Day: March 19, 2021

PBS is back, filling TV’s gaps

Even in our overcrowded, overheated TV world, something has been missing lately.
That’s PBS. It provides things that are otherwise absent, even in a 500-channel universe.
For the first three weeks of March, the network mostly shut down during prime time, so individual stations could have their pledge drives. That’s fine if you happen to like music memories (we do) or self-improvement lectures (we don’t, but probably should), but it’s not what PBS does best.
Now comes a week ranging from Twyla Tharp’s choreography (shown here) to New Orleans funerals. For that, just look at its first week back (check local listings). Read more…

Best-bets for March 21: Aretha soars, Q-Anon storms

1) “Genius: Aretha” opener, 9 and 10:08 p.m., National Geographic; rerunning at 11:05 p.m. and 12:12 a.m. Over the next four nights, an epic life will unfold, spiced by great music. Aretha Franklin was plagued by overbearing men, including her dad, a famous preacher (played by Courney Vance, shown here) and her first husband. Still, she soared. This opens with her one trip to record in Muscle Shoals, Ala.; then it flashes between her childhood and early career. Cynthia Erivo’s portrayal is quite stoic, but her singing is magnifcent and Aretha-esque. Read more…