Worth Watching: ‘Dead to Me’ Returns, ‘The Eddy,’ ‘MacGyver’ and ‘Magnum’ Finales
A selective critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
Dead to Me (streaming on Netflix): Like they used to say about potato chips, I bet you can’t watch just one episode of this wonderfully twisty dark comedy, which in its second addictive season builds gripping and outrageous “What next?” situations on top of one another to the very last scene. Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini are wonderfully matched as Jen, a bitterly funny single-mom widow in posh Laguna Beach, and Judy, the eternally optimistic neurotic who is entwined in Jen’s life in extremely complicated ways. The first season ended with a body floating in Jen’s pool, and the action picks up with reckless cover-ups, confessions, reversals and enough surprises that if I gave even one away, I’d be dead to you.
The Eddy (streaming on Netflix): You don’t have to love jazz to groove to the discordant rhythms of this evocative drama, set in a struggling Paris club, which could do for European jazz what HBO’s Treme did for the New Orleans music scene. André Holland (The Knick) stars as an ex-pat American pianist who takes on criminal elements threatening his business, while also coping with the arrival of his willful estranged daughter (Amandla Stenberg). (See the full review.)
Regular Heroes (streaming on Amazon Prime Video): A late addition to Amazon’s lineup is an eight-week docuseries spotlighting people going the extra mile on the front lines during the pandemic. Alicia Keys appears in the premiere, offering the new song “Good Job” as an anthem to the three heroes profiled during the episode: Trevor Henry, a husband and father of four who works as a Senior Inventory Specialist at New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery; Burnell Cotlon of New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward, whose grocery store serves a five-mile radius, supplying customers and donating food to those in need; and Athena Hayley, a former homeless women in Los Angeles who started the “Love My Neighbor Foundation” to help feed and clothe residents of Skid Row.
For more inspiration, PBS presents In This Together: A PBS American Portrait Story (9/8c, check local listings at pbs.org), a crowd-sourced collection of vignettes from Americans using self-made videos, photos and text to reveal how they’re coping during the COVID-19 outbreak. Segments will focus on first responders, essential workers and recovering patients.
Sayonaras on CBS: They’ll be back. The network’s action dramas close out their seasons, both having been renewed for next fall or beyond. (MacGyver was a midseason replacement this year.) On MacGyver (8/7c), Mac (Lucas Till) and Riley (Tristin Mays) are undercover with Codex, which complicates matters when the Phoenix Foundation team rushes in to stop Codex from setting off a nuclear bomb.
Followed by back-to-back episodes of Magnum, P.I. (9/8c and 10/9c), in which Magnum (Jay Hernandez) and Higgins (Perdita Weeks) are on opposite sides of a divorce case, then pull together as Magnum makes a move to keep Higgins from being deported when her visa expires. In the second hour, Corbin Bernsen returns as Icepick, father figure to Rick (Zachary Knighton). Newly out of prison, Icepick needs the team’s help when his latest scam goes sideways, and he was hoping for one last score before succumbing to terminal cancer.
Inside Friday TV: Highlights of another busy Friday in the streaming world include Amazon Prime Video’s Jimmy O. Yang: Good Deal, a stand-up special from the Silicon Valley comic; Hulu’s Solar Opposites, an animated sci-fi comedy about aliens crash-landing in the suburbs, debating whether they like or hate what they see; J.K. Simmons adds bite to the Apple+ drama Defending Jacob as the jailbird dad of Andy Barber (Chris Evans), whose prison visit leaves him wondering how far his teenage son, murder suspect Jacob (Jaeden Martell), fell from the family tree; and Netflix stages an Extra Hot reunion of its buzzy not-quite-dating guilty pleasure trashfest Too Hot to Handle… In the linear TV world, NBC’s The Blacklist (8/7c) marks its 150th episode with Red (James Spader) pondering the possibility of a successor after a health scare. C’mon, there’s only one Red Reddington. Isn’t there?… The CW’s Dynasty reboot (9/8c) wraps its third season with a bachelorette party for Fallon (Liz Gillies), which goes the way of most Carrington events. Badly. Moldavian massacre badly? Remains to be seen.