus, the stars and the network will donate $1 million to efforts to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
Survivor: Warriors at War (8/7c, CBS): It’s not fun to be an “old-school” player in this 40th season of all past winners. With some of the biggest names in the game already sent to the Edge of Extinction — Ethan, Boston Rob and Amber, Parvati, Yul and “Queen” Sandra, who promptly quit rather than sweat it out on this bleak island — the remaining contestants now face the merge, so it’s every man and woman for themselves. Let the mad scramble, and paranoia, ensue.
The Masked Singer (8/7c, Fox): For those still addicted to this ridiculous singing competition, which completed filming the entire silly season before the outbreak shut down production of so many series, it’s time for the “Super Nine” (their words) to take the stage in a two-hour mega-episode. The remaining three singers from the original three groups will now compete head-on, as the witless panelists try to guess who’s who under those elaborate costumes (the only impressive aspect of the show).
Little Fires Everywhere (streaming on Hulu): As this juicy drama enters its second half, Elena (Reese Witherspoon) shifts into all-out villain mode. Against the warnings of husband Bill (Joshua Jackson), who’s taking on the messy custody case for their friends, she leaves her family behind to snoop into Mia’s (Kerry Washington) past in New York. It’s maybe not the best timing, because golden daughter Lexie (Jade Pettyjohn) is going through some pretty scandalous problems of her own.
Community (streaming on Netflix): This is not an April Fools joke. The cult comedy about a beyond-hope study group at the dysfunctional Greendale Community College offers a syllabus of all six seasons, ripe for binge-watching. Just consider that brilliantly cast core of misfit students: Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Donald Glover and Chevy Chase. Worthy of pulling an all-nighter.
Other Netflix premieres on a busy Wednesday: Bawdy TV satire is the thing on The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show… Even more laughs on the hilarious fourth season of warped baking competition Nailed It!, featuring hostess-with-the-mostest Nicole Byer, and Adam Scott and Fortune Feimster among the guest judges… If Tiger King left you wanting more out-there true-crime TV, the four-part docuseries How to Fix a Drug Scandal digs into the case of Sonja Farek, a 30something crime drug lab chemist who was arrested in 2013 for tampering with evidence, as well as using the very drugs she was supposed to be testing.
Inside Wednesday TV: There’s more streaming escapism on BritBox, which drops the entire 10-episode first season of The Mallorca Files, a mystery series set on the scenic Spanish island. Elen Rhys stars as introverted detective Miranda Blake, paired with the more impulsive German detective Max Winter… BritBox also becomes the exclusive streaming home for the first six seasons of the hit light-mystery Father Brown… PBS doubles down on Cuba, starting with “Cuba’s Wild Revolution” on Nature (8/7c), exploring the Caribbean island’s wildlife; and “Cuba’s Cancer Hope” on science series Nova (9/8c), following Cuban doctors who provide needed services in the wake of the U.S. trade embargo… In ABC’s special David Blaine: The Magic Way (10/9c), the magician displays his array of tricks to the amazement of celebrities including Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, famous couples Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen, Derek and Hannah Jeter, plus Dave Chappelle, Jamie Foxx, Michael Jordan and James Corden… It’s the final act for Syfy’s The Magicians (10/9c), with Eliot (Hale Appleman) leading the gang on one last magical quest.