Month: January 2024

Week’s top-10 for Feb. 5: Super Bowl, super “Abbott”

1) Super Bowl, 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS. For the Kansas City Chiefs (shown here), this is familiar turf. It’s their fourth Super Bowl in five years; they’ve won two of those and their stars (Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce) fill pop culture. The San Francisco 49ers have five Super Bowl wins, but none in the past 30 years. They were 12-5 in the regular season (the Chiefs were 11-6), then needed two come-from-behind wins. Read more…

Best-bets for Feb. 2: Richard rocks on Groundhog Day

1) “American Masters,” 9 p.m., PBS. Before glam rock, before the phrase “rock ‘n’ roll” was popular, there was Little Richard (shown here). Ringo Starr and Keith Richards were both teen fans. They’re included in this documentary; so is Pat Boone, now 89, who covered “Tutti Frutti,” blissfully unaware of any sexual connotations. It’s a fascinating story that sees Richard survive drugs, deceit and bias. Read more…

A funny guy crafts a serious immigration tale

Humor keeps rippling through Lenny Henry’s life.
He’s been a stand-up comic, a comedy actor, co-founder of Comic Relief.
But now he’s created and co-stars in “Three Little Bird” (shown here). The six-part mini-series (which starts streaming Thursday, Feb. 1, on Britbox) includes a compelling look at the tough times faced by past generations of immigrants.
Both extremes fit together, Henry said in a virtual interview. “How do you overcome trials and tribulations without a sense of humor?” Read more…

Best-bets for Feb. 1: urban drama, rural romance

1) “Genius: MLK/X” openers (shown here), 9 and 10:15 p.m., National Geographic Channel. These two men had little in common … yet everything in common. Martin Luther King Jr. grew up in clergy comfort, had his own church at 25 and mastered non-violent protest. Malcolm X grew up roughly, went to prison, ignited rage. Yet they helped reach the same goals; this eight-parter tells the story well. Read more…

Best bets for Jan. 31: Capote schemes, whales walk

1) “Feud: Capote vs. the Swans” openers, 10 and 11:30 p.m., FX. This starts with a delicate glimpse (shown here): A cheated-on wife despairs; a guy deftly calms her with words and pills. She’s Babe Paley, wife of the CBS chairman; he’s Truman Capote, a brilliant writer and eccentric soul. Perfectly played by Naomi Watts and Tom Holland, they launch a mini-serieis that is elegant, intelligent and not for everyone.
Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 30: leaping to the past, in fact and fiction

1) “Quantum Leap” return,10 p.m., NBC. “Quantum” leaped from a fairly good first season to an excellent second. Alongside its time-trekking, it now has Ben’s personal pain, after he vanished into a time-twisted fog, His ex-fiancee has a new guy who plans to propose. Also, Ben keeps bumping across Hannah, a physicist he loves. This episode (he’s a bounty-hunter, shown here) brings much of that together Read more…

Jewison was a master of all genres

There are plenty of movie directors who have mastered a genre.
Then there was Norman Jewison, who died Jan. 20 at 97. He mastered them all.
He directed two powerful racial dramas, “In the Heat of the Night” (shown here) and “A Soldier’s Story.” He made two musicals, one Christian (“Jesus Christ Superstar”), the other Jewish (“Fiddler on the Roof”). His comedies ranged from the light fun of two Doris Day films to the satire of “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming.”
Jewison never won a competitive Academy Award, but one of his films won best-picture and four others were nominated. The winner, and then the nominees, were: Read more…

“Feud” re-visits an elegant society mismatch

At the core of New York society, an unusual bond formed.
There were the social divas – mostly tall, slender and well-bred. They were related by marriage to a president, a prime minister, movie stars and the head of CBS. They “were like the original influencers,” said producer Ryan Murphy.
And there was Truman Capote – 5-foot-3, eccentric, partly molded by his early years in a tiny town in Alabama.
They begame warm friends and then fierce enemies. That’s depicted in “Feud: Capote vs. The Swans” (shown here), an eight-parter with opening episodes at 10 and 11:30 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 31) on FX and then on Hulu. Read more…