Worth Watching: ‘Snowfall’ Returns, ‘Nova’ Goes to Mars, ‘For Life’ Finale, Next Gen ‘Design Star’
A selective critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:
Snowfall (10/9c, FX): The provocative drug-trade drama’s fourth season opens at the dawn of 1985. President Reagan’s re-election provides a backdrop to the crack epidemic sweeping Los Angeles — and earning profits for young entrepreneurs like Franklin (Damson Idris), who’s recovering from last season’s gunshot injury. Of greater concern are the escalating gang wars and the arrival of investigative reporter Irene Abe (Suzy Nakamura), who’s determined to get to the bottom of South Central’s corruption.
Looking for Life on Mars (9/9c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): We’ve thrilled at the pictures and video sent back from Mars since the Perseverance rover landed on the planet’s Jezero crater last week. PBS’s signature science series Nova offers its take in a special episode that traces the mission’s development from May 2019 to the present, featuring interviews with members of the Mars 2020 team as they react to the successful landing and await results from the rover’s search for signs of ancient life.
Resident Alien (10/9c, Syfy): What would Dr. Harry (Alan Tudyk), the crash-landed alien in human disguise, make of the Mars mission? Probably not much, but for now he has more pressing concerns. Namely, the arrival of the wife he never knew Harry had. And she’s shown up at the most inopportune time, as he was about to dispose of those pesky kids who raided his basement. “Why do these creatures choose to spend their lives with someone else?” Harry wonders — but maybe he’ll reconsider when he discovers the value of a winter snuggle.
For Life (10/9c, ABC): Formerly incarcerated attorney Aaron Wallace (Nicholas Pinnock) faces his greatest legal battle since earning his freedom in the second-season finale. His team’s case, going after a police officer accused of killing an innocent and unarmed Black man, finally goes to trial, and tensions are high.
Design Star: Next Gen (9/8c, HGTV and Discovery+): The design competition that rewards the winner with a possible new HGTV show returns with some twists, including a customized “Design Hub” fake community built for the show, giving each of the eight contestants a house-like space that will be reconstructed for each week’s challenge. Dancing with the Stars‘ Allison Holker Boss hosts, with guest judge Jasmine Roth (Help! I Wrecked My House) joining judges Jonathan Adler and Lauren Makk for the first round.
Inside Wednesday TV: Netflix’s derivative Ginny & Georgia, which even announces itself as “Gilmore Girls with boobs,” stars Antonia Gentry and Brianne Howey as bookish 15-year-old Ginny and her more outrageous 30-year-old mom Georgia, who relocates the mixed-race family to small-town Massachusetts for a fresh start, which is another way of saying on-the-lam… Also new to Netflix: the six-part Canine Intervention, the latest inspirational show to feature a dog whisperer (Oakland’s Jas Leverette) who helps problem dogs and their owners work through obedience and discipline issues to correct extreme behavior… INSP’s Ultimate Cowboy Showdown (9/8c), with country singer Trace Adkins returning as host, wrangles 14 cowboys, four of them women, for a Texas-sized competition. The winner takes away a prize including $50,000 in livestock… We thought we’d seen the last of them, but happily, the funny ladies of IFC’s Baroness von Sketch Show (midnight/11c) are back with five bonus episodes to wrap their final season. In the opener, “Mercury Is in Retrograde,” which may explain why the Red Wine Ladies are heading to the cottage to imbibe.