What’s on TV
WHITMER THOMAS: THE GOLDEN ONE (2020) 10 p.m. on HBO; stream on HBO platforms. The Los Angeles-based comedian, actor and musician Whitmer Thomas keeps audiences guessing with his unusual, deeply personal sets. Is it appropriate to laugh when he performs his goth-pop song “Partied to Death?” (“My mommy drank herself to death/and I know she tried her very best/But now I can’t party because my mommy partied to death.”) Such painful realizations are sprinkled throughout this new comedy special, filmed at the same Florida bar where Thomas’s mother used to perform with her band. Much of the special is on the lighter side, though. Thomas riffs on his childhood in Alabama and his time in an emo rock band, and performs songs from his upcoming debut record, “Songs From the Golden One.”
51ST N.A.A.C.P. IMAGE AWARDS 8 p.m. on BET. This annual awards show celebrates the work of people of color in film, television, music and literature. Netflix leads going into the show, with nominations for “Dear White People,” “When They See Us” and “American Son,” among others. Lizzo received six nominations, including entertainer of the year, while Beyoncé has eight, including best female artist and documentary, for “Homecoming.” Anthony Anderson returns as host.
ALMOST FAMILY 8 p.m. on Fox. This drama series, based on the Australian show “Sisters,” requires that you shut off your critical thinking switch for a moment. Julia (Brittany Snow) learns that she’s not an only child after all when her father, a successful fertility doctor, admits he used his own genetic material to conceive dozens of children over the years. The news unites Julia with two half sisters (played by Megalyn Echikunwoke and Emily Osment), and the three find comfort in their connection. If you’re wondering whether the father faces any repercussions for impregnating all those women, this two-hour season finale follows a trial brought against him in court.
THE HIDDEN KINGDOMS OF CHINA 9 p.m. on National Geographic. Michelle Yeoh (“Crazy Rich Asians”) narrates this two-hour special on China’s landscape and diverse wildlife. We get a glimpse of soaring mountains and tropical jungles, and meet animals like the giant panda and the Tibetan fox.
MS. PURPLE (2019) Stream on Hulu; rent on Amazon, Google Play, Vudu or YouTube. This melancholic drama from Justin Chon (“Gook”) dissects the reunion of two siblings in Los Angeles’s Koreatown. Kasie (Tiffany Chu), a karaoke hostess, is left reeling after her bedridden father’s live-in nurse quits. With little help in sight, she reaches out to her aimless, estranged brother, Carey (Teddy Lee). Both have yet to recover from their mother’s abandonment years ago. Tending to their dying father lays bare their wounds and offers them a chance to regain a sense of family. Jeannette Catsoulis named the movie a Critic’s Pick in her review for The New York Times, calling it “a moody, downbeat drama soaked in color and saturated with sadness.”