Worth Watching: ‘Pooch Perfect,’ HBO’s ‘Last Cruise,’ ‘Supergirl’ Returns, the ‘Soul’ of Sports
A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
Pooch Perfect (8/7c, ABC): High camp is the tail that wags the dog in a dog-grooming competition that knows no end of canine puns. (The rounds are called “Immunity Puppertunity” and the “Ultimutt Challenge.”) Somehow, HBO Max scored the better title with Haute Dog, a similar show that got there first. The host of Pooch Perfect is Australian funny lady Rebel Wilson, who surprises everyone with her revelation that she comes from a long line of dog-show handlers. One of the judges, Real Housewives veteran Lisa Vanderpump, declares early on, “I can’t do this show. I’m going to be an emotional mess.” I have my own reasons for turning tail. Your tolerance for this show will depend on your enthusiasm for watching adorable pups beadazzled and slathered in paint (non-toxic) as if they were flower arrangements with tails. I found it all about as flavorful as a stale Milk-Bone biscuit, but I was moved by the stylists’ stories about their “heart dog” soulmates.
The Last Cruise (9/8c, HBO): Among the industries hardest hit by the pandemic was the cruise-ship business, and here’s why. This documentary includes revealing first-person footage recorded by passengers and crew aboard the Diamond Princess during weeks of quarantine after setting sail from Yokohama in January 2020. More than 700 on board were infected in one of the earliest waves of the pandemic, and as they floated in the harbor, the ship became a symbol of COVID-19’s insidious power.
Supergirl (9/8c, The CW): The superhero series returns for its sixth and final season, with Supergirl Kara (Melissa Benoist) flying into battle against Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer), whose VR program has brainwashed half the world into following him blindly. (QAnon’s got nothing on Luthor.) Thankfully, Team Kara — including Lena (Katie McGrath) and Alex (Chyler Leigh) — still has enough sense to be able to help her in her mission.
Soul of a Nation (10/9c, ABC): No series about the modern Black experience would be complete without an exploration of the intersection between sports and activism in today’s society. Journalist Jemele Hill is the guest host of the hour, with reports including ESPN’s Michael Wilbon surveying Black athletes about the risks they take in advocating publicly for racial justice. Delivering the weekly musical highlight: Common, with the first public performance of “Get It Right” from his forthcoming spring album A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 2.
The Historical Crime Blotter: PBS’s American Experience looks back at The Blinding of Isaac Woodard (9/8c, check local listings at pbs.org), a horrific 1946 incident in which a Black soldier returning home from WWII service is beaten and blinded in South Carolina by a police chief who is later acquitted by an all-white jury. The case would be a catalyst for the civil-rights movement. … The three-part Discovery+ docuseries American Cartel revisits a 2003 shootout in Burbank that left a police officer dead and led to an investigation revealing the ties of a local gang to dangerous Mexican drug cartels.
Inside Tuesday TV: Lifetime closes out Women’s History Month with Women Making History (8/7c), a special featuring Vice President Kamala Harris and other trailblazers. Among those profiled: immunologist Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Amanda Nguyen, Pawnee Nation activist Crystal Echo Hawk, and Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday)… In the best episode to date of NBC’s Young Rock (8/7c), little Dewey (Adrian Groulx) spends an entire day with the surprisingly gentle Andre the Giant (Matthew Willig), who changes his outlook on life forever… OWN raises the roof during Holy Week with Our OWN Easter (9/8c), a gospel music special hosted by BeBe Winans and his niece, Greenleaf’s Deborah Joy Winans. The hour features spoken-word segments and musical highlights including performances by Fantasia, CeCe Winans, Kirk Franklin and many more… HGTV’s Unsellable Houses (9/8c) features twin real-estate pros Lyndsay Lamb and Leslie Davis working their magic on ho-hum homes that aren’t attracting buyers, turning these liabilities into must-have properties… The latest crisis for NBC’s New Amsterdam (10/9c): the hospital’s shrinking blood supply. Dr. Max (Ryan Eggold) to the rescue!