TV column for Monday, April 16


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“Supergirl” return, 8 p.m., CW.

Laurie Metcalf is
everywhere these days. She's Roseanne's sister, Sheldon's mother and
now Winn's mother. That role has humor and despair – two things
Metcalf masters. Tonight, she's in a gifted cast; catch Carl Lumbly
and David Harewood, two theater pros, in some moving father-son
scenes.

In this case, the
dad is direct from Mars; alongside everything else, “Supergirl”
is dandy science-fiction. Tonight's hour gives us two big battle
scenes, complete with flying monkeys (really), a rampaging dinosaur
and ann exploding coffin. It's a super hour.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“Scorpion” season-finale, 10 p.m. Monday, CBS.

The season ends with
a mega-crisis. The genius team tries to rescue an African village,
while facing land mines and a sand storm.

All of that happens
the same time as a romance crisis. Paige (Katharine McPhee, the
“American Idol” runner-up) knows Walter (Elyes Gabel) has a
secret; amid chaos, their relationship may crumble,

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “American Idol” and “The Voice,” 8-10 p.m., ABC.

Both shows have
trimmed to their top 24, reaching a key point tonight.

For “Idol,” It's
the second half of the celebrity duets; singers will link with Lea
Michele, Bebe Rexha, Colbie Caillat, Rachel Platten, Allen Stone, Cam
or Banners. And for “Voice,” this is the first of three straight
live shows.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE II: “Independent Lens,” 10-11:30 p.m., PBS.

When a water crisis
unfolded in Flint, Mich., people assumed – or, at least, hoped –
it was an isolated case. Not so, this sharp documentary says. Cullen
Hoback started the film in West Virginia – where a leak left
300,000 people with bad water – and found trends that were
reflected in Flint and beyond.

Companies did the
testing themselves, with officials rarely checking. In Illinois, a
typical fine was only $49; in West Virginia, lobbyists wrote a new
law and handed it to legislators. On a federal level, complaints were
ignored ... and that was before the Environmental Protection Agency
was dismantled.

Other choices
include:

“No Offence,”
any time, www.acorn.tv. OK,
English folks sometimes have a funny way of spelling words; they also
have a funny way of pronouncing them, which is a problem here. If you
can penetrate the accents, you'll find a clever female-cop show from
the “Shameless” and “State of Play” producer.

“Date Night”
(2010), 6-8 p.m., Sundance. This clever comedy teaches us that bad
things can happen if you swipe someone's dinner reservation. At 8
p.m., stick with Sundance for the sharp teen comedy “Pretty in
Pink” (1986) ... or switch to Pop for the terrific “Jerry
Maguire” (1996), which is also at 11.

“Lucifer,” 8
p.m., Fox. After a murder, a witness says she would have been killed
too – if she weren't rescued by a winged creature. Such a report
might make cops scoff ... but it makes Lucifer worry.

“The Resident,”
9 p.m., Fox. A former giant of the soap-opera world returns to TV for
the first time in four years. Erika Slezak spent 42 years on “One
Life to Live,” winning six daytime Emmys. She disappeared after the
show ended in 2013, but returns now. In the episode, Conrad's former
medical professor is seeing hallucinations of her past patients.

“Superior Donuts,”
9 p.m., CBS. When Arthur (Judd Hirsch) wants Franco to do deliveries,
he finds a hitch: Franco never learned to drive. While trying to
teach him, Arthur ends up in trouble with the law.

“Good Girls,” 10
p.m., NBC. Once you're used to the big-time crime life, it's tough to
go back. The women try to do that tonight, after the investigation
tightens and Manny shuts down his operation .