Worth Watching: ‘South Park’ Gets Vaccinated, ‘Last Chance U’ Shoots Hoops, ‘Masked Singer’ Joined by ‘Talents’
A selective critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:
South Parq (8/7c, Comedy Central, simulcast on MTV2): Subversive as ever — note the show’s temporary new spelling — the animated satire returns for an hourlong South Parq Vaccination Special perfectly timed to reflect the nation’s frenzy (or not, depending) for the COVID-19 vaccines. While the citizens of the twisted Colorado town clamor for a shot, the kids are busy taking on a militia group that’s trying to block their teacher from getting the vaccine. (If you missed last September’s Pandemic Special, Comedy Central repeats it at 7/6c, and the channel will also repeat the Vaccination Special instantly at 9/8c and 10/9c.)
Last Chance U: Basketball (streaming on Netflix): The inspiring sports docuseries transitions to the world of community college basketball in a new eight-episode series from Cheer‘s Greg Whiteley and the Last Chance U production team. The season tracks the East Los Angeles College Huskies in their bid to participate in the California state basketball championship. Off-court adversity for these young athletes could be their greatest test, as head coach John Mosley works to keep them on their game.
Also new to Netflix: Marriage or Mortgage, a reality show with a bit of HGTV and TLC in its DNA. Wedding planner Sarah Miller and real estate agent Nichole Holmes are the gurus in this 10-episode series, which asks couples to decide whether to splurge on a dream wedding or put those funds into the home of their dreams.
The Masked Singer (8/7c, Fox): Claws‘ Niecy Nash fills in for host Nick Cannon (who was diagnosed with COVID-19) as the fifth season of the over-the-top singing/costume competition gets underway. The most intriguing new character(s): Russian Dolls of the nesting variety. This is followed by the premiere of Game of Talents (9/8c), which reconfirms Fox’s reputation for delivering the loudest and most witless game shows in prime time. Wayne Brady hosts this ridiculous series which asks teams of two to guess people’s hidden extreme talents (bone-breaking, fire throwing, champion jump-roping) just by looking at them, with the vague help of often misleading clues. Makes To Tell the Truth look like a grad-school seminar.
Chicago P.D. (10/9c, NBC): Capping an all-new night for the Chicago-based procedurals, the police drama delivers an intense episode about the aftermath of a white officer’s shooting of a Black college student during a traffic stop. When Intelligence officers Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) and Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger), who are Black and white respectively, are called in to arrest the cop, the situation intensifies when they come under fire and it becomes clear someone in the gathering crowd doesn’t want them to make it back to the station.
Resident Alien (10/9c, Syfy): It’s so funny it’s almost sad as alien-in-disguise Harry (the brilliant Alan Tudyk) finds himself experiencing another one of those unpleasant human emotions: the feeling of failure, when he hits a wall in his search for the crash-landed ship. While processing self-doubt, he bonds with the most unlikely creatures and humans, before taking a big risk to return to the glacier.
Inside Wednesday TV: Ever wonder how they convert a stadium from concert stage back to a sports field? That’s the task confronting the working-class contestants on CBS’s Tough as Nails (8/7c)… The Syrian mission continues on CBS’s SEAL Team (9/8c), but when the Bravo buds learn the nature of their target, things get even more serious… The Fosters and Hunters get together on Freeform’s Good Trouble (10/9c) to send off Brandon (David Lambert) and Eliza (Megan West) with a Dutch-themed farewell party… In an episode of ABC’s The Con (10/9c) delayed from last November, the scheme-of-the-week is Anthony Gignac’s impersonation of a Saudi prince, intending to swindle Florida millionaires out of their fortune—until he makes a costly culinary mistake at a business lunch.