Worth Watching: ‘Goldbergs’ Hits 200, Oscar Watch on Streaming (‘West Side Story, ‘Drive My Car’)
The long-running The Goldbergs marks its milestone 200th episode with daughter Erica heading down the aisle-she hopes. Two major Oscar contenders, West Side Story and Drive My Car from Japan, make their streaming debuts. Is New York City ready for a visit from Harry, the Resident Alien? Things get serious on The Conners when the family goes into lockdown after a shooting in the neighborhood.
What better way to mark a milestone 200th episode than with a wedding—not that the nuptials of Erica (Hayley Orrentia) and Geoff (Sam Lerner) are destined to go smoothly. (This is The Goldbergs, after all.) First, there’s the matter of a deposit that never got made at the venue. Then a forecast for a looming storm, which doesn’t even take into account Hurricane Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey), who has her own vision for the ceremony. Pop star Richard Marx plays himself, singing “Right Here Waiting,” so you might as well get the rice ready.
Mark your Oscar ballots now for Ariana DeBose to continue her sweep on the awards circuit as the fiery Anita in Steven Spielberg’s wonderful remake of the Leonard Bernstein–Stephen Sondheim musical classic. This rousing film, which features the immortal Rita Moreno (who won an Oscar as Anita in the 1961 version), deserved a better fate at the box office, but can now be enjoyed on streaming anytime.
Also nominated for a best-picture Oscar, as well as best international film, director and adapted screenplay, Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s acclaimed expansion of Haruki Murakami’s short story makes its early streaming debut. The film tracks the relationship of a widowed theater director and his driver while mounting a production of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya.
How exciting for Harry (Alan Tudyk), the alien in human disguise, to find himself in the land of Law & Order, the show whose reruns helped him learn the ways of our peculiar species. Arriving in New York City after a personal tragedy, with Asta (Sara Tomko) at his side to urge him to “avoid attention,” Harry is overcome with sensation: “Why does this city smell like so many things ripening at once?” (This Manhattan-ite seconds that opinion.) But it wouldn’t be Resident Alien if things didn’t go sideways, and Harry’s trippy misadventures make him right at home amid the flotsam of Times Square.
Long accustomed to using comedy for getting through rough times, the family sitcom tackles another contemporary crisis—gun violence—when the family goes into lockdown at home after a shooting in the neighborhood. There’s a viewer discretion advisory for this episode.
In the penultimate episode of the unexpectedly engrossing celebrity docudrama, Pamela Anderson (Lily James) is dismayed that the furor over her and husband Tommy Lee’s (Sebastian Stan) sex tape is upstaging the premiere of her big-screen flop Barb Wire. (Maybe this is a blessing in disguise?) As for Rand (Seth Rogen), the boob who stole the tape and set the scandal in motion, he’s forced to work for the loan shark (Andrew Dice Clay) whose investment in the tape hasn’t paid off the way anyone expected.
- The Amazing Race (8/7c, CBS): The season that was halted by the pandemic goes into its final legs in a two-hour finale, with the final four teams racing through Portugal on their way to Los Angeles, where the finish line beckons with a $1 million first prize.
- DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (8/7c, The CW): In the Season 7 finale, the Legends are desperate to get back to their original timeline, racing to find time-traveling pioneer Gwyn (Matt Ryan), while team leader Sara (Caity Lotz) tries to hide key intel from wife Ava (Jes Macallan).
- Batwoman (9/8c, The CW): A showdown with Ryan (Javicia Leslie) and her Batpals is inevitable now that brother Marquis (Nick Creegan) is armed with the Joker’s favorite weapon, ramping up his plan against Gotham City.
- Next Level Chef (9/8c, Fox): The final three cheftestants work their way up—literally—in the last round, with appetizers in the basement kitchen, seafood dishes in the middle and a meat entrée on the top floor. The winner gets $250,000 and a year-long mentorship with Gordon Ramsay, Richard Blais and Nyesha Arrington.
Inside Wednesday TV:
- Against the Ice (streaming on Netflix): Game of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau co-wrote and stars in a historical survival drama as Captain Enjar Mikkelson of Denmark’s 1909 Arctic Expedition, which set out to prove that Greenland is one large island (not two as originally thought). Teamed with inexperienced crew member Iver Iverson (Joe Cole), Mikkelson battles the elements, hunger, fatigue, disorientation—and a polar bear attack—only to return to find their ship is crushed in the ice and they’re on their own.
- The Wonder Years (8:30/7:30c, ABC): Dean (Elisha “EJ” Williams) is understandably excited when his teacher is replaced during her maternity leave by Mr. Brady (Friday Night Lights’ Gaius Charles), the school’s first Black teacher. It becomes a bumpy relationship when Dean tries out for the Knowledge Bowl.
- Good Sam (10/9c, CBS): The Young and the Restless alum Victoria Rowell joins the hospital drama in a recurring role as hospital board chairwoman Tina Kingsley, who’s also Malcolm’s (Edwin Hodge) mother. Maybe she can do something about this endless father-daughter war of the Griffiths.