Day: March 2, 2022

PBS plans a Broadway-style surge

PBS continues its solo mission of putting Broadway-type shows on TV.
There’s a small sign of that now, when stations air “An Evening with Lerner and Lehrer” during their pledge drive. (See a separate piece here, under “stories.” A bigger package comes in May, with specials on three Fridays.
Two of those shows were done last year, during a slowdown in the pandemic – a Sutton Foster musical in London (shown here) and an outdoor comedy in New York. The other is a documentary. The shows, under the “Great Performances” banner, are: Read more…

“Joe vs. Carole” has half of a great feud tale

For a great feud story, you need two sides that are deep, detailed and interesting.
You need Yankees and Red Sox, Hatfields and McCoys, Lincoln and Douglas, maybe Edison and Tesla. By that standard, “Joe vs. Carole,” which starts Thursday (March 3) on Peacock, falls one short.
For a pretty good story, however, you need only one rich character, in the hands of a gifted actor. That’s what this delivers instantly.
Kate McKinnon (shown here with Kyle MacLachlan) is a delight as Carole Baskin, the animal activist; John Cameron Mitchell survives some overwrought material as Joe Exotic, owner of a touring animal show. Read more…

Best-bets for March 4: brains and rage

1) “Brain Games: On the Road,” 8-10 p.m., National Geographic. The original series ran for eight seasons and three hosts, showing how our sub-conscious can help or trick us. It was a fun show, worth trying; all the episodes are on Disney+ and three of them rerun here, at 5, 6 and 7 p.m. They’re followed by four half-hours of this spin-off (shown here), which debuted last week. Chuck Nice takes the games into neighborhoods. Read more…

Respect MSU and save your team and/or planet

Adam McKay’s work sprawls across vast turf, from the goofiness of Will Ferrell films to the rage and humor entwined in “Vice” or “The Big Short.”
Now a sub-theme has accidentally surfaced: Take people from Michigan State University seriously. It might save your basketball team and/or your planet.
“Michigan is a major state with great learning institutions,” McKay said with a grin. Key characters in his latest films don’t seem to realize that; consider:
–“Don’t Look Up,” which has Oscar nominations for best picture, McKay’s script and more. MSU people say a meteor is heading toward Earth; there’s a fatal pause, as officials wait for Ivy Leaguers to agree.
— “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty,” debuting at 9 p.m. Sunday (March 6) on HBO. We see some people doubt that Earvin “Magic” Johnson, a wide-eyed teenager, can make the jump to Los Angeles from MSU and his Lansing hometown. Read more…