WHAT2WATCH: Hope For An Amazing Finish

CBS hasn’t always given The Amazing Race the supersized finale treatment, so good for Season 20, I suppose. This edition has proceeded in two phases: initial annoyance that the Big Brother alumni Brendon and Rachel were even cast, and then mega-annoyance that they kept on not losing. Not that the Race was ever akin to theoretical physics, but it’s hard to imagine that this pair of dullards could have lasted so long on any of the early seasons, where teams occasionally needed to actually think things through. The biggest change to the show, the increasing concentration on inter-team fighting, isn’t going to leave us any time soon.

With four teams remaining, the two-hour finale (Sunday, 8 p.m.) will give us the elimination of one team halfway through, before a final sprint to the finish. I wouldn’t be stunned if the BBers won, but I think the edge probably goes to Art and J.J., who are throwbacks in the sense of being a two-man team (who haven’t been nearly as dominant on the show in recent years), and in being merely blowhards and not all-time jerks. The success of Team BB will no doubt prompt further stunt castings, and it’s going to make me cry if I keep writing about this.

Also this week:

Monday: The Pitch (AMC, 9 p.m.): Yes people, deal with it: AMC is in the reality show business now. The connection with Mad Men is apparent: a company needs advertising help, and two agencies compete for that business. This seems like a strange way to come up with your new slogan, but in a way the whole show is an advertisement, so mission accomplished!

Tuesday: The Biggest Loser (NBC, 8 p.m.): This has been the best Biggest Loser season in a while, because The Voice has turned a lot of these recent Tuesdays into one-hour shows. What took them so long? The 13th season finale will feature the usual collection of people who look nothing like they did four months ago, and that’s always fun to see.

Wednesday: The Middle (ABC, 8 p.m.): Whoopi Goldberg guests as Sue’s guidance counselor, who proves to have a bond with the ever-earnest middle Heck child. Also, Brick wants to make a complaint directly to the President. You know, when I tried that tack with my own parents, they were surprisingly unconcerned.

Thursday: Touch (Fox, 9 p.m.): A woman begins to worry when her astronaut husband is suddenly out of touch with Earth. Yes, I can see why that might cause one to panic. Also, Martin uses the numbers to help a woman regain contact with her twin sister and biological mother.

Friday: In Plain Sight (USA, 10 p.m.): What has probably been the most underrated of all USA’s series ends after five seasons, and it’s probably time. Mary (Mary McCormack) works her case of the week, but her situation at work is about to change in a major way. I hope Frederick Weller gets a more prominent show out of his work here, because he can carry one.

Saturday: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (HBO, 9 p.m.): I really hope Axl Rose changes his mind and shows up in Cleveland, because when was the last time something unpredictable happened at one of these shindigs? This class of inductees is led by the Beastie Boys. White Castles for everyone!

Movie & TV Awards 2018