Worth Watching: ‘Walker’ Walks Again, A ‘Unicorn’ Dinner Party, ‘Gomorrah’

Walker Jared Padalecki The CW
Rebecca Brenneman/The CW

A selective critical checklist of notable Thursday TV:

Walker (8/7c, The CW): The only demons Supernatural star Jared Padalecki is fighting these days are internal, as he assumes the role of Texas Ranger Cordell Walker in a reboot of the iconic Chuck Norris action classic Walker, Texas Ranger. There’s more angst than action in the series premiere, and Walker leads as much with his emotions as his fists when he returns to his family and job after many months of undercover work, which interrupted the grieving process over the unsolved murder of his wife (Padalecki’s spouse, Genevieve). His former partner (Third Watch‘s Cody Bell) is now his boss, and in a sign of the changing times, he’s now chasing criminals with a newly promoted Mexican-American female ranger, Micki Ramirez (Lindsey Morgan).

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The Unicorn (9:30/8:30c, CBS): In this most human of network comedies, widower Wade (Walton Goggins) is almost a new man since embarking on a relationship with the eccentric Shannon (Natalie Zea), but he falls back into old habits of overcompensating to make everyone like each other when he introduces her to his ever-opinionated circle of friends at a dinner party. This is the rare show that finds humor in people trying to be too decent, and Wade’s efforts to smooth Shannon’s wackier edges inevitably backfire. It doesn’t help that Forrest (Rob Corddry) shows up under the influence of mind-altering edibles.

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Plus, Sheldon sees a familiar face at Vacation Bible School that brings out the competitive side of the young genius.

Also on CBS’s all-new comedy lineup: On Young Sheldon (8/7c), the child genius (Iain Armitage) gets off to a rocky and slapstick start at freshman college orientation, while mom Mary (Zoe Perry) has the time of her life when mistaken for a student on campus… Gina (Annaleigh Ashford) undergoes a psych evaluation on B Positive (8:30/9:30c), but it’s her nervous future kidney recipient Drew (Thomas Middleditch) who’s acting crazy… The support group on CBS’s Mom (9/8c) rallies behind Jill (Jaime Pressly) in her efforts to reignite her relationship with Andy (Will Sasso), though helping her stalk him and his new female partner probably isn’t the best approach.

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Gomorrah (streaming on HBO Max): Good news for fans of international crime drama: the Italian mob-family saga’s third season is finally available for U.S. streaming. Seen recently in Fargo, Salvatore Esposito returns in charge as Gennaro Savastano, who rules Naples and Rome, while women rise to power within his syndicate, including Annalisa (Cristina Donadio), a drug runner with leadership potential, and Patrizia (Cristiana Dell’Anna), a loyral soldier.

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grown-ish (8/7c, Freeform): Is Zoey (Yara Shahidi) having second thoughts about dropping out? The black-ish spinoff follows her post-college (for now) life as the third season resumes with her pursuing her dream job in fashion, on tour with Joey BADA$$. Back at Cal U, Jazz (Chloe Bailey) and Doug (Diggy Simmons) try to figure out what it means to put their relationship on pause.

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Plus, Brett Matthews has good news for fans of Lizzie and MG's evolving relationship.

Inside Thursday TV: On another busy Thursday for HBO Max, Looney Tunes Cartoons drops 10 new episodes, including the first full-length short featuring that devil Taz; the unscripted Selena + Chef returns for a second season, with Selena Gomez getting tips from celebrity chefs, including Curtis Stone, JJ Johnson and José Andrés; and the Spanish language dramedy Perfect Life (Vida Perfecta) premieres, about three dissatisfied 30something women seeking new paths to happiness… The CW’s Legacies (9/8c) kicks off its third season with Alaric (Matthew Davis) sending the students off-campus for their first field day, which becomes inconvenient when a medieval monster shows up looking for a challenge… Dateline NBC (10/9c) reports on the deadly July shooting at the home of U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas, which left her son dead and her husband critically wounded. Andrea Canning interviews Judge Salas as well as FBI Special Agent Joe Denahan… A docu-reality-comedy series with uplift, USA’s Rev (10:30/9:30c) takes a light-hearted look at the life of Long Island, N.Y. pastor Richard Hartley, a seasoned choir master and family man who’d like to see his millennial kids, Judea and Jordan, start their own lives outside the nest.