Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Thursday, May 6. All times are Eastern.
Girls5eva (Peacock, 3:01 a.m., complete first season): “The quirky humor of Peacock’s musical comedy Girls5eva is a hallmark of series creator Meredith Scardino’s ongoing collaboration with executive producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. Scardino previously wrote on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and her work in Girls5eva serves up the same brand of highly specific absurdist jokes that powered the Netflix comedy, along with the rest of Fey’s oeuvre. The show’s frothiness is a welcome escape, its eight-episode first season a quick binge of amusingly ridiculous running jokes and witticisms (a hilarious one about a transparent piano named Ghislaine is an early standout). Girls5eva offers heightened scenarios and lets its four main actors—Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Busy Philipps, Paula Pell—revel in them, even if not all of the humor lands. Where Girls5eva struggles in matching its tone with cohesive storytelling.” Read the rest of Saloni Gajjar’s review of Girls5eva.
Legendary (HBO Max, 3:01 a.m., second-season premiere): While some reality shows are putting their COVID protocols front and center, you wouldn’t have any idea that the second season of Legendary was filmed in a pandemic if it wasn’t for the canned applause. A live audience for this season’s performances is obviously out of the question, but ballroom as an art form is so dependent on the energy exchange between performer and spectator that, despite the efforts of host Dashaun Wesley, the two-part season premiere, in which 10 houses are introduced and two cut from the competition, falls just a little flat. The effect is mitigated when the show shifts format in episode three, filling the empty space with behind-the-scenes footage of each team assembling outfits and routines for a glamorous “Tinseltown ball” whose interpretations range from flapper dresses and finger waves to ’80s aerobics chic. The show’s budget seems to have increased between seasons, based on the looks constructed for that episode by costume designer Johnny Wujek; the crew has grown as well, with Jamari Balmain from last season’s victorious House Of Balmain joining as a performance coach. The judging panel remains static, but that’s not to say that its members haven’t changed: Megan Thee Stallion has gotten even more famous between seasons (although you wouldn’t know it from her kind-hearted feedback), and Law Roach even gives out a couple of tens in the first three episodes. Imagine that! But even when it’s hemmed in by CDC guidelines, good ballroom performance is electrifying—who needs a studio audience when you’re screaming with delight in your living room?. [Katie Rife]
That Damn Michael Che (HBO Max, 3:01 a.m., second-season premiere): SNL’s Che “uses sketches and vignettes to illustrate what it feels like to experience various every-day situations including racial profiling, unemployment, falling in love and more” in this new six-episode series. Look for our coverage later this month. New episodes arrive weekly.
Clarice (CBS, 10 p.m.)
From Cradle To Stage (Paramount+, 3:01 a.m., series premiere): Director Gave Grohl and his mother, author and educator Virginia Hanlon Grohl, peer into the relationships between rock stars and the mothers who raised them in this series inspired by Virginia’s book of the same name.