Worth Watching: A Year With Those ‘Gilmore Girls,’ ‘Dancing’ Finale, FX’s ‘Black Narcissus,’ Up Close & Personal With Shawn Mendes

Gilmore Girls a year in the life
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

A selective critical checklist of notable Monday TV:

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (8/7c, The CW): Returning to the network where the beloved dramedy ended its run in 2007, the four-part miniseries sequel (which premiered on Netflix in 2016) airs over four nights (through Thursday) as a special Thanksgiving treat. Little has changed over the last decade in the beguiling burg of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, but the Gilmore gals are all at crossroads: Lorelai (Lauren Graham) is restless at work and at home, daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel) is rootless and living out of boxes, and widowed matriarch Emily (Kelly Bishop) is rudderless without her late husband. A Year in the Life is divided into seasonal chapters, much like the classic Meet Me in St. Louis, another holiday favorite. (See the full review.)

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The Netflix original is making its network debut.

Dancing with the Stars (8/7c, ABC): Though Tyra Banks remains a controversial presence as the new host — if I checked my mailbag, I’m sure to find a few new expressions of protest — the mood will be celebratory as Dancing names its new mirrorball champion from the four remaining dancers: Kaitlyn Bristowe, Nelly — who performs a medley of his greatest hits while pro partner Daniella Karagach dances with her husband, Pasha Pashkov — Nev Schulman and (my fave) One Day at a Time‘s Justina Machado. Derek Hough emerges from the judges’ table to dance once more time, a solo turn to “Let’s Fall in Love for the Night.”

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Whether it's Rory and Lorelai or Susie and Midge, these quick-talking ladies are a brand all their own.

Black Narcissus (8/7c, FX): Deadly sins of pride, envy and lust create an atmosphere thick with danger and sensual intrigue in a three-part adaptation (airing in one night) of Rumer Godden’s provocative 1939 novel about nuns who set up a school high in the Himalayan mountains in an abandoned palace. Gemma Arterton stars as Sister Clodagh, whose repressed memories and desires begin to stir during a battle of wills with unstable Sister Ruth (Aisling Franciosi).

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The finale's almost here, and we make the bold choice of choosing the winning team. (Just don't hold us to it.)

Shawn Mendes: In Wonder (streaming on Netflix): A pop star comes of age in an intimate documentary that follows the 22-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter on a world tour. With footage depicting his meteoric rise from Vine phenom to concert headliner, In Wonder is an introspective look at a young man coping with stardom in a media fishbowl as he travels from the Americas through Europe, Asia and Australia.

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As nuns set up a convent in Nepal, her character is in awe of the Himalayas and the handsome Mr. Dean.

Inside Monday TV: Please don’t let there be a recount when CBS’s The Neighborhood (8/7c) brings a conclusion to Dave’s (Max Greenfield) run for a city council seat, including a debate against savvy incumbent Isaiah Evans (Wayne Brady)… In the penultimate episode of Fox’s short-lived Filthy Rich (9/8c), Margaret (Kim Cattrall) has an epiphany about her presumably late husband’s (Gerald McRaney) plane crash, while the entire family is searching for Antonio’s (Benjamin Levy Aguilar) missing son… Having moved on to a post-pandemic future, ABC’s The Good Doctor (10/9c) confronts a new emotional hurdle when Shaun (Freddie Highmore) invites Lea (Paige Spara) to move back in with him. Better luck this time… Michael Weatherly directs an episode of CBS’s Bull (10/9c) where things get messy when Benny (Freddy Rodriguez) and Chunk (Christopher Jackson) represent different sides on a civil case.