Third time’s the charm for the comedy caper Psych and for Netflix’s Princess Switch franchise, each streaming a new movie. A newly promoted Capt. Burnham takes the helm of Star Trek: Discovery in its fourth season. HBO Max reveals The Sex Lives of College Girls in a comedy co-created by Mindy Kaling. Echoes of The Big Bang Theory in Young Sheldon when Howard Wolowitz temporarily takes over narration duties.
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The quippy mystery-comedy, a USA Network staple from 2006-14, is back for its third feature-length movie. (Love the punny title, sending up one of NBC’s biggest hits.) Longtime sidekick Gus (Dulé Hill) takes center stage as he heads toward matrimony with his pregnant fiancée (Jazmyn Simon)—but first he and fake psychic Shawn (James Roday Rodriguez) have to track down Selena’s estranged hubby. A subplot involves Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) considering his future after his stroke, but we figure as long as Shawn and Gus are in his life, the eye-rolls will keep everyone’s spirits aloft.
How many Vanessa Hudgens can one rom-com franchise take? The number appears to be three, with the star reprising her roles as Queen Margaret of Montenaro, lookalike Princess Stacy of Belgravia and Margaret’s very naughty cousin Fiona (introduced in 2020’s Switched Again sequel). This time, Fiona is on their side, enlisted to help retrieve a priceless relic, a caper that teams her with a dashing mystery man from her past. What are the odds another Christmas romance will be kindled?
“Let’s fly!” This is the watchcry of Discovery’s newly promoted Capt. Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) as a fourth season of the Trek spinoff gets underway. The crew’s initial mission, dropping gifts of precious dilithium on planets once isolated during “the Burn,” makes for a fun cold open. But a distress call soon introduces a daunting new threat to the Federation, when they’re confronted by a powerful Anomaly that deeply affects one of Burnham’s newer crewmates. And while everyone recognizes what a hero Burnham is, her leadership abilities are challenged by the Federation’s new president, warning the new Captain that risking the many for the few isn’t always a viable policy.
Mindy Kaling (Never Have I Ever) moves from high school to higher education—make that sex education—as co-creator (with Justin Noble) of a new comedy about four very different college roomies at a prestigious New England university. It’s as much about friendship as raging hormones as we get to know jock Whitney (Alyah Chanelle Scott), who’s a bit too close to her soccer coach, closeted trust-fund city girl Leighton (Renée Rapp), randy aspiring comedian Bela (Amrit Kaur) and naïve scholarship student Kimberly (Pauline Chalamet).
In a fun nod to the show’s The Big Bang Theory origins, adult Sheldon (Jim Parsons) not-so-graciously shares narration duties with his long-suffering friend Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg in voice-over)—because the subject of the week is Howard’s specialty: engineering. In particular, young Sheldon’s (Iain Armitage) first college engineering class, where he engages in a battle of wills with the unyielding Professor Boucher (Bosch’s Lance Reddick, not typically seen in comedy). Reba McEntire returns in a subplot as Dale’s (Craig T. Nelson) ex-wife June, stuck in a chair with a cast and needing a little help from her friends, including “Meemaw” Connie (Annie Potts), now Dale’s main squeeze.
Inside Thursday TV:
- Ghosts (9/8c, CBS): In another delightful outing of the supernatural comedy, Sam (Rose McIver) becomes the unwilling middleman when she agrees to help a dejected Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) play Dungeons & Dragons with several eager ghosts. But she probably shouldn’t have meddled in the complicated relationship between Isaac (Brandon Scott Jones) and a British Redcoat (John Hartman) who lives with other soldiers in a shed on the property.
- Music Box: Jagged (8/7c, HBO): Bill Simmons’ music docuseries continues with a look back at the impact of Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” in 1995 and how the artist’s emotional honesty helped crack the glass ceiling of the male-dominated music industry.
- Grey’s Anatomy (9/8c, ABC): Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) faces a Thanksgiving crisis when inclement weather disrupts her holiday plans. Nick (Scott Speedman) to the rescue!
- Every Time a Bell Rings (streaming on Hallmark Movies Now): The Hallmark Christmas deluge expands to its streaming platform with an original film about three sisters (Erin Cahill, Brittany Ishibashi and Ali Leibert) who reunite and reconnect in their Natchez hometown when they discover their late father prepared a scavenger hunt for them to find the family’s wishing-bell heirloom.
- The Jenkins Family Christmas (streaming on BET+): Another holiday sister act features Regina Taylor and Kim Coles as squabbling sibs trying to keep their late father’s Christmas traditions alive—until the half-sister they never knew shows up to add some spice to the festivities.
- Dogs in Space (streaming on Netflix): An animated comedy travels with genetically enhanced pooches on a galactic mission to find new digs for their human owners, whom they miss terribly.
- Anna (streaming on AMC+): Just what we need: more dystopia. This six-part Italian thriller (dropping episodes weekly) is set in a world where a virus killed all the adults, leaving only children behind. Newcomer Giulia Dragotta plays Anna, seeking her kidnapped brother amid abandoned cities and parches fields, with only a book left by her mother for survival advice.
- Hollington Drive (streaming on Sundance Now): More international thrills in a four-part British crime drama starring The Bletchley Circle’s Anna Maxwell Martin and Rachael Sterling as sisters who worry their children may be involved in the disappearance of a neighborhood playmate.
- The Real Housewives: Ultimate Girls Trip (streaming on Peacock): Stars from the Atlanta, Beverly Hills, New Jersey and New York City franchises come together for the first time for an eight-episode getaway to Turks and Caicos. And you thought regular tourists’ selfies were annoying.
- Partners in Rhyme (streaming on ALLBLK): There’s a rap generation gap in this seven-episode sitcom starring MC Lyte as a hip-hop pioneer who’s dropped by her label and takes in her rising-Instagram-star rapper niece (Precious Way) to become her manager in hopes of paying off some debts.