Mike Hughes

Best-bets for March 18: sports stars and despicable laughs

1) “Despicable Me 3” (2017), 8 p.m., NBC. Facing that cascade of sports events, NBC offers a comedy refuge. First is this animated film; Steve Carell voices a former villain (shown here with minions), now in an Anti-Villain League duo with his wife, voiced by Kristin Wiig. That’s followed by “Saturday Night Live” reruns at 10 p.m. (Colin Farrell in 2004, with the Scissor Sisters) and 11:29. Read more…

She detoured into “scary movie girl” turf

Chances are, you won’t be seeing Keshia Knight Pulliam in many “Scream” films. Or in anything that’s very fast or furious.
“I’m not a thriller girl,” she said in a Zoom press conference. “I am not a scary movie girl.”
She’s been a Cosby kid, a Christmas-movie heroine, a Tyler Perry drama queen. But now comes “The Hillsdale Adoption Scam” (its promotional art iks shown here) at 8 p.m. Saturday (March 18) on Lifetime, rerunning at midnight and then at 6 p.m. March 25. It had her running and ducking and eluding bad guys – all filmed carefully.
“I was very pregnant when I was doing this,” Pulliam said. But her character wasn’t, so camera angles were key. Read more…

Want a clever show? Better call Bob

In a logical world, Bob Odenkirk would have taken several months – or years, or decades – off.
He had just finished 10 years playing Jimmy McGill, also known as Saul Goodman. He’d had fame, fortune, six Emmy nominations and a heart attack. As he turned 60, it was a logical time to relax.
Except then “Lucky Hank” (shown here) came along. “It happened so quickly that my head was spinning a bit,” he told the Television Critics Association.
Now the show debuts at 9 p.m. Sunday (March 19), rerunning each hour until 1 a.m. As soon as Hank (Odenkirk), a writiing professor, unleashes a rant, viewers will see why the role would be hard to reject. Read more…

Best-bets for March 17: break-ups, basketball and opera

1) “Grand Crew,” 8:30 p.m., NBC. Broken relationships are scattered all over this episode. Noah (Echo Kellem, left) has been in a funk since his girlfriend was deported … His sister Nicky has a romance that takes some big (and funny) turns … Anthony is nudged back into the dating scene … And Fay, celibate since her divorce, wants a bad-boy type. There are some good moments, especially when Nicky explodes. Read more…

Best-bets for March 16: Tourney begins, “Trouble” returns

1) Basketball tournament begins, 12:15 p.m. ET, CBS. The NCAA tourney begins with Maryland (shown here) and West Virginia. That’s followed quickly by games at 12:40 p.m. on TruTV, 1:40 on TNT and 2 on TBS. Each channel has four games today and Friday, wiping out other shows. For CBS stations, that means soap operas lose their spots for a couple days; so do some afternoon talk shows and such. Read more…

Drama deluge: Three PBS shows arrive March 19

After a month-long drought, PBS drama fans will hit overload. Arriving Sunday (March 19) are:
— “Call the Midwife,” at 8 p.m. It’s the 12th season and seems destined to go on forever.
— “Sanditon” (shown here) at 9. It’s the third season – and the final one; blame circumstances for that.
— “Marie Antoinette,” at 10. It will only last eight episodes; blame the French peasants. Read more…

Oscars brought laughs, warmth and Gaga

Okay, this was what we were hoping for from an Academy Award telecast – a hearty blend of humor, warmth and potent music.
And one thing more: A clever guy (Jimmy Killmel)n was at the core, making sure it was fun.
There were a few flaws along the way. The long plug for “Little Mermaid” was annoying … the acceptance speeches were mostly bland … I kept waiting for David Byrne’s song to discover a melody … and it’s never fun to see the same show keep winning. Read more…

Best bets for March 15: “Lasso,” “Lies,” Leslie Odom Jr.

1) “Ted Lasso” (shown heere) season-opener, Apple TV+. Ted’s success coaching English soccer has been surprising … especially for an American football guy who knew nothing about soccer. Now that leads to a new problem: The team has been promoted to the top league, where it’s predicted to finish last; the owner is furious about the prospect of losing to her ex-husband’s team. The result skillfully mixes humor and drama, adding warmth as Ted’s son ends his summer visit. Read more…

Marie Antoinette: A ditz? A rebel? A well-dressed enigma

More than two centuries after Marie Antoinette’s death, there are opposite views. She was:
— A ditz and a spendthrift who ignored her countrymen’s poverty. She didn’t really say “let them eat cake,” but she might have thought it.
— Something much more. “She was totally a rebel,” said Emilia Schule (shown here), who stars in the eight-part “Marie Antoinette,” debuting at 10 p.m. Sunday (March 19) on PBS.
In the glittery Versailles palace, Marie was a rule-breaker — something Schule sort of understands. Read more…

Best-bets for March 14: A super Batman sort of night

1) “Gotham Knights” debut, 9 p.m., CW. In the opening moments, we know everything has changed. Batman is dead; young thieves have been framed. Now they’re part of a reluctant band of allies, including Batman’s adoptive son (shown here), the Joker’s estranged daughter and a new version of Robin. They have nothing in common except being young, angry and telegenic. It’s a great start (repeating at 9 p.m. Wednesday), delivering the CW’s usual taut visuals. Read more…