Sunday TV: Last Season at the Abbey

downton-abbey-season-6-premiereThat it’s the final season for “Downton Abbey” on “Masterpiece” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings) seems about right. Running into 1925, the lifestyles of the mansioned lords and their servants isn’t just from an other era, it begins to be a bit off-putting.

Worse, the characterizations are beginning to get cartoonish, especially in the sixth season opener when Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson worry about the sexual aspects of their coming union, and way uncharacteristically, gets Mrs. Padmore to do the talking between them. It’s goosed for laughs, but not very convincing.

Just as bad is one of those one-episode moments of intrigue and mystery, as when the unknown relative came calling some seasons back. This time it’s a blackmailer for Lady Mary, who is becoming more unlikeable as the series goes on.

A big fight over the future of the country hospital is the reason the Dowager Countess and and Mrs. Crawley are fighting, but its details are super dull. News from Rose and Tom in America comes largely by letter. And don’t get me started on the whole Bates drama.

So much of the series is gorgeously set and shot, with even the fabric of the attire worth noting, I hope the series finds some drama to latch onto in its final season.

For now, it has to fight its way from amid an overload of hype. This is the biggest hit PBS has ever scored, but why tarnish it with excess like the “Countdown to Downton Abbey” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings), which I hope doesn’t actually have a countdown clock; and the post-show “Downton Abbey: A Celebration” (PBS, 10:15 p.m., check local listings). At least there is no live after-episode talk show “Downton Downlow.”

Here’s a story I wrote about the “Downton” road trip to D.C. last month.

That Seth MacFarlane has something to do with the new “Bordertown” (Fox, 9:30 p.m.), about two families that live in a border town called Mexifornia, is enough to dissuade me. But it’s supposed to be better than that.

The new live-action comedy “Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life” (Fox, 8:30 p.m.) is kind of mediocre — an action comedy in the sense that each episodes begins with the result of some big caper he’s gotten into — being kidnapped and torture, for example, and then spending a half hour showing how he and his dim roommates got into the mess (usually after a scene of big partying). In no time it’s clear that it aims to be the kind of action-laughs series perfected in Comedy Central’s “Big Time in Hollywood, FL,” but way watered down.

Another comedy I don’t get is the musical “Galavant” (ABC, 8 p.m.), a kind of purposely dumb take-off on the days of kings and castles, but with humor that doesn’t reach the level of a skit. It does have songs from composer Alan Mencken and lyricist Glenn Slater, though. And Kylie Minogue guest stars in the two premiere episodes tonight, if that counts.

Yet another film about the Apple co-founder, Alex Gibney’s “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” (CNN, 9 p.m.), a more critical look at its subject, gets its cable premiere.

Vivica A. Fox and Eric Roberts are listed as stars in the new made-for-TV “The Wrong Roommate” (Lifetime Movie Network, 8 p.m.) but neither of them appear in the trailer about a woman who moves into a house where a suspicious dude lives in the guest house.

The eighth season of “Worst Cooks in America” (Food, 9 p.m.) begins with a rematch between Tyler Florence and Anne Burrell, as if worst cooks are household names.

The third season of “Newlyweds: The 1st Year” (Bravo, 9 p.m.) begins with four new couples. They can’t be more obnoxious than the couples in the first two seasons, can they?

An eighth season starts for “Long Island Medium” (TLC, 9 p.m.) and by now Theresa seems to be strictly reading for celebrities: Jim Parsons, Susan Lucci and Jamie-Lynn Sigler to name three.

An eighth season also starts for “Hoarders” (A&E, 9 p.m.) which means, no that problem hasn’t been solved yet.

The CEO of Shoppers World considers changing the name of his store to Shoplifters’ World after tonights episode of “Undercover Boss” (CBS, 8:30 p.m.).

Marge posts something on social media that gets Homer fired on a new episode of “The Simpsons” (Fox, 8 p.m.).

Sunday Night Football has Minnesota at Green Bay (NBC, 8:30 p.m.). Earlier NFL action has Washington at Dallas (Fox, 1 p.m.), Pittsburgh at Cleveland (CBS, 1 p.m.), Seattle at Arizona (Fox, 4:25 p.m.) and San Diego at Denver (CBS, 4:25 p.m.).

The classic “His Girl Friday” (TCM, 8 p.m.) is paired with “Broadcast News” (TCM, 9:45 p.m.). The original “Rocky” (AMC, 8 p.m.) is followed by “Rocky II” (AMC, 10:30 p.m.).

Men’s college basketball includes Arizona at Arizona State (Fox Sports 1, 2 p.m.), Massachusetts at La Salle (NBC Sports, 5 p.m.), Fordham at George Washington (NBC Sports, 7 p.m.), Oregon at Oregon State (Fox Sports 1, 7 p.m.), Wake Forest at Louisville (ESPNU, 8 p.m.) and Colorado at Stanford (ESPNU, 10 p.m.).

Women’s games include Duke at Syracuse (ESPNU, 1 p.m.), Dayton at Duquesne (CBS Sports, 1 p.m.), Arkansas at South Carolina (ESPNU, 3 p.m.), George Washington at Saint Joseph’s (CBS Sports, 3 p.m.), Oklahoma at Baylor (Fox Sports 1, 4:30 p.m.), Tulane at Memphis (ESPNU, 5 p.m.) and DePaul at St. John’s (CBS Sports, 5 p.m.).

Hockey has Ottawa at Chicago (NHL, 7 p.m.).

Sunday Talk

ABC: Bernie Sanders, Ben Carson. CBS: Donald Trump. NBC: John Kasich, Rand Paul. CNN: Sanders, Carly Fiorina, Rep. Dave Brat. Fox News: Jeb Bush, Chris Christie.

 

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