Worth Watching: A ‘Star Wars’ Treat From Disney+, a Virtual ‘All Rise,’ Acorn’s ‘Gold Digger’
A selective critical checklist of notable Monday TV:
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (streaming on Disney+): No one respects the force of the Star Wars brand like Disney, and to honor the annual May the Fourth (or “force”) tradition of what has become known as “Star Wars Day,” the streaming channel offers the final chapter of the Skywalker saga two months ahead of schedule, making the entire nine-part movie series now available for a mega-binge. The premiere is part of a lineup that includes the debut of the behind-the-scenes docuseries Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, which takes a deep dive into the effects and mythology of the hit series that launched Disney+, as well as the series finale of the animated spinoff Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
All Rise (9/8c, CBS): In an innovative experiment reflecting the nation’s shelter-in-place norms, the freshman legal drama produces a special episode filmed entirely via FaceTime, Zoom, WebEx and other online technologies promoting social distancing. The occasion: a virtual bench trial involving a brotherly dispute over a car, presided over by Judge Lola Carmichael, played by Simone Missick — whose real-life husband, Dorian Missick, appears throughout as a DJ, commenting on the times via a laptop from home.
Gold Digger (streaming on Acorn TV): The home of first-rate British mysteries delivers another winner in a six-part (airing over three weeks) exercise in romantic intrigue and repressed family trauma. Emmy winner Julia Ormond (Temple Grandin, Mad Men) is sensational as bitter divorcee Julia Day, who on a solitary 60th-birthday visit to a London museum encounters the 25-years-younger charmer Benjamin Greene (Westworld‘s Ben Barnes). A flirtation quickly becomes serious, to the consternation of her three grown offspring, who each have issues of their own, seemingly springing (judging from alarming shock-cut flashbacks) from dark secrets of the family’s past. Is Benjamin the real deal, or is he going to live up to the series’ title and confirm everyone else’s suspicions? Including those of Julia’s smug ex-husband Ted, played with sly malice by The Crown‘s Alex Jennings.
Jeopardy! (syndicated, check local listings): The greatest TV quiz show of all time spends the next two weeks honoring its greatest champions. From Tuesday through Thursday, May 14, Jeopardy! replays the prime-time Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time tournament, which originally aired on ABC in January, pitting Ken Jennings against James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter. Bookending the tournament are episodes that mark the very beginning and very end of Jennings’ still-unsurpassed 74-game winning streak. Tonight’s episode features his first win (June 2, 2004) and on Friday, May 15, his final game from Nov. 30, 2004. These are classics.
Creepshow (10/9c, AMC): Here’s something we’re likely to see more of in coming months, as the shutdown of TV production continues to disrupt schedules. Borrowing from AMC Networks’ horror-based streaming service Shudder, which aired these episodes last fall, linear channel AMC presents a six-week run of the spooky anthology inspired by Stephen King’s hit film of the 1980s. In the first episode, comprising two stories, King’s grisly “Gray Matter” (from his 1978 short-story collection, Night Shift) is the standout, joined by “The House of the Head,” a more conventional shocker about a haunted dollhouse.
Inside Monday TV: Cult comedy Reno 911!, off the air since 2009, returns for a seventh season‑on your phone, with new episodes streaming on Quibi… NBC’s The Voice (8/7c) shifts into virtual mode, with the Top 17 singers performing remotely for Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, John Legend and Blake Shelton, all hoping to make it into the Top 9… CBS’s The Neighborhood (8/7c) airs back-to-back original episodes, in which Dave (Max Greenfield)’s newfound sense of civic duty inspires him to run for city council, taking on an incumbent played by Wayne Brady. Who will Calvin (Cedric the Entertainer) back?… There’s potential for a catfight on ABC’s The Baker and the Beauty (10/9c), when Daniel (Victor Rasuk) brings supermodel Noa (Nathalie Kelley) home for the first time, only for his vengeful ex Vanessa (Michelle Veintimilla) to show up unannounced.