Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Thursday, July 22. All times are Eastern.
The Good Fight (Paramount+, 3:01 a.m.) Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya returns midseason to recap this show, which just got renewed for a sixth season. For a mini-recap, check out these episode titles: “Once There Was a Court...” (episode 2) “And The Court Had a Clerk...” (episode 3) “And The Clerk Had A Firm...” (episode 4), finally culminating in this episode, “And The Firm Had Two Partners…”
Why Women Kill (Paramount+, 3:01 a.m.)
Gossip Girl (HBO Max, 3:01 a.m.)
RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars (Paramount+, 3:01 a.m.): Coverage on this All Stars season is embargoed until 9:15 p.m., so look for Allison Shoemaker’s recap then.
Ultra City Smiths (3:01 a.m., AMC+, double-episode premiere): There are a few mysteries at the center of Steve Conrad and Stoopid Buddy Stoodios’ Ultra City Smiths, a stop-motion animated series whose baby doll “actors” piqued as much interest when the show was announced as its star-studded voice cast. When the city’s most prominent and good-hearted citizen, Carpenter K. Smith (Kurtwood Smith), vanishes, it’s up to a couple of odd-couple detectives—small-town rookie David Mills (Jimmi Simpson) and weary veteran Gail Johnson (Da’Vine Joy Randolph, much more stoic than usual)—to find him. Their investigation takes them all over the seedy metropolis, engaging with everyone from the lowliest Street Hustler Boy (Damon Herriman) to the self-proclaimed “king of the night,” Donovan Smith (John C. Reilly, who riffs on David Bowie in the second part of the premiere). Mills and Johnson’s investigation raises several questions, not the least of which is just how straight Conrad’s series is playing the neo-noir angle.
In the first three episodes, it’s difficult to gauge whether this is parody or something more earnest (the song-and-dance numbers don’t exactly help make a distinction). The lineup is packed with noir-ish types, including a less-than-saintly nun (Melissa Villaseñor) who nods to Michael Curtiz’s Angels With Dirty Faces, and a high-profile actress with a secret (Debra Winger). Then you have characters like Lady Andrea The Giant (Bebe Neuwirth), a wrestling champion who dresses like Julia Child. Still, thanks to the inspired strangeness of the animation and gameness of the cast, we’re looking forward to finding out where Ultra City Smiths goes. [Danette Chavez]
Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop (Netflix, 3:01 a.m.): Living up to its name, this anime movie has all the sweetness and froth of the very best kind of teen summer romances. Love between a shy boy who loves writing haikus and a self-conscious girl who hides behind a literal mask is typical for the genre, but the gentle candy-colored animation style and adorable dialogue allows for a tenderness that’s rare onscreen.