Day: April 17, 2021

Best-bets for April 19: Second chances for “Idol” and for author

1) “American Experience: American Oz,” 9-11 p.m., PBS. After a blissful childhood, Frank Baum dreamed big, often with his dad’s financial backing. He raised thoroughbred chickens; he wrote, produced and starred in a touring musical. In South Dakota, he tried a high-end store and then a newspaper that went from feminism to proposing Indian annihilation. He failed often and then, in his 40s, succeeded with children’s short tales … a window-dressers’ magazine … and “The Wizard of Oz,” a classic book that became an immensely popular movie (shown here). Read more…

Nashville soars; Hollywood snores?

On Sunday (April 18), Nashville reminded us of something important: An award show — shown here with Carrie Underwood and CeCe Winans — can be very good.
A week later, Hollywood may remind us of the flip side: Awards can be truly, terribly awful.
These shows used to be partly built on the fun of seeing celebrities being themselves (or, perhaps, prettier versions of themselves). They said things that were funny or fumbling or emotional or whatever.
But all of that has changed lately. They recite names; they thank managers and agents and, worse, “my team.” They are dull; the show can only be saved with humor and/or music. So what will the Oscars do, from 8-11 p.m. ET April 25? It is banishing humor — no host, no funny presenters (so far) — and music; the five nominated songs will be wedged into the preview at 6:30 p.m., lest entertainment take any time away from droning speeches. Read more…

Beyond the blubber: Whales show rich personalities

We kind of know what whales are like – big and blubbery and such.
Or maybe we don’t know them at all. They vary widely, photographer Brian Skerry told the Television Critics Association. That can depend on the species, the region, even the individual.
“These animals do have languages,” said Skerry, whose richly crafted “Secrets of the Whales” (shown here) has an Earth Day debut on Disney+. “They do have dialects. (They) have rich lives, much like our own.” Read more…