Worth Watching: ‘Bosch’ Is Back, Kenya Barris Unleashed on Netflix, ‘Strike Back’ Finale
A selective critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
Bosch (streaming on Amazon Prime Video): The TV equivalent of an engrossing page-turner, the gritty detective series adapting the best-sellers of Michael Connelly stars Titus Welliver in a career-defining role as LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch. In the sixth and next-to-last season, Harry investigates the murder of a physicist that also uncovers the theft of deadly radioactive material. When the FBI gets involved, fearing a terrorism plot, Harry stays focused on the case to make sure the murder isn’t forgotten amid the potentially nuclear mayhem.
#blackAF (streaming on Netflix): Producer-writer Kenya Barris (black-ish), in his first series under a lucrative Netflix deal, steps in front of the camera to play a heightened and not particularly flattering version of himself — think an African-American Larry David-style misanthrope — in a wildly satirical comedy based on his own family. (It’s black-ish taken to the next level.) Rashida Jones is marvelously snarky as his opinionated wife, Joya, who indulges Kenya’s frequent outbursts about fame, celebrity and race — all while daughter Drea (a terrific Iman Benson) captures it all on camera for an NYU Film School application. Squirming at what he sees as the “white gaze” of judgment regarding his material and professional success, Barris keeps it real, and really funny.
Other streaming highlights:
Netflix refreshed the dating-show genre in Love Is Blind, and tries it again with Too Hot to Handle, which dares to add celibacy to the mix. When 10 international singles head to what they imagine to be the next Love Island, they’re instantly told that to qualify for the $100,000 grand prize, they can’t hook up or achieve any sort of sexual gratification — or they’re out… On a more serious note, the feature film Sergio stars Wagner Moura (Narcos) in the heroic title role of Sergio Vieira de Mello, a United Nations diplomat who risks everything when he takes an assignment in war-torn Baghdad.
Family viewing is more valued than ever these days, and as a curtain raiser for next Wednesday’s Earth Day, Apple TV+ offers the charming animated special Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth, based on Oliver Jeffers’ book and narrated by Meryl Streep. It’s the story of 7-year-old Finn (voiced by Room‘s Jacob Tremblay), a rocket-obsessed whiz kid who learns to appreciate the world around him when his parents (Chris O’Dowd and Ruth Negga) accompany him to the Museum of Everything… Apple streams another global treat with nine episodes of Home, a visually hypnotic docu-series that tours visionary homes from Chicago to China, from a 3D-printed home in Mexico to a “nature home” built inside a greenhouse in Sweden.
Strike Back (10/9c, Cinemax): The explosive action series reaches the end of its bloody road after seven seasons and countless casualties. In one last mission for Section 20, after losing two of their own, Coltrane (Jamie Bamber), Wyatt (Daniel MacPherson) and Novin (Alin Sumarwata) go on the offensive to take down Albanian crime boss Arianna Demachi (Ivana Milicevic).
Inside Friday TV: NBCUniversal’s cable networks USA, Syfy and E! have established Friday as a “Stay-In Theater” movie night, simulcasting Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (7:30/6:30c) with limited commercial interruption… In a fanciful episode of CBS’s MacGyver (8/7c), Mac (Lucas Till) is put in a dream state where he meets visionaries including Nikola Tesla, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison — and his own mother… Video chats are the new happy hour, and in that spirit, AMC’s Friday Night In with The Morgans (10/9c) reflects this new normal with Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan and actress wife Hilarie Burton Morgan hosting remote conversations from their upstate New York farm. Guests include Walking Dead veterans Christian Serratos and Sarah Wayne Callies as well as Supernatural‘s Jensen Ackles and wife Danneel, the couple who get credit for introducing the Morgans.