Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Ted Danson
Photo: Colleen Hayes (NBC)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Thursday, January 30. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

The Good Place (NBC, 8:30 p.m., 90-minute series finale): Here’s Dennis Perkins on “Patty,” the audacious, fiendishly funny, and ever-so-slightly heartbreaking penultimate episode of The Good Place:

The Good Place has never accepted platitudes, and so I won’t offer any here, except to say that the lessons of this show have always—always—stayed rooted in the individual. In what’s right for humanity, with no equivocation, and no compromise. That sucks for someone like Chidi Anagonye, whose innate understanding of the insoluble knots of cause and effect and downright mind-grinding contradictions that places us in every second of every day, but it’s why trying to do the right thing is so worthy. Overarching edicts and lofty promises of forever ignore the mess that is us, and inevitably leads to institutional injustice far greater than any crimes it’s intended to punish.

Now there’s a door. You can go through it if you like. Maybe tomorrow, maybe an eternity from tomorrow. As Eleanor Shellstrop and Chidi Anagonye settle onto the comfy-looking sofa of their shared ideal of a home together (they still fight over the blanket), the intimate, insignificant warmth of the domestic scene outdoes the glorious vista their shared window lays out before them. Everything is fine.

Tonight, whatever may happen with its wonderful characters—Team Cockroach (Kristen Bell, Manny Jacinto, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil), a Not-A-Girl Not-A-Robot Something-New (D’Arcy Carden), and the new boss of the nice part of the afterlife (Ted Danson)—The Good Place will end, by choosing to walk through its newest door and out of our lives, forever.


One last recap from Dennis Perkins, then our coverage—episode-by-episode at least—will walk through that door as well. Let’s throw ourselves a Flori-zona British library extravaganza and enjoy it while it lasts.

Regular coverage

Star Trek: Picard (CBS All Access, 3:01 a.m.)

Wild cards

30 For 30, “Vick — Part 1 (ESPN, 9 p.m.): “The new 30 For 30 installment “Vick”—directed by Stanley Nelson—is a two-part, four-hour deep dive into the former Atlanta Falcons QB’s rise and fall and eventual return. Part one covers Vick’s remarkable high school and college years, detailing how he emerged as one of the NFL’s most exciting players, all while handling an uncommon level of media scrutiny about his work ethic and off-field lifestyle. Part two (which airs the following Thursday, February 6) gets into what many people perhaps most remember about Vick: that he and his friends were arrested for running a dogfighting ring on his property.” Click here to read the rest of Noel Murray’s pre-air review.


Evil (CBS, 10 p.m., first-season finale): It shouldn’t be a surprise that a show created by Michelle and Robert King (The Good Wife, The Good Fight, BrainDead) has proven to be one of the most reliably entertaining, surprising, and occasionally profound shows on television. That’s their thing. Evil, the freshman CBS series starring Katja Herbers (Westworld), Mike Colter (Luke Cage), Aasif Mandvi (The Daily Show), and Michael Emerson (Lost), is entertainingly twisty and sometimes satirical, and it’s surprisingly scary in a holy-shit-how-is-this-on-CBS kind of way. Smart, blackly funny, well-acted, and a little bit ruthless, with one of the most compelling protagonists on the air in Kristen Bouchard (Herbers), it actually shares one big thing in common with The Good Place: It’s interested in tackling big questions in as entertaining and unexpected a fashion as possible, asking you to interrogate your most fundamental beliefs without ever providing too-easy answers.

Its terrific first season ends tonight with “Book 27,” and while we would never dare give away its secrets, we will say it made us very relieved that it’s already been renewed for a second season. Grab a cozy blanket and a margarita in a can, and enjoy.


Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.

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