'SEAL Team' debuts, 'Designated Survivor' returns

Posted 9/27/17

By Kevin McDonough

Like its title, "SEAL Team" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14) gets right to the point. We meet gung-ho soldier Jason Hayes (David Boreanaz) during a therapy session. He has no tolerance for talking about himself or his feelings, but he's …

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'SEAL Team' debuts, 'Designated Survivor' returns

Posted

By Kevin McDonough

Like its title, "SEAL Team" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14) gets right to the point. We meet gung-ho soldier Jason Hayes (David Boreanaz) during a therapy session. He has no tolerance for talking about himself or his feelings, but he's obviously consumed with his last mission, an assault on a cargo ship carrying weapons. His decision to go above and beyond his orders costs the squad a man, and it haunts him.

"SEAL Team" operates in a boilerplate fashion, closely following that of "SIX" seen on the History Channel. Violent altercations are followed by visits with the wives and kids, often at some school or church event where the guys get an urgent text informing them that The World's Most Dangerous Man must be hunted down.

"SEAL Team" stands out a bit for its peculiar casting of Jessica Pare as CIA analyst Mandy Ellis. Some may recall her as Don Draper's exotically beautiful French-Canadian second wife on "Mad Men." The sight of Pare as a terrorism expert spouting jargon and shouting orders may be a bit much for some "Mad Men" fans. She's come a long way since singing "Zou Bisou Bisou."

For those keeping score, two new series have cast Anne Heche ("The Brave") and Pare as super-serious intelligence officers in charge of covert ops. It's a bit absurd.

On "SEAL Team," Boreanaz' character loses the goofy humor of "Bones." He gets to play a damaged and divorced warrior, but that's basically something to talk about between firefights.

What nobody seems to want to discuss is that the former "Angel" star may be getting a tad long in the tooth for these shoot-'em-ups.

Boreanaz is only three years younger than Kiefer Sutherland, who has hung up his Jack Bauer cape and tights to play President Kirkman on "Designated Survivor" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).

As it enters its second season, we're told that Kirkman has spent a fortune of the taxpayers' money to rebuild the Capitol in just under a year. Viewers may recall that it was blown up in the series opener.

The terrorist behind that attack is on the run, chased by the FBI in a subplot that gives "Designated" its "24" fix. But most of the drama is "The West Wing" reheated, with Sutherland offering uplifting bromides about being president of all Americans.

TONIGHT'S SEASON PREMIERES

• Red saddles Liz with a difficult assignment on "The Blacklist" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

• As Lucious recovers, Cookie keeps her eyes on his nurse (Demi Moore) on "Empire" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).

• Erica leaves for college on "The Goldbergs" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

• J.J. has a camp crush on "Speechless" (8:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

• Fin follows a suspect out of the country on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

• Star fights for the album's release on "Star" (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14).

• Jay wants to make memories while he still can on "Modern Family" (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

• Volunteer status on "American Housewife" (9:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

• Simmons joins the team on "Criminal Minds" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).

• A bystander's death puts the squad under scrutiny on "Chicago P.D." (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

TONIGHT'S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

• The "30 for 30" documentary "Tommy" (8 p.m., ESPN2) profiles boxer Tommy Morrison.

• Sundance imports the six-part U.K. miniseries thriller "Liar" (10 p.m., TV-14), starring Joanne Froggatt and Ioan Gruffudd.

LATE NIGHT

America Ferrera appears on "The Daily Show With Trevor Noah" (11 p.m., Comedy Central) * Andy Samberg and Big Jay Oakerson are booked on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS) * Nick Kroll, Michael Bloomberg and Tim & Eric appear on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" (11:35 p.m., CBS) * Jimmy Fallon welcomes Jared Leto, Nicole Richie and Tyler, The Creator on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC) * Billie Lourd, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Tim Roth and Macklemore appear on "The Late Late Show With James Corden" (12:35 a.m., CBS).

© 2017, United Feature Syndicate