Worth Watching: A Hospital Hacker on ‘Good Doctor,’ When TV Had ‘Soul,’ Family Ties on ‘Neighborhood,’ HBO Imports Swedish ‘Beartown’
A selective critical checklist of notable Monday TV:
The Good Doctor (10/9c, ABC): Freddie Highmore directs a strong episode focusing on his character’s girlfriend Lea (Paige Spiro), who drops her wisecracking carefree attitude when duty calls. She aims to prove her patronizing detractors — including Dr. Glassman (Richard Schiff) — wrong when she single-handedly takes on hackers who are holding the hospital hostage with a cyberattack. While the clock is ticking and the computers are down, Morgan (Fiona Gubelmann) continues on her road to character redemption by seeking a liver donor for a Down syndrome patient, and Claire’s (Antonio Thomas) ethics are tested when she treats a famous cancer survivor who doesn’t live up to his public image.
Mr. Soul! (10/9c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): From 1968 to 1973, a groundbreaking show titled Soul! brought Black culture in all of its rich variety to public TV stations across the country, exposing audiences to everything from roof-raising gospel and cutting-edge funk to provocative modern dance and incendiary poetry of the revolution. The show’s host and guiding spirit, the late Ellis Haizlip, is the focus of an acclaimed 2020 documentary, coming full circle on public TV as part of Independent Lens. Haizlip’s gentle persona masked a radical’s zeal for transforming a medium through words, movement and music that had never been granted such a wide platform. The clips still thrill.
The Neighborhood (8/7c, CBS): It’s all in the family when Beth Behrs‘ real-life husband, Michael Gladis (a Mad Men veteran), guests on the sitcom as a doctor visited by Calvin (Cedric the Entertainer) after neighborly Dave (Max Greenfield) pressures him to get a long-delayed physical. And guess who’s due for a colonoscopy?
Beartown (9/8c, HBO): Continuing to poach provocative series from its HBO Europe partner, the network premieres a five-part series from Sweden set in a struggling community that pins its hopes on the teen athletes of a junior ice-hockey team. Friday Night Northern Lights, anyone? Not exactly. Even as the team aims toward a national title, an act of violence could tear Beartown apart.
Inside Monday TV: Game Show Network revives the golden oldie Chain Reaction (5 pm/4c), which aired its last originals in 2016, bringing back Dylan Lane (2006-7) as host… Nat Geo WILD’s Pristine Seas: The Power of Protection (8/7c) follows National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Enric Sala around the world, from coral reefs to Arctic icebergs, on a mission to protect the planet’s precious oceans… Father-and-son first responders Owen (Rob Lowe) and T.K. (Ronen Rubinstein) navigate an actual minefield on Fox’s 9-1-1: Lone Star (9/8c), while EMT chief Tommy (Gina Torres) interviews candidates to replace a fallen member of her team… A new season of Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship (9/8c, also streaming on Discovery+) opens with a two-hour episode that tests the bakers with farm-inspired challenges… Callie Thorne (Rescue Me) guests on CBS’s Bull (10/9c) when the TAC team tackles a tricky First Amendment case involving a TV talking head whose accusation of murder led to a man’s suicide.