Year: 2022

“Only Murder” sequel is bloody-good fun

When we last saw Mabel, she was covered with blood and confusion.
Not to worry. She’s back in the second season of “Only Murders in the Building,” which seems to be even better than the first.
“Only Murders” was a pleasant pandemic surprise – a mini-series assembling mis-matched elements. It was mostly a murder mystery and drama, but added ample humor. It was mostly about old guys – Steve Martin and Martin Short (shown here, left and center), plus guest stars – but also centered on Selena Gomez.
Now the first two episodes of the second season have debuted on Hulu. The other eight will arrive – one per Tuesday – for the rest of the summer. Read more…

Best-bets for July 1: lot of cops and movies

1) “SWAT,” 8 p.m., CBS. The network’s experiment with Friday-night reality has finally ended,. CBS had set three shows for 8 p.m. Fridays; two (“Undercover Boss” and “Come Dance With Me”) aired, one (“The Activist”) didn’t. Now it’s back to its specialty – three crime shows each Friday. That starts with “SWAT” (shown here) in the spot where it will be this fall. In this rerun, the team arrests some dangerous robbery suspects – which has Tan confronting a pivotal figure from his past. Also, Luca must temporarily step in for Hicks. Read more…

Best-bets for June 30: two versions of “Westworld”

1) “Westworld,” (1973), 8 p.m. ET, Turner Classic Movies; or “Westworld,” 8 p.m., HBO. To some of us, amusement parks are peaceful places; to Michael Crichton, they brought chaos – dinosaurs in “Jurassic Park,” killer robots in “Westworld.” Crichton’s ‘73 film starring Richard Benjamin (shown here, right) is entertaining … but no match for the existential depth of the HBO series. Dolores died at the end of the third season, but now Evan Rachel Wood has a new character. This season-opener also airs at 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; the second episode will be 9 p.m. Sunday. Read more…

She’s ready for the July 4 spotlight

In her heart – and in her teen bedroom – Loren Allred (shown here) was the next Mariah Carey.
And in real life? For a while, she was the next Marni Nixon … or Kasey Cisyk … or someone else we keep hearing and liking, without knowing her name.
Now that’s changing, one continent at a time, as people recognize her as the soaring voice doing “Never Enough,” in the 2017 film, “The Greatest Showman.” First, she reached the finals of “Britain’s Got Talent”; now she’ll sing at PBS’ annual 4th-of-July mega-concert, at 8 and 9:30 p.m. July 4. Read more…

Best-bets for June 29: good dancers, GREAT comedians

1) “Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution,” 9-11 p.m., A&E; reruns at 7 p.m. Thursday, leading into the second half. When Dick Gregory was a teen track star, his son says, he learned that Blacks’ times weren’t in local record books. He became an activist, then a comedian, then — in later years (shown here) — both. When most Blacks were confined to small clubs and “party records,” he was in the Playboy Club and on TV. This excellent film starts there, then ranges from Bill Cosby to Richard Pryor …whose daughter teaches a class on “History of the ‘N’ Word.” Read more…

Best-bets for June 28: Crises in super-fiction and in real life

1) “Superman & Lois” season-finale, 8 p.m., CW. Remember when Superman seemed invincible? Not any more; Ally Alston has been draining his powers to feed her own, while also merging worlds. Now Chrissy Beppo, the Smallville Gazette editor, has been authorized by the Defense department to tell people the merging of planets is real and happening, Others – including Lois Lane and Lana Lang (the Smallville mayor, shown here) try to save the world. Read more…

A sweet soul triggers a surprise jailbreak

Somewhere inside us, Catherine Bell says, is a dormant delinquent.
“There’s always that idea of: ‘Ooh, what if I broke the rules and did something wild for a moment?!’”
No one would have expected that from Toby Young, the real-life person Bell (shown here) portrays (loosely) in “Jailbreak Lovers,” at 8 p.m. Saturday (July 2) on Lifetime, rerunning at midnight. Read more…

CBS remembers (sometimes) to make it special

In a pre-packaged, pre-processed world, television should be its best when it’s live and, well, special.
TV specials have offered music, humor and even bits of spontaneity. Then they seemed to disappear … except on CBS.
That comes to mind now, after a one-two punch: On June 12 was a terrific Tony Award ceremony, propelled by the immense talent of Ariana DeBose. On June 24 was a Daytime Emmy (shown here) ceremony that was really quite adequate … which makes it roughly 3,000-percent better than last year’s show. Read more…

Best-bets for June 27: teen trauma, celebrity silliness

1) “Celebrity Family Feud,” 8-11 p.m., ABC. With basketball and hockey dominating June, ABC is waiting until next month for its summer push. Game shows will start their seasons on July 7 and 10; “The Bachelorette” begins on Julty 11. That leaves lots of temporary spots for reruns.  We see Steve Harvety (shown here) host games involving musicians (Pentatonix, Wilson Phillips, Dee Snider, OneRepublic), plus Terry Bradshaw, Tisha Campbell, the “Mayans M.C.” cast and more. Read more…

Best-bets for June 26: Music soars, dramas return

1) BET Awards, 8-11:30 p.m., BET (with pre-show at 6) plus VH1, MTV, Comedy Central. Taraji Henson hosts and Sean “Diddy” Combs gets a lifetime award, in a show that’s big on music awards and performers. They include Lizzo, Latto, Chloe (shown here), Giveon and Babyface, plus Jack Harlow, Chance the Rapper, Kirk Franklin, Roddy Ricch and more. There are also awards for sports and films; nominated as best movie are “King Richard,” “Respect,” “Candyman,” “The Harder They Fall,” “Space Jam: A New Legacy” and “The Summer of Soul.” Read more…