Worth Watching: James Corden’s ‘One Man’ Show, James Bond Marathon, ‘Ninja’ Finale, ‘Wayne’ Motors to Amazon
A selective critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
One Man, Two Guvnors (9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): James Corden was catapulted to U.S. stardom in this slapstick British stage farce. He earned a Tony Award with his tireless and crowd-pleasing physical and verbal comedy, which later prompted CBS to offer him a certain late-night CBS talk show, with many “Carpool Karaokes” to follows. Great Performances presents the National Theatre production, which peaks in moments of priceless audience interaction. (See the full review.)
Dr. No (3:30/2:30c, BBC America): Just say yes to a mini-marathon of the late Sean Connery‘s first three blockbuster James Bond films from the 1960s. 1962’s Dr. No put the suave spy from the Ian Fleming novels on the map, 1963’s From Russia With Love (6 pm/5c) proved it was no fluke, and 1964’s thrilling Goldfinger (8:30/7:30c) secured the legend that was Connery’s Bond, with one of the most memorable Bond girls in Shirley Eaton as Jill Masterson, one of the sexiest in Honor Blackman’s Pussy Galore, a formidable foe in the deadly Oddjob (Harold Sakata) and a tricked-out Aston Martin whose toy version became the best-selling toy of 1964. (Our household had one, and I never tired of playing with the ejector seat.)
American Ninja Warrior (8/7c, NBC): Better late than never. Pushed off Wednesday’s schedule by the network’s continuing post-election coverage, the two-hour finale of the grueling athletic contest presents the remaining contestants with a 10-obstacle course inside The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis. In the climactic round, the top eight face off in a playoff bracket as they race to the Power Tower for a $100,000 grand prize.
Wayne (streaming on Amazon Prime Video): A cult hit on YouTube’s premium service in 2019, this raucous road-trip action comedy moves to Amazon Prime, with the hope that increased exposure could lead to future seasons (shades of Cobra Kai). Mark McKenna stars as Wayne, a Boston toughie who hits the road with his equally resilient girlfriend Del (Ciara Bravo) en route to Ocala, Florida in search of the 1979 Trans-Am that was stolen from his dying father (Ray McKinnon). The impressive supporting cast includes Michaela Watkins as Wayne’s mom, Dean Winters as Del’s dad and Mike O’Malley as their long-suffering high school principal.
The Right Stuff (streaming on Disney+): Now that the second season of The Mandalorian has arrived, that could bring new eyeballs to this earnest miniseries remake of the Tom Wolfe classic. In the sixth of eight episodes, John Glenn (Patrick J. Adams) is still smarting over the peer vote that would cost him the opportunity to be the first man in space. Ever the player, he begins writing to politicians to lobby on his behalf. But there are bigger issues at play, with alarming news from Russia and a science committee sent by President Kennedy to Cape Canaveral to gauge the space program’s validity.
Inside Friday TV: Stevie Wonder spreads his musical message of positivity and hope, with Queen of Talk Oprah Winfrey as his vessel, in the latest edition of The Oprah Conversation on Apple TV+… In an unusually quiet weekend for Netflix, the most prominent new title is Country Ever After, spotlighting the made-for-reality-TV life of country singer Coffey Anderson and his hip-hop dancer wife Criscilla as they raise kids in Los Angeles… The uneven third season of the gripping spy drama Killing Eve is now streaming on Hulu… Lifetime’s The Christmas Yule Blog (8/7) stars Sara Canning (The Vampire Diaries) as Caroline, a cynical social-media travel writer who gets the yuletide bug when assigned to cover a seasonal parade in small-town New Mexico, where she meets the requisite handsome music teacher (Zak Santiago).