Tom Cavanagh Returns to ‘Blue Bloods,’ Apple’s ‘Dear Edward,’ a Controversial ‘Stand,’ ‘Spoiler Alert’ on Peacock
Tom Cavanagh, who last guest-starred on Blue Bloods in Season 4, returns as Danny's troubled friend. The Apple TV+ drama Dear Edward explores grief after a plane crash where only one passenger, a 12-year-old boy, survived. A Showtime sports documentary profiles the controversial ex-NBA star Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf. Peacock begins streaming Spoiler Alert, based on TV journalist Michael Ausiello's memoir.
Shortly before he began his long run on The Flash, Tom Cavanagh (Ed) appeared on this long-running police/family drama in a Season 4 episode back in 2013 as Mickey Patrick, Danny's (Donnie Wahlberg) childhood friend who was then entangled with a Florida crime family. Nearly a decade later, Mickey re-enters Danny's life, asking for his old buddy's help in finding his missing fiancee. In other developments, Erin (Bridget Moynahan) is surprised by Anthony (Steven Schirripa) with one last stakeout before her run for D.A., and Frank (Tom Selleck) encounters a woman who confesses she killed her husband.
Fans of tear-jerkers who've longed for a fix since This Is Us went off the air might flock to Jason Katims' (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) adaptation of Ann Napolitano's novel about the emotional aftershocks of a plane crash where the sole survivor is 12-year-old Edward (the soulful Colin O'Brien). Taylor Schilling (Orange Is the New Black) is excellent as his unhappily childless aunt Lacey, who takes in the "miracle boy" while joining a grief support group, whose stories (and uneven subplots) become the focus of a drama about forging new relationships and assessing paths not taken in the wake of tragedy.
A sports documentary profiles the life and pro basketball career of Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (born Chris Jackson in Gulfport, Mississippi), who rose out of poverty and combated Tourette's Syndrome to become an NBA star. After converting to Islam and changing his name in the 1990s, Abdul-Rauf became a lightning rod for controversy when he refused to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner" in protest for what he declared was America's long history of oppression. Among those recalling his legacy: Stephen Curry, Steve Kerr, Shaquille O'Neal, Ice Cube and Oscar winner Mahershala Ali.
While Dear Edward takes the process of grief very seriously, this dramedy finds humor in widowed therapist Jimmy (Jason Segel) channeling his angst by getting too involved in his patients' lives. His most ardent critic is his boss Paul (the terrific Harrison Ford), who's doing some off-the-books counseling himself with Jimmy's daughter Alice (Lukita Maxwell). In the therapists' office, Gaby's (Jessica Williams) newly single status is raising eyebrows. Or, as Paul puts it: "Divorce is always hardest on the co-workers."
Another emotional study of grief, couched in the rhythms of a fact-based romcom, adapts TV journalist Michael Ausiello's memoir of his relationship with his late partner, Kit. The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons is Michael, who falls for Kit (Ben Aldridge of the new feature Knock at the Cabin) and vice versa, despite Michael's extensive (and well-documented) Smurf collection. Their sometimes rocky romance, with support from Sally Field and Bill Irwin as Kit's parents, is forever altered (spoiler alert) by Kit's diagnosis with a rare cancerous tumor. Be sure to have tissues handy before starting this warm, funny-sad film.
ALSO ON THE STREAM:
Harlem (streaming on Prime Video): The acclaimed comedy about four besties in the New York borough returns for a second season of relationship and friendship melodramedy for Camille (Meagan Good), Quinn (Grace Byers), Tye (Jerrie Johnson) and Angie (Shoniqua Shandai). Guest stars include Whoopi Goldberg, Jasmine Guy, Sherri Shepherd and Lil Rel Howery.
True Spirit (streaming on Netflix): An inspirational fact-based film follows Jessica Watson (Teagan Croft), the youngest person to sail the ocean solo, on a treacherous 210-day journey.
Death in Paradise (streaming on BritBox): In Season 12 of the light mystery, DI Neville Parker (Ralf Little) solves more crimes in the glorious Caribbean setting of Saint Marie, starting with the death of a celebrity astronomer.
Children Ruin Everything (streaming on The Roku Channel): "Are we in hell?" wonders Astrid (Meaghan Rath), who with husband James (Aaron Abrams) raise their kids in a hilariously hectic household in Season 2 of the hit Canadian comedy.
Rowdy (streaming on Amazon Freevee): An up-close look at Kyle Busch, NASCAR's best and most polarizing racer, focuses on his serious 2015 injury and incredible recovery.
Killing County (streaming on Hulu): From ABC News Studios and executive producer Colin Kaepernick, a three-part true-crime docuseries explores alleged corruption and cover-up within the Bakersfield (Ca.) police department in the wake of a shootout at a local hotel.
INSIDE FRIDAY TV:
Young Rock (8:30/7:30c, NBC): Dwayne looks back at the young misadventures of wrestling colleagues Pat Patterson, Andre the Giant and Peter Maivia.
True Crime Watch: On Dateline NBC (9/8c), Keith Morrison reports on how a high-speed car chase in Montana reveals the story of one of the state's most heinous crimes. ABC's 20/20 (9/8c) features Juju Chang's interview with Nikki Addimando, a mother of two who confessed to the 2017 shooting of her partner, a gymnastics coach she alleges abused her physically and sexually.
Fire Country (9/8c, CBS): Following Sunday's heavily watched post-NFL episode, the crew turns to a forest fire that endangers a group of environmental do-gooders protesting a housing development.
Criss Angel's Magic with the Stars (9/8c, The CW): Figure skaters and Olympic commentators Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir face their fears as they compete to pull off one of Houdini's scariest escape tricks, the Upside-Down Straitjacket.