CW launches combat melodrama 'Valor'

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By Kevin McDonough

The CW begins its fall 2017 season a week or two behind the competition. "Valor" (9 p.m., TV-14) is one of two original series for the network. A "Dynasty" reboot airs Wednesday.

After "SEAL Team" and "The Brave," "Valor" is the third combat series to debut this fall set in the ongoing war on terror.

While the first two series cast females behind the scenes in intelligence-gathering roles, "Valor" stars Christina Ochoa as Chief Warrant Officer Nora Madani, a helicopter pilot and the only woman warrior in her elite covert squad.

"Valor" also departs from the procedural to engage in an ongoing mystery. We're often invited into Madani's dream life, or unsettled nightmares. This serves two purposes — providing horrific backstory, while allowing viewers to glimpse the ludicrously voluptuous helicopter pilot in her skimpy underthings.

Madani and her superior officer, Captain Leland Gallo (Matt Barr), share a terrible secret. They were both shot out of the sky during a mission to pick up a hostile "target," losing several of their team in the process. They have collaborated on a cover-up to shield themselves from the repercussions of the betrayal that occurred during their assignment, which will be revealed in this pilot episode.

So, in addition to the usual combat missions, they fight a suspicion that there is treachery in the ranks and that they don't know who to trust while carrying out assignments they do not quite comprehend as part of a loosely defined and undeclared war.

Unfortunately, "Valor" undercuts the conspiracies with cheesecake and casual hanky-panky. In addition to being a seasoned warrior, Gallo is a dangerous ladies' man. One of his conquests actually screams, "Boo-ya!" during an athletic romp. The sexual tension between Gallo and Madani is palpable and obvious. And as Gallo reminds his Amazonian sidekick, they've already got plenty to hide.

Who is the intended audience for "Valor"? Is it a soap opera? A military conspiracy drama? Or a weird political statement on the level of that other coed warrior saga, "Starship Troopers"? Sadly, "Valor" doesn't quite rise to that level of satire.

Also on the CW, "Supergirl" (8 p.m., TV-14) enters its third season as Kara focuses on her super job.

• Kids stumble into a place of adventures that spiral out of control in the made-for-cable 2017 fantasy movie "Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library" (7 p.m., Nickelodeon).

• The "POV" documentary "The Islands and the Whales" (10 p.m., PBS, TV-14, check local listings) looks at the residents of the North Atlantic archipelago of the Faroe Islands. The islanders, part of an insular whaling culture for centuries, have been targeted by anti-whaling activists. They have also seen whales and seabirds affected by high mercury levels as well as the toxic impact of massive amounts of floating plastic debris.

TONIGHT'S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

• Blind auditions continue on "The Voice" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
•  A case proves all-consuming on "Lucifer" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-PG).
• The Chicago Bears host the Minnesota Vikings on "Monday Night Football" (8:15 p.m., ESPN).
• Blink exhausts her special powers on "The Gifted" (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
• A patient shades the truth on "The Good Doctor" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14). This series has been picked up for a full season.

CULT CHOICE

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall star in the 1946 mystery "The Big Sleep" (8 p.m., TCM), based on a novel by Raymond Chandler. Novelist William Faulkner contributed to the murky script.

SERIES NOTES

Nocturnal confessions on "The Big Bang Theory" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) * "Dancing With the Stars" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) * A date ends up in the family way on "9JKL" (8:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) * Undercover dad stuff on "Kevin Can Wait" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) * Young Alex makes an impulsive gesture on "Me, Myself & I" (9:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) * An endangered species merits extraordinary measures on "Scorpion" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14) * A major arms shipment appears imminent on "The Brave" (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

LATE NIGHT

Jackie Chan, Tig Notaro, Bob Schieffer and Trombone Shorty are booked on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" (11:35 p.m., CBS) * Jimmy Fallon welcomes Tyler Perry, Lea Michele, Jhene Aiko and Big Sean on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC) * Will Arnett, Rory Scovel and Luis Fonsi appear on "Conan" (12:30 a.m., TBS, r) * Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Mackenzie Davis, Phoenix and Joe Russo visit "Late Night With Seth Meyers" (12:35 a.m., NBC) * Jeff Bridges, David Boreanaz and Liam Gallagher appear on "The Late Late Show With James Corden" (12:35 a.m., CBS).

© 2017 United Feature Syndicate