Month: January 2020

Best-bets for Jan. 28: Miracle Workers return, Arrow leaves

1) “Miracle Workers: Dark Ages,” 10:30 p.m., TBS. King Cragnoor the Heartless earned his name as a young man. His son, alas, remains Prince Chauncley the (To Be Determined). He’s not sure about taking over the family business; neither is Mary Poopshoveler (we’re using a euphemism). She dreams of getting an education … except there’s not currently any knowledge available. This is from the writer of last year’s brilliant “Miracle Workers,” with the same actors (Daniel Radcliffe, shown here,, Steve Buscemi, etc.) in new roles. The result is hilarious.
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Best-bets for Jan. 27: We (heart) Gina

1) “Bob (hearts) Abishola,” 8:30 p.m., CBS. Gina Yashere (shown here) has been the semi-secret strengths of this terrific show. She’s a writer and producer, guiding it through the intricacies of Nigerian/American customs; she also co-stars as Kemi. In this dandy rerun, Kemi has lied – or, at least, been slow to tell the truth – to her friend Abishola. And with Bob’s mom remaining ill, her kids insist she should make a will. Read more…

Retrieving a once-famous chemist

History tends to remember a few rebels and reformers
.They’re authors and politicians, mostly. But then there’s the guy – now semi-forgotten – who was once the world’s most famous chemist
.That’s Harvey Wiley (shown here with his young “poison squad”), subject of a fascinating PBS profile Tuesday. He was an early target in the war against science. He also was also a reason why we know (sometimes) what we’re eating. Read more…

Birth of the “Grammy moment”

Ken Ehrlich has his last Grammy telecast Sunday, after 40 splendid years.
Before that, let’s flash back to a key bit. It was “the big one,” Ehrlich wrote, “the one that is generally credited with starting the phrase ‘Grammy moment.'”
That phrase isn’t just hype, you know. It reflects decades of innovative mash-ups, from Elton and Eminem to this year (8-11 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26), with epic numbers built around one song from Lil Nas X and another — ranging from singer Camila Cabell to rapper Common and dancer Misty Copeland (shown here) — built around a song from the “Fame” movie. Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 26: lots of “Grammy moments”

1) Grammys, 8-11 p.m. ET, CBS. On his final Grammycast (after 40 years), producer Ken Ehrlich continues the “Grammy moments” he’s known for. When Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus (shown here) do “Old Town Road,” they’ll add BTS, Diplo and more. A tribute to the late Nipsy Hussle links Kirk Franklin, John Legend, DJ Khaled, and YG. Run-D.M.C. links with Aerosmith … and a song from “Fame”: has Camila Cabello, Joshua Bell, Misty Copeland, Common and more. Also performing: Ariana Grande, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani. Jonas Brothers, Lizzo, more. Read more…

No more limits: She became a wartime hero

PASADENA, Cal. – Growing up in Syria, Amani Ballour(shown here) knew a world of rules and limits.
“There are too many differences between boys and girls …. I couldn’t play with boys. I couldn’t climb the tree, I couldn’t ride the bike,” she recalled. “This (was) prevented for girls in my community.”
There were professions open to her – but, again, with limits. A woman could “be a doctor, but a doctor for children or for women in your clinic, but not a manager.”
Then war changed everything. As the Oscar-nominated “The Cave” shows, Dr. Ballour administered an underground hospital in the bomb-battered city of Ghouta, near Damascus. Read more…

Super-sized vets savor mini-sized town

PASADENA, Cal. – This was an ideal match, vertically and vocationally
.“As soon as I saw Erin, I said, ‘That’s who I’m going to marry,’” Ben Schroeder said.
So, of course, he did. Two weeks later, they were engaged … six months later, they were married … and a couple decades after that, they have their own reality show. Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 24: Stars on skates, stars in Stetsons

1) Figure skating, 8-11 p.m., NBC. Here are the women’s finals, choosing a 2020 champion. (Show here is Alysa Liu, who was last year’s winner at 13.) The guys, as usual don’t get prime time; they’ll have their short programs from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday and their finals from 3-6 p.m. Sunday. Those are on NBC; there’s more on the NBC Sports Network and via streaming/ Read more…