Fernando Marrero/NBC/ Sony Pictures Television
Will Red Reddington (James Spader) make it out alive? Will the FBI Task Force stay in business? These and presumably many more questions will be addressed in the long-running thriller’s two-part series finale, concluding a 10-year run with more than 200 cases solved. Red has spent much of this final season erasing his ties to the Task Force, giving away his fortune, and saying goodbye to friends, but there are lingering mysteries surrounding his identity that fans are desperate to know. But first, the investigation by Congressman Hudson (Toby Leonard Moore) continues, which could decide the future of the Task Force — and Red.
Russ Martin /FX
What We Do in the Shadows
The fifth season of the rollicking vampire comedy picks up some two weeks after Guillermo (Harvey Guillén), the human “familiar” who yearns to be undead, begged his vamp buddy Derek (Chris Sandiford) to turn him. Did it work? Laszlo (Matt Berry) senses something’s off in “Gizmo,” but he, Nandor (Kayvan Novak), and Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) still find it too silly to imagine their meek slave could ever rise to their level. Besides, the consequences of a familiar turning to a vampire who’s not his master would be dire indeed. Gulp. While that intrigue swirls, the vamps enjoy an outing to a Staten Island mall, and in the second episode, the guys paint the town red — not in that way — with their human buddy Sean (Anthony Atamanuik), who wonders why they don’t drink like everyone else. Back at home, Nadja discovers a hex could be responsible for her recent streak of bad luck — including the sorry state of her alter-ego dolly.
Steven Soderbergh occasionally overstresses the circle imagery in writer Ed Solomon’s twisty and star-studded six-part urban nail-biter (two a week through July 27). Still, there’s a nagging sense of inescapable and interlocking fate in this account of a kidnapping gone awry that exposes secrets somehow linking a prosperous New York City family with gangsters from Guyana. The circular tale begins when superstitious crime boss Mrs. Mahabir (CCH Pounder) engineers the abduction of the teenage grandson of a celebrity chef (Dennis Quaid). The boy’s frantic parents (Claire Danes, Timothy Olyphant) and a dogged postal inspector (Atlanta’s Zazie Beetz) are quickly caught up in the mystery of how and why this is happening. Where it leads probably won’t be reassuring to anyone.
Dominic Miller/ Max
Project Greenlight: A New Generation
The fascinating docuseries that goes inside the process of filmmaking under the glare of reality-TV cameras returns with a new mentor, Insecure’s Issa Rae, whose goal is to give a young inexperienced female filmmaker a break. Working with industry pros Kumail Nanjiani (Welcome to Chippendales) and director-screenwriter Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Woman King), Rae and the Greenlight team advise Meko Winbush as she struggles to make her vision for the sci-fi film Gray Matter a reality. All 10 episodes are available for a binge, along with the finished film.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
More than 80 years ago, the classic comedy Ninotchka was marketed with the tagline “[Greta] Garbo Laughs!” It’s almost as surprising when Spock (Ethan Peck) bursts out in laughter, a condition of him becoming fully human after an alien encounter robs him of his Vulcan DNA — and his pointy ears. Another terrific episode of the Trek prequel mixes humor with emotion as Spock struggles with feelings like rage, hunger, and confusion — “I don’t care about logic!” — and his conflicted longing for Nurse Chapel (Jess Bush) at the worst possible time. Because he’s about to be reunited with his betrothed T’Pring (Gia Sandhu), who’s bringing along her skeptical parents for a ceremonial engagement dinner. Anson Mount as Capt. Pike also earns his share of laughs as he plays host, supporting his overwrought friend while trying to maintain the subterfuge.
INSIDE THURSDAY TV:
ON THE STREAM:
- Survival of the Thickest (streaming on Netflix): The vivacious Michelle Buteau stars in a comedy based on her memoir, playing Mavis, who at 38 is starting over as a single woman making it on her own as a body-positive celebrity stylist. She’s also a riot.
- And Just Like That (streaming on Max): Or you could watch Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) flirt with a handsome guy (Younger’s Peter Hermann) she helps injure while standing in a bike lane (an NYC no-no). And wonder why Che (Sara Ramirez) continues to put up with Miranda’s (Cynthia Nixon) increasingly witless, neurotic ways.
- The Jewel Thief (streaming on Hulu): A documentary profiles master thief Gerald Blanchard, a deceptively milquetoast-looking thrill seeker whose heists, including that of the Sisi Star jewel in Austria, led authorities on a global manhunt.