Best-bets for July 2: ‘Dads,’ ‘Dark’ dramas

1) “Council of Dads” season-finale, 8 p.m, NBC. Last week ended with a fierce hurricane ripping through town. People huddled in Oliver’s home, where he delivered the baby he and Peter hope to adopt. Robin left to save her son Theo and was trapped … until Anthony arrived. Now this strong finale surveys the damage (shown here) and answers questions: How is the baby? Will Peter accept him? Did the restaurant survive? Can Anthony be forgiven for lying and leaving? Will Robin imagine one more chat with her late husband? Read more…

Supervise my bath, please

Sometimes, you pass by a sign that jolts you.
That happbned to me today. It was an election sign that simply said: “Curtis For Bath Supervisor.”
What? We elect people to supervise our bathing? The mind jumps to — well, Ernie (shown here) singing “Rubber Ducky.” Or Marilyn Monroe in a bubble-bath secne or some such.
It sort of needs context, I guess. Like the time I saw a sign that said “Rich Girls Track Team.” Read more…

NBC on the 4th: country, rock & fireworks

Now we have two large-scale choices for the 4th of July. And neither involves wedging into a noisy crowd of COVID-deniers.
NBC has just announced its plan for the night. It includes some country, some rock, a tad of poetry and a lot of fireworks. That’s at the same time that PBS (see separate story) has country, pop, Broadway …. and a lot of fireworks.
The annual NBC event has been linked to Macy’s fireworks (shown here in a previous year), which were on hold for a while, while New York worked out a way to avoid people congregating: Read more…

Best-bets for July 1: Some high-stakes sci-fi

1) “The 100,” 8 p.m., CW. This show manages to leap between big-scope science-fiction and intensely personal drama. Tonight, it has three jail-cell duos — the heroic Octavia and the un-heroic Echo (shown here) … Diyoza, considered a mass-murderer, and her tough daughter Hope … and Russell and a hesitant chess partner. Each encounter is intense and well-acted. And late in the hour, there are two fierce surprises; also viewers will learn the identity of the “True Disciple Leader.” Read more…

Best-bets for June 30: A world of hype and talent

1) “World of Dance,” 10 p.m., NBC. As the “duels” round begins, there’s lots of hype and posturing, pretending the joyous act of dance is actually a grim battle. Still, these dancers deserve plenty of … well, better hype. The first two duels involve talented groups … one offering vibrant quasi-bellhops. Then the night’s final match-up hits a peak – an individual (Kurtis Sprung) who projects deep passion and a duo (Styles & Emma, shown here) whose ballet skills create a sensual elegance. Read more…

A 4th of July void? TV has an answer

For four decades, “A Capitol Fourth” has had a cozy place in holiday plans.
It was a choice – a traffic-free, mosquito-free way to catch music and fireworks on the 4th of July. Some years, it was PBS’ most-watched show.
And now? Suddenly, it’s gone from being “a choice” to being almost “the only choice.” With cities canceling fireworks — and with only one other network (NBC) stepping in – “Capitol Fourth” (shown here in a previous year, with Kelli O’Hara) gets a fresh focus.
“So many people have called, wanting to be part of this,” said Michael Colbert, the producer. “We have 15 new performances – the most we’ve ever had.” Read more…

Best-bets for June 29: Activist women, horny men

1) “POV: And She Could Be Next,” 9-11 p.m., PBS; concludes Tuesday. Filmed in 2017-18, this fits the current surge in minority activism. We see women fighting the odds in political races. Tonight wraps up two stories: In Michigan, Rashida Tlaib (shown here) tries to be the first Muslim woman in Congress; in Chicago, Bashra Amiwala, a Palestinian-American teen, runs for county board. It also starts several other stories, including Stacey Abrams in Georgia. The result is long and slow, but involving.
Read more…

“Pose” stars link for special tonight

This is short-notice, but let me get it out there :
At 10 p.m. today (Friday, June 26), three networks – FX. Freeform and Hulu – combine for an event called “Pose-a-thon.” Billy Porter, shown here, will co-host.
That gives you a night of virtual shows. First, catch the Daytime Emmys at 8 p.m. on CBS; then switch to “Pose-a-thon” at 10. Read more…

Best-bets for June 28: Music stars and dreadfully good drama

1) BET Awards, 8-11 p.m., CBS and BET. As the networks take a fresh interest in black lives, here’s a first: CBS simulcasts this show with its sister channel, BET. Comedian Amanda Seales hosts a virtual ceremony; it has awards for best actor, actress and movie, but the emphasis is on music. Performers include Chloe x Halle (shown here at the Super Bowl), Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Lil Wayne, Kane Brown, Wayne Brady, DaBaby, D Smoke, Jonathan McReynolds and Megan Thee Stallion. Read more…

Week of June 29: Slow start and fireworks finish

1) “A Capitol Fourth” (shown here in a previous year), 8 p.m. Saturday, PBS, rerunning at 9:30. For the second time, a big-deal event gets a social-distance twist. The National Memorial Day Concert skillfully mixed new music (taped in Washington and beyond) and past highlights. This has some of the same people (Trace Adkins, Kelli O’Hara, Renee Fleming), adding Patti LaBelle, John Fogerty, Yolanda Adams, Andy Grammer, Brantley Gilbert, Mandy Gonzalez, Brian Stokes Mitchell, the Temptations, tributes and fireworks. Read more…