Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine goes off-duty for the season, but We’re Here arrives right on time

Andre Braugher, Terry Crews; D.J. Pierce (Shangela), Caldwell Tidicue (Bob the Drag Queen), David Huggard (Eureka O’Hara)
Andre Braugher, Terry Crews; D.J. Pierce (Shangela), Caldwell Tidicue (Bob the Drag Queen), David Huggard (Eureka O’Hara)
Photo: Jordin Althaus (NBC), HBO

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Thursday, April 23. All times are Eastern.

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Top picks

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FX on Hulu, 3:01 a.m., season finale): You’d never know that dear old Brooklyn Nine-Nine was getting a little long in the tooth, but maybe a near-death experience can have that effect on a sitcom. Dan Goor and Michael Schur’s top-tier series has had an incredibly strong seventh (seventh!) season, as evidenced by last week’s terrific “Ransom.” Here’s LaToya Ferguson:

“Ransom” isn’t a non-stop action episode, but it provides set-up for it to veer into that territory. Once it does, it so clearly excels there too. It obviously goes with more comedic beats to tell the kidnapping story—not going full 1996’s Ransom—but once it reaches the episode-ending climax, it unleashes the type of cool action ending and fight scene that Brooklyn Nine-Nine just doesn’t usually go for. In an episode where Holt is packing grenades and punching through walls—for comedy’s sake—it only makes sense that the actual confrontation between Holt and the kidnapper would bring some heat. And it delivers on that expectation tremendously.

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The season ends as “a massive blackout hits Brooklyn,” so we’re guessing it’ll be pretty eventful—as will LaToya’s final recap for the season.
Can you binge it? Yep, the whole series to date (with the exception of tonight’s episode) awaits you on Hulu, and there’s no time like the present.

We’re Here (HBO, 9 p.m., series premiere): We’re Here is an easy sell to fans of Drag Race. What HBO couldn’t have counted on is how timely the series feels. With much of the world social distancing due to COVID-19, the importance of the arts to connect and bring people together has been underscored, as has the power of live performance... There is plenty to connect to on a thematic level, from explorations of gender presentation, small town life, and religion to the intersections of queer identity and race, and there’s plenty to connect to on an aesthetic or comedic level. For many right now, though, the opportunity to experience a taste of live performance, with a live audience, is enough of a reason to tune in. Regardless of motivation, or level of drag familiarity, We’re Here is a charming and engaging reality series and one well worth watching.” Read the rest of Kate Kulzick’s glowing pre-air review.

Regular coverage

Better Things (FX, 10 p.m.)

Wild cards

Superstore (NBC, 8 p.m., fifth-season finale): Like many shows, Superstore had to wrap its fifth season early, meaning the planned exit for Amy (America Ferrera) can’t go as planned. It’s a safe bet they’ll bring her back for a proper farewell at the beginning of the sixth season, whenever that might happen, but for now, tune in for an early, incomplete goodbye to the character that’s been the show’s anchor from day one.

Will & Grace (NBC, 9 p.m., series finale, again): It’s also the end of the road for this once-groundbreaking sitcom, at least until they bring it back again and completely ignore whatever happens in this second series finale.

Ghost In The Shell: SAC_2045 (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., series premiere): “A lot’s changed in the intervening time between Stand Alone Complex’s last installment, 2006’s Solid State Society, and this one, both onscreen and behind the scenes. Kenji Kamiyama returns as the series’ main writer and director, as does the original Japanese voice cast and their English counterparts. This time though, Kamiyama’s joined by co-director Shinji Aramaki, perhaps best known for his 2004 CG anime film Appleseed. Russian illustrator Ilya Kuvshinov succeeds Makoto Shimomura as the series’ new character designer, and Nobuko Toda and Kazuma Jinnouchi (Metal Gear Solid, Halo) replace Yoko Kanno (Cowboy Bebop) as SAC_2045’s chief composers. This new series is a co-production between Production I.G. and Sola Digital Arts, who produced last year’s Ultraman CG anime for Netflix and are slated to work on Adult Swim and Crunchyroll’s forthcoming Blade Runner: Black Lotus.” Read the rest of Toussaint Egan’s pre-air review.

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