Another blow for Netflix as it loses two of its more enduring hits, with the final episodes of Ozark and Grace and Frankie dropping on the very same day (cannibalization of content being another source of Netflix concern). Apple TV+ also bids adieu to two strong series, with season finales of Slow Horses and Pachinko, while launching the trippy thriller Shining Girls starring Elisabeth Moss. On CBS, Blue Bloods continues its long run, having just been renewed for a 13th season. The French comedy hit Call My Agent! now sports a British accent in the UK adaptation, Ten Percent.
“I’m taking it one catastrophe at a time,” bemoans Wendy Byrne (the chilling Laura Linney) as the thriller’s gripping final episodes unfold. Can she and her more passive-aggressive partner in crime Marty (the expertly brooding Jason Bateman) get out of the mess with the Mexican cartel and local underworld with their broken family intact? Won’t be easy, not with a grieving Ruth Langmore (Emmy winner Julia Garner) on the rampage. Buckle up, we already know it’s going to be a bumpy ride for all.
Grace and Frankie
Also taking a final bow, more bittersweet than brutal, is the golden-age buddy comedy starring Lily Tomlin (Frankie) and Jane Fonda (Grace). There will be poignant moments, many involving their exes Robert (Martin Sheen) and Sol (Sam Waterston), when Robert begins experiencing accelerating memory loss to Sol’s distress. Few comedies have dealt more frankly and humorously with the challenges and delights of aging, and to add to the nostalgic fun, there will be a bit of a Nine to Five nostalgia vibe when Dolly Parton makes a heralded guest appearance.
And then there are shows that seemingly go on forever. Not that fans are complaining. CBS’s longtime Friday night anchor was just renewed for a 13th season, and this week’s episode illustrates its appealing blend of police and family drama. Commissioner Frank (Tom Selleck) has his hands full when he learns of father Henry’s (Len Cariou) troubling medical diagnosis, then deals with son Jamie’s (Will Estes) dilemma when he fears losing his badge after he’s caught driving under the influence after unwittingly imbibing drugs at a party.
For a show about disgraced spies put out to pasture, this darkly amusing series delivers its share of thrills, including in the season finale as the “slow horses” of Slough House take on their own duplicitous bosses as they race to rescue a young hostage from his psycho kidnapper. “What kind of spy are you?” wonders a participant in the intrigue, to which young River (Jack Lowden) answers, “Kind of hard to tell, really.” With the understanding that, as another character puts it, “Even the best spies have their time in the cold,” it’s with a warm heart that I await a second season (based on the book sequel Dead Lions) later this year.
No word yet on a second season of this epic drama about Koreans living under Japanese domination. There’s so much more story to tell from Min Jin Lee’s source material, which reaches a turning point when Sunja’s (Kim Min-ha) husband Isak (Steve Sanghyun Noh), whom she knows only as a kindly minister, is arrested as a political agitator. Stay tuned at the end to hear moving testimonies from real-life Sunjas.
If you’ve seen Netflix’s French comedy import Call My Agent!, then you’ve pretty much seen this sparkling British adaptation. Like the Americanized version of The Office, which also took some time to develop its own identity, this bears watching. Jack Davenport (The Morning Show) stars as the head of a posh London talent agency with a famous clientele, often played by actual stars mocking their own personas. In the opener, Boardwalk Empire’s Kelly Macdonald appears as herself, none too pleased when she learns her agent (Prasanna Puwanarajah) is trying to shield her from an unpleasant career setback. Naturally, the agents have plenty of personal baggage of their own to deal with. Episodes also air Sundays at 10/9c on BBC America.
Also on the Stream:
- Shining Girls (streaming on Apple TV+): Elisabeth Moss brings a nervous emotional intensity to an unnerving thriller based on Lauren Buekes’ novel. What’s real and unreal is rarely clear as Kirby (Moss), who works in a Chicago newspaper archive, suspects the person who assaulted her several years ago may be at it again. As she tries to interest a reporter (Wagner Moura) in her suspicions, he and we become alarmed when her perception of reality keeps shifting. In a busy day for Apple, premieres include the 1976 Peanuts cartoon, It’s Arbor Day, Charlie Brown, and a seven-part surfing docuseries, Make or Break, going behind the scenes at the World Surf League Championship Tour.
- Undone (streaming on Prime Video): A second season of the haunting rotoscope-animated dramedy continues Alma’s (Rosa Salazar) exploration into her family’s mysterious past.
- Crush (streaming on Hulu): A teen rom-com stars Snowpiercer’s Rowan Blanchard as an aspiring artist who tries out for the track team to win the girl of her dreams but gets caught in a romantic triangle.
- Corrective Measures (streaming on Tubi): One of Bruce Willis’ final acting roles is in this turbo-charged action film set at an Uber-max prison housing monsters, cyborgs and supervillains. Willis is Julius “The Lobe,” a notorious super-genius, with Michael Rooker the corrupt warden and The Flash’s Tom Cavanagh as the chaos-bringing “Conductor.”
Inside Friday TV:
- Bushwick Bill: Geto Boy (8/7c, Showtime): The latest in the network’s Hip Hop 50 series of documentaries is a profile of the late Richard Shaw, Jamaican-American rapper and producer known professional as Bushwick Bill, an original member of Houston rap group The Geto Boys.
- Dynasty (9/8c, The CW): It’s a mini-Melrose Place reunion when Daphne Zuniga guest-stars as Sonya, a college chum of Blake’s (Grant Show) who cozies up to the magnate during a Yale alumni event.
- Dateline NBC (9/8c, NBC): Andrea Canning reports on a case reaching back to 1991, when 5-year-old Timmy Wiltsey was reported missing from a New Jersey carnival. His mother, Michelle Lodzinski, became a prime suspect in a decades-long investigation.
- International Jazz Day Celebration (10/9c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): Michael Douglas hosts a global concert featuring rhythm kings and queens from Angola to Zimbabwe. Performances include Herbie Hancock, Andra Day (singing “God Bless the Child” with him), Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves and more.
- The Fire Still Burns: 30 Years After the L.A. Riots (11/10c, CNN): Van Jones revisits the violent 1992 uprising that followed the Rodney King verdict, examining the social conditions that helped stoke the eruption and how things have or haven’t changed.
- The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (11:35/10:35c, NBC): Musician Shawn Mendes co-hosts a special episode, accompanying Jimmy during the monologue, performing his new single “When You’re Gone” and welcoming guest Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Broadway’s Take Me Out).