From FX, a second season of the hit drama set behind the scenes of a family restaurant in Chicago is all about renovation and renewal. Celebrity chef Carmy “The Bear” Berzatto (Emmy lead Jeremy Allen White) has closed his family’s beef sandwich joint and, with ambitious sous chef Sydney (Ayo Edebiri), hopes to turn the space into a destination luxury dining. The 10-episode season features one crisis after another as the walls literally crumble around them, but there’s also an opportunity for each of the chefs to grow, including leader/manager/”cousin” Richie (the sensational Ebon Moss-Bachrach). The entire season is available for binge-watching, and nothing will prepare you for the terrifying Christmas flashback in episode 6, a tour de force with surprise guests that illustrates what a miracle it is that any of the Berzatto survived these family gatherings. Bear it has all the flavors of great television: comedy, tragedy, drama both tender and raw, and a cast that rises to any challenge.
And just like that…
When Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) chirps, “Life’s too short not to try something new,” you might wonder why, if that’s the case they still do. Sex and the city episodes well past the expiration date. Gay Anthony (Mario Cantone) may not be the only one poking fun at the show’s “rich people’s problems,” as a second season of the romantic sitcom sequel kicks off with preparations for the Met Ball, in which one character rants out loud then when presented with a choice: “Man or Met? Is the universe really that cruel?” On the opposite coast, the increasingly neurotic Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) accompanies rising comic Che (Sara Ramirez) as she develops an ABC comedy pilot. In what universe?
And Exactly It made headlines recently when it was leaked that Kim Cattrall would make a brief cameo sometime this season, reprising her much-missed character Samantha – in a phone call. If you’re looking for more Cattrall, she delivers The Devil Wears Prada all as cosmetics CEO Madolyn Addison. The romantic comedy stars non-binary performer Miss Benny as Marco Mejia, a gender non-affirming high school senior who lands a dream job as Madolyn’s intern. Or it’s a nightmare, when he assigns Marco to spy on his employees at Glamorous Cosmetics to uncover possible corporate espionage at the struggling new company.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Allegory alert! In the second episode of the new season, Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) leaves Business to advocate for his First Officer “Number One” Una Chin-Riley (Rebecca Romijn), who was arrested in the Season 1 cliffhanger for lying to Starfleet about her genetically modified status as an Illyrian. When she rejects a plea deal for an honorable discharge, a tribunal ends up indicting the institutional harm of Starfleet, when Una is accused just for being who she is.
Inside TV THURSDAY:
- NBA Draft (8/7c, ABC and ESPN): Let the trading games begin. As representatives of 30 professional basketball teams gather at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to make their picks, there seems to be at least one certainty: san antonio spursfirst in line, will attract the top prospect Victor Wembanyamathe 7-foot-5 phenom from France.
- Blacklist (8/7c, NBC): Red (James Spader) gets more than he bargained for when he tries to broker a meeting between two rival families.
- TMZ Investigates: Amazon’s Miracle Children (8/7c, Fox): Muckraking TMZ looks at the story of the miraculous rescue of four children, including a 1-year-old, from the Colombian jungle who survived 40 days after a fatal plane crash in May. TMZ suggests some aspects of the story don’t stand up to scrutiny.
- Project Runway All-Stars (9/8c, Bravo): Designers turn to toys at FAO Schwarz for inspiration for their next catwalk look.
ON THE FLOW:
- The other two (streaming on Max): The show-biz satire grows increasingly muddled as it nears the end of its third season. Brooke (Heléne Yorke) goes undercover to see if her saintly nurse ex-boyfriend Lance (Josh Segarra) has used a publicity stunt to catch him people cover-while brother Cary (Drew Tarver) hires his own team to try to land an Oscar-bait role. Both are about to wake up after mom Pat (Molly Shannon) meets her friend’s “normal” kids in Ohio, which have to be seen to be believed.
- Liv Ullmann — A Road Less Traveled (streaming on Viaplay): A three-part docuseries celebrates the life and career of actress-author-humanitarian Liv Ullmann, the Norwegian actress and longtime collaborator of Ingmar Bergman, who received an honorary Oscar in 2022. Among those who testify to the talent and character them: Cate Blanchett, Jessica Chastain, John Lithgow, Jeremy Irons and Sam Waterston.
- Downey’s Dream Cars (streaming on Max): A six-part docuseries (two episodes weekly) reveals Robert Downey Jr.’s obsession with restoring classic cars, which in recent years has involved retrofitting them to make them more energy efficient, recognizing the changes climatic.
- Sweep clean (streaming on Sundance Now and AMC+): A six-part Irish crime thriller centers on Shelly (Charlene McKenna), a housewife and mother who has hidden her dark past from her family—until she kills to protect her secret and her detective husband (Barry Ward) is put on the case.