Month: June 2019

After some detours, “Dark” wraps its season powerfully

Born with good intentions, fine actors and poor pacing, “In the Dark” has wandered a bit.
.It seemed to be drifting … but not any more. The season’s final two episodes make it all worthwhile; they’re 9 p.m. Thursdays, June 20 and 27, on CW
.Yes, that’s the network that’s stuffed with superheroes … which “Dark” is not. It’s sort of the opposite, which is how it got started. Read more…

Best-bets for June 21: A self-taught classical master

1) “American Masters: Robert Shaw,” 9 p.m., PBS (check local listings). “My entire life has been a make-up lesson,” Shaw said. He was a preacher’s kid from a town of 3,000, with no formal music education. But Fred Waring saw him conduct in college and hired him; at 22, Shaw did 500 shows a year. Some people scoffed … until Arturo Toscanini called him “maestro” and George Szell hired him for the Cleveland Orchestra. This hour views his flaws (alcohol, infidelity) and his immense talent. Read more…

Best-bets for June 20: “Dark” nears its potent finish

1) “In the Dark,” 9 p.m., CW. Yes, this has had its slow moments; that happens when you spread a mystery over 13 weeks. But tonight’s hour hits some highs, leading to next week’s potent season-finale. Blind and bitter, Murphy is at a low point: She split with her boyfriend; her roommate (and only friend) Jess split with her girlfriend … and moved out of the apartment. Stick around; after some surprises (including blind rollerskating, shown here), tonight’s final 15 minutes deliver a giddy high and then a powerhouse surprise. Read more…

Moon marathon begins

The moon landing is about to sprawl across our TV sets again.
Its 50th anniversary (July 20) is sparking documentaries on PBS and cable and more. But what’s an ideal length? Producer-director Todd Douglas Miller has several answers to choose from: Read more…

Best-bets for June 19: From ranch land to a space colon

1) “Yellowstone” season-opener, 10 p.m., Paramount, rerunning at 11:11. In its first 17 months, this network has had some stumbles (especially the awful “Heathers”) and one solid success. That’s this show, filmed in the sprawling beauty of Montana and Utah. Kevin Costner plays a rancher, battling outside forces and, at times, his family. His daughter schemes with developers, one son is a politician, the other is an ex-SEAL who would rather be on the neighboring reservation with his wife and son. Read more…

Best Bets for June 18: Good Trouble and a great night

1) “Good Trouble” return, 8 p.m., Freeform. Here is an explosive episode – visually, aurally and emotionally. It’s time for the verdict in the trial of a cop who shot a black teen; that’s a case that has enmeshed Callie, a law clerk (Maia Mitchell, shown here with Beau Michoff) and her neighbor Malika, an activist) The story is told powerfully … sometimes with intense percussion in the background. That’s Dennis, wracked with self-loathing, pounding his drum set. Both stories are pack with fierce impact. Read more…

Best-bets for July 17: Glitzy grandeur

1) “Grand Hotel” debut, 10:01 p.m., ABC. Summer, we’re told, is about sun and fun and mindless pleasure; “Grand Hotel” has all of that, especially the mindlessness. Amid the beauty of a Miami Beach hotel, we meet the owner (a widower), his son and daughter, his new wife and her two daughters, plus key staffers. Most are gorgeous; most are schemers with dark secrets. An exception is the owner’s daughter, fresh from grad school and filled with optimism … which will soon be strained. Read more…

Best-bets for June 16: Good start for “Good Fight”

1) The Good Fight” opener, 9 and 10 p.m., CBS. One of TV’s best shows has had a stealth-like existence. “Good Fight” has had three seasons on CBS All Access, which reaches less than 4 percent of TV homes; now its first season (10 episodes) spends the summer on CBS. This “Good Wife” spin-off starts with Diane losing her money in a Madoff-style scam. Soon, Lucca (shown here, foreground, fighting Christine Lahti in court) lures her to a mostly black law firm. Coming along is Diane’s goddaughter … whose dad was the scammer. Read more…

Frankie’s era? Well, it looked great

In a land of dark dramas, we might all wish we lived in Frankie Drake’s world.
That’s 1920s Toronto, where even the the crooks are neat and well-spoken. In this detective drama, Frankie is a sleek redhead, zooming around on a red motorcycle. It seems like fun, but …
“The bane of my existence for Season One was trying to operate the cars and the motorcycle,” said Lauren Lee Smith, who stars.
Especially that motorcycle: “It lit on fire at one point. (And) when you’re supposed to be going forward, it would reverse.” Read more…