Worth Watching: ‘Conners,’ ‘black-ish’ & More Finales, HBO Remembers Natalie Wood, Pungent ‘Tirdy Works,’ Seinfeld on Netflix
A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
The Conners (8/7c, ABC): “It never ends with you guys. One of your ancestors mess with a witch or something?” (Insert your own Roseanne joke here — or not.) Darlene’s (Sara Gilbert) main man Ben (Jay R. Ferguson) may be a relative newcomer to this hard-luck family, but when he and the rest of the Lanford tribe hears of patriarch Dan’s (John Goodman) latest money woes, which could mean foreclosure on the shabby but beloved family home, something’s going to have to give in a strong season finale. On another domestic front, Becky (Lecy Goranson) heads to Mexico with wired Aunt Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) to introduce baby Beverly Rose to her deported daddy Emilio (Rene Rosado) for the first time, and the reunion is loaded with emotional baggage.
black-ish (9:30/8:30c, ABC): Like The Conners, this family sitcom was able to film its season finale before the production shutdown — and it’s a doozy, with a traumatic moment for Dre (Anthony Anderson) that recalls Phoebe shrieking “My eyes!” on Friends when she first sees Monica and Chandler together. As the network promos have revealed, Dre has an unwelcome epiphany about the long-strained relationship of his Pops (Laurence Fishburne) and mom Ruby (Jenifer Lewis), and life in the Johnson household may never be the same. Bow (Tracee Ellis Ross) is likely to be OK with that.
Also wrapping for the season: ABC sitcoms Bless This Mess (8:30/7:30c), with the aftermath of a tornado in Bucksnort, and black-ish spinoff mixed-ish (9/8c), in which young Bow’s (Arica Himmel) mom and dad, Alicia (Tika Sumpter) and Paul (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) are offered jobs on Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign.
Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind (9/8c, HBO): When movie star Natalie Wood is remembered on TV these days, it’s usually because of the notorious circumstances of her mysterious 1981 drowning death at age 43. Daughter Natasha Gregson Wagner aims to remedy this sad situation with a documentary tribute to her mother that includes home movies, interviews with famous friends including Mia Farrow, Robert Redford and an emotional conversation with with her stepfather, Robert Wagner.
Tirdy Works (10/9c, truTV): “I just think about s—t all the time,” muses Mary Winchenbach, the salty star of a new “unscripted sitcom” set in rural Somerville, Maine, a town of 500. Mary hopes to put Somerville on the map with her “Tirdy Works” enterprise, who makes decorative clocks and other novelty items with pellets of dried moose poop (hence the punny title). Mary cracks herself up with her scat talk, and so do cronies like worker bee Tammi, a self-described “bitch on the hill.” Whether you’re amused may depend on how much you enjoy the patronizing tone of hick humor and whether mere mentions of poo send you into giggles. Mary sure hopes so. In the premiere, her wife Deb gives her an ultimatum that if the business doesn’t succeed soon, “we’re not going to play with turds anymore.” Surely TV exposure is part of this business plan. All of which sent me into flush mode.
Inside Tuesday TV: If yada-yada-yada is music to your ears, the Netflix stand-up set Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill, described as the comic’s first original special since 1998, will be a fun distraction from our current anxieties. The performance was filmed last year at New York City’s Beacon Theatre, when audiences still went to theaters… Streaming weekly through June, BroadwayHD’s The Goes Wrong Show adapts the hit stage comedy The Play That Goes Wrong into a knockabout TV farce about a hapless amateur dramatic society that churns out, badly, half-hour plays for TV… The PBS documentary The Queen at War (8/7, check local listings at pbs.org) is a stirring look back at how then-Princess Elizabeth, a teenager when World War II broke out, rose to the occasion to help the war effort and became a public symbol of hope for her battle-ravaged nation. Downton Abbey‘s Phyllis Logan narrates… Thanksgiving is more hectic than usual on TBS’s The Last O.G. (10:30/9:30c) when Tray (Tracy Morgan) talks turkey to cousin Fred (Katt Williams), his longtime nemesis.