Worth Watching: ‘Will & Grace’ Loves ‘Lucy,’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Ends Its Season, ‘Good Fight’ Returns
A selective critical checklist of notable Thursday TV:
Will & Grace (9:30/8:30c, NBC): Who doesn’t love I Love Lucy? Even so, this campy comedy is especially well equipped to pay homage to the sitcom classic in the high point of a mostly uneven final season. Naturally, gay/straight-man Will (Eric McCormack), up to his knees in dishwater suds, sees himself as Ricky, but the rest of the gang fancies themselves alter egos of Lucille Ball‘s wacky Lucy Ricardo, especially Grace (Debra Messing): “I’m the kooky redhead everyone loves and you’re the guy who overreacts to every little things I do.” Her recreation of the peerless “Vitameatavegamin” sketch is indeed uncanny. Later, she switches off with fellow Lucys Jack (Sean Hayes) and Karen (Megan Mullally) as Ethel and Fred in other sketches, including the grape-stomping incident — featuring Leslie Jordan as Karen’s nemesis in the grape tank — and the chocolate factory, where Lucie Arnaz makes a strong cameo as the boss of the slapstick assembly line.
Grey’s Anatomy (9/8c, ABC): It wasn’t supposed to end this way. But like so many other shows this spring, the long-running hit medical drama had to halt production several episodes short of the finish line. So where we’re left in the 21st episode (of a projected 25) is Link (Chris Carmack) trying to keep Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) calm in the final stage of her pregnancy, Owen (Kevin McKidd) making a “shocking discovery,” and Dr. Hayes (Richard Flood) taking Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) by surprise. What happens next? We’ll have to wait until fall — if we’re lucky — once it’s safe for filming to resume.
The Good Fight (streaming on CBS All Access): Always politically charged, the Good Wife spinoff opens its third season in a bizarro fantasy land with a satirically over-the-top episode that finds Diane (Christine Baranski) waking up to an alt-world reality where Hillary Clinton became president. As in all be-careful-what-you-wish-for scenarios, Diane soon discovers the dark side to what she might have imagined to be a liberal utopia. Just wait till you see who receives a Presidential Medal of Freedom. (It’s possibly even more awful than the clown who got one this year.) Not to worry, next week the show returns to its regularly heightened version of normal. Can’t wait.
Shaq Life (9/8c, TNT): With the NBA season currently suspended, TNT has moved up the premiere of this reality show focusing on the home life of basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal. Making it a “ShaqNight,” TNT opens with Shaq screening Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (6/5c) with Rob Riggle. Then Snoop Dogg joins Shaq for the back-to-back series premiere, in which Shaq tries his hand as a DJ in Las Vegas and then hopes to revitalize the Papa John’s pizza brand when made the brand’s first African-American board member.
Inside Thursday TV: Amanda Fuller (Kristin) directs an episode of Fox’s Last Man Standing (8/7c) in which Joe (Jay Leno) feels more underappreciated than usual by Mike (Tim Allen) after he’s sidelined in an article about the guys’ car-restoration business… Getting high is an easy go-to place for comedians to get laughs, but few do it as hilariously and movingly as Pamela Adlon in another first-rate episode of FX’s Better Things (10/9c). After visiting a weed dispensary to get relief for her aching hands, Sam overindulges just in time to be presented by a family emergency and an unexpected revelation by one of her daughters. Can it all be fixed with homemade peppermint ice cream?… CBS’s Tommy (10/9c) deals with cybercrime when an online “swatter” endangers the LAPD and first responders with fake 911 calls. Worse, the perp threatens to reveal private details about members of the LAPD — which shouldn’t affect police chief Tommy (Edie Falco), who has already publicly come out.