Our pick & pans
Not Dead Yet 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays, ABC
After striking gold with “Abbott Elementary,” ABC has another winner in its newest sitcom, “Not Dead Yet.” The writing is so good, you’ll want to rewind each scene to enjoy the rat-a-tattat dialogue again. And the cast provides a deep bench of talent. The fabulous Gina Rodriguez stars as Nell, an investigative reporter who leaves Europe and a boyfriend behind … only to be consigned to writing obituaries for her former paper in California. She’s thrown off balance by the turn of events, but that’s nothing compared to what happens next: she’s visited by the deceased people she’s writing about. On episode one, she had great comic back-and-forth with Martin Mull as the first ghost she encounters. Meanwhile, Lauren Ash, late of “Superstore,” plays Nell’s supercilious boss and nemesis. Hannah Simone is Nell’s former bestie who has befriended Ash. These are characters and actors you want to spend time with. After each “Not Dead Yet” episode airs on ABC, it becomes available on Hulu.
— Kristina Dorsey
Jack Ryan Season 3 Prime Video
It’s been a while (2019) since John Krasinski hopscotched across our troubled world as the titular CIA operative based on Tom Clancy’s novels. Thank goodness he’s back! The Russians have resurrected a Soviet-era nuke program that threatens the whole universe. As usual, Ryan’s superiors don’t believe his danger assessment, and it isn’t long before he’s burned by his own agency and has to go rogue. Still, he’s got a few loyal pals including retired agent Mike November (Michael Kelly) and former boss James Greer (Wendell Pierce — and, yes, I thought he died of a heart attack at the end of season 2, too). The subterfuge is exciting, the locales exotic and the bureaucrats are maddening. Everything you need!
— Rick Koster
Stella Maris Cormac McCarthy
The acclaimed author’s “Stella Maris” wants to be deep and challenging. But there’s less to all this than it seems. The novel is structured as transcripts of sessions between a male therapist and his 20-year-old female patient. It’s 1972, and she’s a genius who pontificates on math theories and who has elaborate hallucinations. Is she schizophrenic? Suicidal? She occasionally speaks about her brother, who is in a coma, and father, who worked on the Manhattan Project. It’s an onerous read. Stella feels like a construct rather than a person. I haven’t read McCarthy’s companion novel, “The Passenger,” and, well, now I doubt I will.