Small screen delights include ‘The Good Fight,’ ‘The Greatest #At Home Videos,’ ‘Why Women Kill’
No one could be more wacky than Judge Wackner.
That’s clear on “The Good Fight,” where Mandy Patinkin is clearly having fun portraying a rogue judge with his court behind a Chicago copy shop. He strikes a bell when one lawyer or the other scores a point, and he sometimes makes plaintiffs and defendants wear animal costumes to ensure he and the jury are impartial.
The Paramount-+ series, which has new episodes on Thursdays, is among the quirky and fun shows on streaming services or TV this summer.
Another one is “Why Women Kill,” which surpassed its first season with a second season in its comedy, drama and plot twists. Like “The Good Fight,” it’s on the Paramount+ streaming service. All episodes from the season are available.
Back in the land of TV, a classic, “Fantasy Island,” has been rebooted — again. This time, actress, singer and songwriter Roselyn Sanchez plays
Elena Roarke, a descendant of Mr. Roarke, the congenial host played by Ricardo Montalban in the original ABC series in the 1970s. He was portrayed again by Ojai star Malcom McDowell in ABC’s 1998-99 series, but the character put aside Mr. Montalban’s white suits for a dark suit more fitting with a darker character. Both versions stream on Fox’s Tubi.
“Fantasy Island” was also rebooted as a 2020 horror movie in which guests’ dreams turn into nightmares.
Now the series is back on TV, and Elena has set aside her own dreams to grant the dreams of others, with an ironic twist.
The show also stars Kiara Barnes (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) as Ruby Okoro, a young woman with an old soul and John Gabriel Rodriquez as pilot Javier.
“Fantasy Island” airs at 9 p.m. Tuesdays.
Not to be missed is the fun on “The Good Fight,” whose executive producers include Robert and Michelle King, the Montecito couple who co-created the “Good Wife” spinoff with Phil Alden Robinson.
This season’s storylines include the absurdity and poignancy of Judge Wackner’s court, which raises the question of how far a rogue court can go without any official legal authority. You’d be surprised.
Another intriguing storyline is the complicated relationship between law firm partners Diane Lockhart and Liz Reddick (Christine Baranski and Audra McDonald respectively). They’re friends who can be rivals. Will the friendship win out?
This season also features good plot twists for investigator-turned-law associate Marissa Gold (Sarah Steele), who ends up as the clerk in the wacky court. Investigator Jay Dipersia (Nyambi Nyambi) is having hallucinations of historical figures talking to him, and Diane is getting advice from a legend. I won’t spoil who the legend is.
By the way, Mr. Patinkin, who appeared on shows such as “Chicago Hope” and “Criminal Minds,” told this writer once about his favorite character of all time. It’s not too inconceivable. He said his favorite was Inigo Montoya from “The Princess Bride” (1987), and Mr. Patinkln recited the signature line, which his character repeated without missing a beat in his swordfights: “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
Back to new shows. If you feel like binge-watching, “Why Women Kill” is ideal. Like the first season, the second season is a blend of comedy and drama and plays like the time period it’s set in. Set this season in 1949, the show feels like a 1940s comedy of errors.
Allison Tolman stars as Alma, who desperately wants to join an exclusive high-society club. But what will she have to become in the process?
Things get more complicated when Alma discovers her husband Bertram (Nick Frost), a sweet veterinarian, has a dark secret. And there’s a lot of other plot twists and surprises.
Like the first season, “Why Women Kill” goes beyond standard whodunits, leaving viewers wondering who will be the killers, who will be the victims and how will the deaths occur. This brilliant series was created by Marc Cherry, the creator of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives.”
And tonight, CBS is broadcasting the season premiere of “The Greatest #At Home Videos.” It’s hosted by singer Paula Abdul and Cedric the Entertainer.
Tonight, they surprise a shy college-bound babysitter, who became a viral sensation after a covert video showed her great singing voice. The show airs at 9 on KCOY, Channel 12, and you can catch episodes later on Paramount+.