Worth Watching: Return of the ‘Prodigal Son,’ ‘Trickster,’ ‘Zoey’s Love Song
A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
Prodigal Son (9/8c, Fox): “Careful? It’s not really my thing,” declares Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne) as the second season of the merrily macabre thriller opens with a fabulously baroque flourish. To reacquaint you (the show has been off since April): Malcolm is a gifted but troubled forensic psychologist who helps solve crimes for the NYPD with the help of his dad — who just happens to be the brilliant and notorious serial killer Dr. Martin “The Surgeon” Whitly (a wild and woolly Michael Sheen), locked up but unrestrained in his grisly enthusiasms. The first case involves a beheading and a fascination with ancient weaponry, all of which is catnip to Malcolm, who needs distraction from a bigger concern: the cover-up of a killing by another member of his family. This deliciously twisted series, which exhibits a wide streak of dark humor, is back in top form.
The Resident (8/7c, Fox): Also returning, for a fourth year, is the medical drama that takes a pause from medicine to celebrate the wedding of Conrad (Matt Czuchry) and Nic (Emily VanCamp). The ceremony is somewhat clouded by flashbacks to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and how the crisis affected the staff of Chastain Memorial. That could be why the episode is titled “A Wedding, A Funeral.”
Trickster (9/8c, The CW): Turning to Canada for another short-term place-filler, The CW’s curious new supernatural drama is most notable for its depiction of the nation’s underrepresented Indigenous community. Joel Oulette stars as Jared, who in the spooky prologue is born under mysterious circumstances and as a brooding teen begins having bizarre visions, including of a sinister doppelgänger and a talking crow.
That’s preceded by back-to-back episodes of a new season of Two Sentence Horror Stories (8/7c), including two high-school fables: one is a detention twist on The Breakfast Club, the other a revenge fantasy involving a bullied transmasculine student. The latter features Janet Kidder, most recently seen as the green menace Osyraa on CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (8/7c, NBC): Zoey (Jane Levy) has made her romantic choice, and it’s her best friend Max (Skylar Astin), but being able to take this relationship to the next intimate level is complicated, as usual, by that jukebox in her head. At the workplace, a crisis with the SPRQ Point watch leads Zoey as the new boss to have an epiphany on how to curb her staff’s frat-boy antics. At home, the family is rattled by the arrival of new mom Emily’s (Alice Lee) live-wire sister, Jenna (Jee Young Han). Typically, it’s something to sing about.
Inside Tuesday TV: If it’s Tuesday, there must be new comedy on Netflix. This week’s it’s a remixed version of his Grammy-nominated 2018 set, Chris Rock: Total Blackout, The Tamborine Extended Cut, with new jokes and unseen footage… Much in the news after the past turbulent week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is among the subjects on PBS’s Finding Your Roots (8/7c, check local listings at pbs.org), learning about her immigrant family past along with CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell and fashion designer Zac Posen… Randall (Sterling K. Brown) goes on another personal journey on NBC’s This Is Us (9/8c) as he pursues new information about the birth mother he thought had died shortly after he came into the world.