Day: July 2, 2021

“Paranormal” has tiny budget, big laughs

Being a TV star in New Zealand isn’t your full, Hollywood experience.
For one thing, Jemaine Clement can tell you, budgets are slim. His “What We Do in the Shadows” is made with American money. “Wellington Paranormal” (shown here) – belatedly reaching the U.S. on July 11 – was originally just for New Zealand and is “probably between one-fifth and one-tenth of the budget.”
So the actors might keep their day jobs. For the first three seasons, Karen O’Leary was a TV star AND kindergarten teacher. “The kids don’t care at all,” she said. “And that’s the good thing about children.”
There’s one other key difference: New Zealand shows – or, at least, “Wellington Paranormal” – might be funnier than American ones. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for July 5: sharks, sitcoms and sexy singles

1) “Big Brother” season-opener, 8 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, CBS. Ever since 2000, this has propelled CBS’ summers, mostly becoming a playground for young people who are telegenic and assertive. Tonight, it’s paifed with “Love Island” (shown here), each with a 90-minute opener. On “Big Brother,” we’ll meet eight women; one is a 40-year-old phlebotomist, but the others range from a 21-year-old grad student to two women who are 30. We’ll meet eight men; a farmer is 34, the others are in their 20s. The house also has a lawyer, a scientist, a teacher and lots of salesfolks. Read more…

Best-bets for July 4: Two specials pack Fourth flair

1) “A Capitol Fourth,” 8 p.m., PBS, rerunning at 9:30. This celebration spans the country. From Washington, D.C., there’s host Vanessa Williams, plus Gladys Knight, Mickey Guyton, Jimmie Allen, Ali Stroker, Laura Osnes, Renee Fleming (singing the National Anthem), the National Orchestra and closing fireworks (shown here in a previous year). Also: Alan Jackson will perform be in Nashville and Jennifer Nettles and Auli’i Cavalho in New York City, with Jimmy Buffett, Cynthia Erivo, Pentatonix and Train all in California. Read more…

Summertime silliness overload? Switch to PBS

Occasionally, it seems, TV veers away from its summer silliness.
You just have to know where to look … which is mostly PBS.
The network has just announced three “Frontline” films, plus six on “POV.” Those documentaries span the globe – Palestine, Peru and Puerto Rico, plus India, Afghanistan and the U.S, – and cover serious issues, from toppling statues (shown here) to propping up the economy. Read more…