Mike Hughes

Best-bets for Jan. 20: comedies and historic tragedy

1) “Women of the Movement” conclusion, 8 p.m., ABC. With the world watching, two women testified in a packed Mississippi courtroom. One was a store clerk, 27; after Emmett Till (14, visiting from Chicago) talked to her in 1955, he was kidnapped and killed. The other was Emmett’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley. The case would propel the civil rights movement; Till-Mobley (played by Adrienne Warren, shown here with Cedric Joe as Emmett) would go on to get a master’s degree and be an educator and an activist. This wraps an intense mini-series; a documentary follows at 10:31. Read more…

Single, drunk life sparked new series

For years, Simone Finch was at the edge of great TV, hoping to be part of it.
Then her own life became a starting point. The result is “Single Drunk Female,” a comedy-drama that debuts at 10 and 10:30 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 20) on Freeform.
“I started writing this in 2012 – before I got sober, actually,” Finch said. “And then I got sober – and then I realized it was about a girl getting sober.”
Now she’s further along – almost eight years without a drink – and can look back at a precarious time. Her story finds Sam (Sofia Black-D’Elia, 30, shown here) back from rehab, living with a mother (Ally Sheedy, 59), who thinks, as Sheedy puts it: “She’s not going to come change my life and my habits.” Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 18: Broadway revives, Naomi frets

1)“Great Performances: The Broadway Revival,” 9 p.m., PBS. Right now, Adrienne Warren is starring as Emmett Till’s mother in an ABC mini-series that concludes Thursday. Before that, she drew raves in a Tina Turner musical (shown here) … until COV ID closed Broadway, “It crushed me,” she says here. After a 19-month break, the show returned … and she had to relearn everything. “It was hilarious,” she says, “and also terrifying.” She’s one of many people in an involving (but repetitive) look at Broadway’s comeback. Read more…

Lizzie (or Sophie or someone) is grown up now

So Lizzie McGuire gets to be a grown-up after all – sort of.
The new show is “How I Met Your Father,” Tuesdays on Hulu, starting Jan. 18. It’s a different character (now named Sophie), with different producers; but it’s still Hilary Duff (shown here), with Lizzie-like zest.
And it reflects another show (a sequel to Duff’s “Lizzie McGuire”) that started and then stopped. “Comparing it to the ‘Lizzie’ that never was,” Duff said, “I think she’s a totally different character and we … have a lot more fun with what people are doing in their 30s.” Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 17: buried by blizzards

1) “9-1-1: Lone Star” and “Ordinary Joe,” 8 p.m., Fox and 10 p.m., NBC. Suddenly, our TV sets are filled with snow.; both episodes have blizzards. For “Lone Star,” that’s a surprise; Texas doesn’t get much snow. It’s also a rerun of the season-opener, starting an excellent, multi-week story: Owen (Rob Lowe,shown here), bearded and brooding, is in a cabin when the world transforms. And for “Ordinary Joe,” all three of these extraordinary Joes – the cop, nurse and rock star – see their lives battered. Read more…

“Black-ish” savors its season-long finale

TV shows, even the popular ones, used to end without warning.
Tracee Ellis Ross remembers that from “Girlfriends.” After a cozy, eight-season run, it simply vanished.
“We didn’t know the show was ending,” Ross recalled in a Television Critics Association virtual press conference. “We didn’t get a wrap party; we didn’t get a finale – none of that.”
Now she has the opposite experience on “Black-ish” (shown here). Before work began on this eighth season (9:30 p.m. Tuesdays, ABC), everyone knew this would be the last. Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 16: Marilyn memories, football playoffs

1) “Reframed: Marilyn Monroe” opener, 9-11 p.m. ET, CNN, rerunning at midnight. Early stories had Monroe (shown here) as the product of accidents (discovered while babysitting) and manipulative men. Well, she was discovered by accident – but as a factory worker, not a babysitter. She refused to sleep with mogul Harry Cohn and co-wrote a piece about male predators. In an excellent (if overstated) start to a two-week, four-hour portrait, we meet a savvy and ambitious woman who mastered projecting her beauty. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Jan. 17: Star mastered tragic drama, vibrant musical

1) “Women of the Movement” (shown here) conclusion, 8-10 p.m. Thursday, ABC. In a packed Mississippi courtroom, two women offer crucial testimony. One is a store clerk, 27; after Emmett Till (14, visiting from Chicago) talked to her in 1955, he was kidnapped and killed. The other is his mother, Mamie. The case would propel the civil rights movement; Mamie Till-Mobley would go on to be an educator and an activist. This wraps up an intense, six-hour mini-series; a documentary will follow at 10 p.m.. Read more…