Worth Watching: Kevin James Leads ‘The Crew,’ a ‘9-1-1’ Origin Story, a Voice for Freedom, Inside Air Force One
A selective critical checklist of notable Monday TV:
The Crew (streaming on Netflix): Like a well-oiled engine, this solid and very traditional sitcom set in the world of NASCAR is a fun ride. Kevin James (The King of Queens) is back in his element as the crew chief for a struggling NASCAR racing team, which is further rocked when the team owner (Bruce McGill) steps down and hands over control to his daughter (Jillian Mueller), who’d like to make some changes. Standouts in the ensemble include Freddie Stroma (UnREAL, Bridgerton) as the team’s dimwitted driver and scene-stealer supreme Sarah Stiles (Get Shorty on Epix) as Beth, the snarky office manager who wonders if Kevin will ever find the right woman—which could be waiting for him right in this very garage.
9-1-1 (8/7c, Fox): What makes Buck (Oliver Stark) tick? We’ll find out in the series’ latest origin episode, when a family visit from his and sister Maddie’s (Jennifer Love Hewitt) parents — well played by Gregory Harrison and Dee Wallace — uncorks a long-hidden family secret. As Buck considers his painful past, he begins to understand why he’s such a reckless risk-taker on the job. Speaking of which, the 118 firefighters are called into action when workers are trapped in a five-alarm factory fire.
Voice of Freedom (9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): Hamilton‘s Renée Elise Goldsberry narrates this moving American Experience profile of legendary contralto singer Marian Anderson, who broke racial barriers around the world with her performances but was subjected to racism and segregation in her home country. The centerpiece of the documentary is her historic open-air performance in front of the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday of 1939, after she was barred from performing in Washington, D.C.’s Constitution Hall because of race.
The New Air Force One: Flying Fortress (10/9c, National Geographic): A new documentary goes inside the cutting-edge engineering and technological marvel that flies the commander in chief securely and sometimes secretly. The special features archival footage and interviews with past presidents, spotlighting those who care for and fly this mighty aircraft. This special is preceded by the two-hour North Korea: Inside the Mind of a Dictator (8/7c), which investigates the rule of Kim Jong Un, his family dynasty and how he has maintained his authority.
'Snowpiercer' Star Rowan Blanchard on Playing Alexandra, From Her Loyalties to Life Aboard Big Alice
Inside Monday TV: If you missed it on CNN, HBO Max begins streaming the terrific political/cultural profile of Jimmy Carter: Rock and Roll President… Two worlds collide on TNT’s Snowpiercer (9/8c) when selected crew members of Big Alice are granted “shore leave” on the mighty train. All eagerly await contact with Melanie (Jennifer Connelly) when the first weather balloon is launched… In the apocalyptic finale of HBO’s Spanish horror series 30 Coins (9/8c), Father Vergara (Eduard Fernández), Mayor Paco (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) and local vet Elena (Megan Montaner) face biblical demons as invaders seize the village, seeking the 30 coins that could unleash a satanic power… In a topical episode of ABC’s The Good Doctor (10/9c), a misdiagnosis by Claire (Antonia Thomas) has her questioning her own biases as well as the hospital’s and the healthcare system’s toward people of color.