Katey Sagal headlines her own show as a rabble-rousing Rebel. Freeform’s deliriously quirky Everything’s Gonna Be Okay launches its second season. After acclaimed performances in Booksmart and Unbelievable, Kaitlyn Dever pops back into Last Man Standing before its final season wraps.
Here’s a new rebel yell: “Do the right thing quietly before I get awfully loud.” So quips Annie “Rebel” Bello, the latest memorable character in the arsenal of the versatile Katey Sagal. From bawdy Peg Bundy on Married with Children to the Lady Macbeth of bikers on Sons of Anarchy and most recently as Dan’s rocker girlfriend on The Conners, Sagal has range and infinite appeal. Which comes in handy in her earnest new project, inspired by the life of executive producer Erin Brockovich (a role that did very nicely for Julia Roberts back in the day). Rebel is a slinky, sneaky advocate for the underdog, unafraid to take on corporate giants in her quest for justice, a crusade that often involves members of her long-suffering but secretly admiring family. “She’s energized by injustice,” her lawyer daughter remarks. And if that energy has made her personal life a mess, that’s par for the TV course.
Everything’s Gonna Be Okay
The buoyant Josh Thomas (Please Like Me) is back as star and creator of this irreverent and most peculiar family comedy. He’s Nicholas, a gay Australian gadfly (with an entomologist’s obsession with bugs) who becomes guardian in sunny California to his orphaned half-sisters: the brilliant and autistic Matilda (Kayla Cromer) and the quirkily insecure Genevieve (Maeve Press). The second season picks up with back-to-back episodes, following Matilda’s unhappy visit to New York City, where she realized she couldn’t make it on her own at Juilliard after all. They’re all licking their wounds, including Nicholas’s boyfriend Alex (Adam Faison), as they try to figure out how to move on. In the second episode, that includes Matilda analyzing her relationship with autistic bestie Drea (Lillian Carrier) in full view of Drea’s fussy parents (Richard Kind and Maria Bamford).
Last Man Standing
As Tim Allen’s family sitcom nears its end, one of the show’s most rising stars returns for a visit. That would be Kaitlyn Dever, who played Eve for the first six seasons before moving on to a successful career in film (Booksmart) and prestige streaming (Netflix’s Unbelievable). She has recurred ever since, showing up in the final season only to discover it’s not that easy bonding with her little nieces. Also having trouble connecting: her brother-in-law Kyle (Christoph Sanders), who worries that his preaching lacks punch, so he turns to Ed (Hector Elizondo) for advice.
After a brief suspension, Clarice (Rebecca Breeds) is back on the VICAP beat, and a disturbing new case involving a 14-year-old boy found buried in a wall brings her a new partner: her BFF Ardelia Mapp (Devyn Tyler), who’s overjoyed to use her cold-case expertise for her first assignment out in the field. But suspicion grows among Clarice’s team when she insists that the mysterious lawyer (Raoul Bhaneja) handling her boss Krendler’s (Michael Cudlitz) divorce is the same man who assaulted her during her terrifying ordeal at the clinic.
Law & Order: Organized Crime
Still a work in progress, this spinoff for Christopher Meloni as Detective Stabler of SVU fame brings several new bodies into the Organized Crime task force, none of whom makes a very strong initial impression. As the team tracks a stolen shipment of COVID vaccines that may be connected to their main target, Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott), Stabler gets in the gangster’s face and also has a heart-to-heart with his ex-partner Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) that leaves neither party satisfied.
Inside Thursday TV:
- Meet the Press Reports (8/7c and 11/10c, NBC News Now; streaming Friday on Peacock): The weekly single-topic extension of the venerable Meet the Press brand returns for a second season of half-hour episodes, with anchor Chuck Todd and Morgan Radford exploring the disturbing rise in violent domestic extremism.
- No Activity (streaming on Paramount+): The offbeat police comedy gets animated—literally—for its fourth season, when Nick Cullen (voiced by Patrick Brammall) is promoted to FBI Special Agent status, while his former partner Tolbeck (Tim Meadows) adjusts to a new routine with Officer Reinhardt (Joe Keery). For Cullen, life as a Fed seems almost as dull as his old police beat until he catches wind of what may be an emerging cult.
- Walker (8/7c): A tornado blows through Austin, sending Walker (Jared Padalecki) and the Rangers to rescue loved ones at a school dance, while the storm triggers emotional epiphanies for his parents (Mitch Pileggi and Molly Hagan) and brother Liam (Keegan Allen).
- Station 19 (8/7c, ABC): Crossover alert: An incident involving a newlywed couple trapped in their car carries over into Grey’s Anatomy (9/8), so be forewarned.
- Mom (9/8c, CBS): Amends don’t come easy on this show, as Adam (William Fichtner) learns when he reaches out to a woman from his past, and Tammy (Kristen Johnston) visits the steakhouse she robbed back in her darker days.
- B Positive (9:30/8:30c, CBS): The great Linda Lavin (Alice) returns as nosy retiree Norma, who moves into Drew’s (Thomas Middleditch) house after she accidentally starts a fire at the retirement home. Wonder what she’ll have to say about Gina (Annaleigh Ashford) starting up a relationship with former football pro Eli (Terrence Terrell)?
- Chef Boot Camp (10/9c, Food Network): Cliff Crooks, culinary director of BLT Restaurant Group, oversees a three-day boot camp of cooking challenges for three struggling chefs, who had better step up to the plate if they want to save their careers.
- Fast Foodies(10:30/9:30c, truTV): Andy Richter is the latest guilty-pleasure gourmand to challenge the celebrity chefs to cook up a new twist on his favorite fast-food indulgence: the fish-and-cheese sandwich.