When Woodstock ’99 Burned It All Down

Warning: There may be a little PTSD for anybody who was there triggered by the new documentary “Music Box: Woodstock ’99: Peace, Love and Rage” (HBO, 9 p.m.), chronicling the terrible concert held on the overheated concrete of a decommissioned Air Force base in upstate New York that seemed to embody the epitome of white frat boy rage at the time.

It wasn’t just the aggro-rock of headliners like Limp Bizkit and Metallica; it was all of the wwomen who crowd surfed who were routinely groped or violated; where a bottle of water cost $4 despite the stifling heat; where party boys cavorted in the overflow from the porta-pottys and pretended it was Woodstock mud.

Actually there was no real connection to the 1969 fest that gave the three-day fest its brand, despite attempts like Creed getting a guy from the Doors to sit in with them (the Doors never played the first Woodstock anyway). Love and peace murals all burned down with the rest of anything wooden left when the Red Hot Chili Peppers closed the concert on Sunday night (playing the Jimi Hendrix “Fire” with smirky irony).

By then, I was hi-tailing it back home in the van I had to sleep in for a few days because there were no accommodations for press as promised. I couldn’t get away fast enough. There might have been a few musical highlights that weekend that I may have forgotten (James Brown to start the thing?). But mostly it was terrible stuff like Fred Durst and company, urging the crowd to “break shit up,” in the words of one of their inane anthems. And an ugly, abused audience only too willing to comply.

What really brings it home for me in the documentary, which plays like the Fyre Festival films a few years back in the unfolding horror, are the press conferences where promoters denied that anything was going wrong, kids were actually having fun, and $4 wasn’t a bad price for a bottle of water in 1999.

Even today, the promoter John Scher tries to advance the outrageous notion that it was MTV who made it all look bad, because the crowd was throwing bottles at Carson Daly for playing too much Backstreet Boys (whose effigies were officially beheaded in the Offspring set). In other words: Fake news.

At least the Fyre Fest organizers got prison time.

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Also on Friday: ‘Ted Lasso’ Returns

Last year’s sunny series about an American football coach hired to helm a British soccer team, “Ted Lasso” (AppleTV+, streaming) returns for an assured second season of more fun. It comes amid a number of awards and nominations for Jason Sudeikis and crew. 

You may have to set the alarm to see the “2020 Tokyo Olympics: Opening Ceremony” (NBC, 6:55 a.m.) live this morning from Japan, which is 13 hours ahead. It will be a truly made-for-TV event since Covid has called for the clearing of live audiences in most cases. An edited version will be presented on primetime at 7:35 p.m. and run through midnight.

By the power of Greyskull: Mark Hammill is the voice of Skeleton in Kevin Smith’s new He-Man series, “Masters of the Universe: Revelation: Part 1” (Netflix, streaming) that reanimates the old series.

Shailene Woodley stars stars in the new movie “The Last Letter From Your Lover” (Netflix, streaming), based on the novel by Jojo Moyes. Felicity Jones and Callum Turner also star. 

Kate Beckinsale and Stanley Tucci star in the new action thriller “Jolt” (Amazon Prime, streaming), about a woman with a neurological disorder that makes her turn violent when she witnesses cruelty. 

Terrorists hijack an overnight transatlantic flight in the imported German horror film “Blood Red Sky” (Netflix, streaming).

A second season begins for “The Movies That Made Us” (Netflix, streaming), looking back at movies like the first “Jurassic Park” and “Back to the Future.”

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The Sublimely Weird ‘Ultra City Smiths’

It seems I’ve spent a lot of my time as a TV critic talking up the series of Steven Conrad, because his “Patriot” and “Perpetual Grace LTD” were so quirky and different and fun, but also because they needed the boost. Most people may have still not heard of them.

Things are not likely to be better for the new “Ultra City Smiths” (AMC+, streaming), because it’s on a service not people seem to have. But it has a lot of the same talent Conrad has used in the past, including Jimmi Simpson, Terry O’Quinn, Kurtwood Smith and Luis Guzmán. To these he’s added Bebe Neuwirth, Tim Heidecker, Tim Meadows, John C. Reilly, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Debra Winger, Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard and Melissa Villaseñor. And the narrator is Tom Waits. 

There’s also a prominent original song in every episode (and a dance off). But the thing most noticeable is that the series is entirely populated by stop-motion baby dolls on elaborate sets. Because the pandemic prevented normal filming? Who knows? At any rate, it works better than you might imagine to drive a dark noir about a kidnapped mayor and the detectives on the case. 

There’s lots of deadpan humor, puns, and the kind of brash, engaging dialog Conrad served up in his earlier series. Like his other shows, I revel in it even as I fear it may have been created only for me. (But maybe it’s for you, too).

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Also on Thursday: ‘Through Our Eyes’

A new four-part series from Sesame Workshop, “Through Our Eyes” (HBO Max, streaming) looks at big issues facing families today, including homelessness, parental incarceration, military caregiving and climate change, from the perspective of children.

Trisha Yearwood plays the season finale of “CMT Campfire Sessions” (CMT, 9 p.m.).

“Walker” (CW, 8 p.m.) investigates a bomb threat at a school. 

Two back-to-back episodes spell the end of “Good Girls” (NBC, 9 p.m.), having its series finale.

French teens summon a spirit on the film “Kandisha” (Shudder, streaming). 

The Japanese import “Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop” (Netflix, streaming) is a rom com anime, from the creators for “Your Lie in April.” 

“Big Brother” (CBS, 8 p.m.) holds its second live eviction (made less special this season because of the lack of the live audience).

Couples react to the first audience-voted eviction on “Love Island” (CBS, 9 p.m.). 

“Making It” (NBC, 8 p.m.) tries to whip up curb appeal. 

Fitness moms, male cheerleaders and lifeguards play “Beat Shazam” (Fox, 8 p.m.). The other game show on tonight is “The Cube” (TBS, 9 p.m.). 

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Wednesday TV: ‘Turner & Hooch’ Series

The 1989 Tom Hanks movie “Turner & Hooch” (Disney +, streaming) has been turned into a series, with Josh Peck (the “Drake & Josh” star not in legal trouble) in the role as a U.S. Marshal in San Francisco paired with a slobbery French Mastiff. It’s not very good, but I guess that means it’s paying homage to the original. 

The new series “Behind the Attraction” (Disney+, streaming) looks behind the scenes of popular theme park attractions like the Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain. 

If you’d rather hear the behind the scenes story behind the first season of “Loki,” though, it’s on “Marvel Studios Assembled” (Disney+, streaming). 

Guillermo del Toro is producer on latest animated sequel in the “Tales of Arcadia” series, “Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans” (Netflix, streaming), with the voices of Alfred Molina, Steven Yeun, Nick Offerman, Kelsey Grammar and Cheryl Hines, among others. 

President Joe Biden takes part in a CNN Town Hall (CNN, 8 p.m.) in Cincinnati, Ohio, marking his six months in office. Don Lemon moderates.

“Airplane!” star Robert Hays hosts a new series about airline mischief on “Fasten Your Seatbelt” (A&E, 10 and 10:30 p.m.). 

“Kung Fu” (CW, 8 p.m.) reaches its season finale with Nicky infiltrating the Forge, where mystical weapons she’s been hunting were created.

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Bob Dylan Streams ‘Shadow Kingdom’

Out of all the musicians knocked off the road by the pandemic, it must have been a real strain on Bob Dylan. A guy who has essentially played one tour after another since 1988; totaling more than 3,000 shows, pausing only a few months during a health scare in 1997, he had seen nothing like this eradication of his touring schedule. 

He filled it initially with his remarkable “Murder Most Foul,” an unexpected, 16-minute rumination about the assassination of JFK that was also his first No. 1 single, 57 years into his recording career. Released March 20, 2020, soon after lockdowns began, it was an anchor for his 39th studio album “Rough and Rowdy Ways” released in June 2020.

It took a while, though, for Dylan to catch up to fellow artists using the internet to stream concerts as a way to connect with fans and maybe make up for all that lost touring revenue.

Dylan had gotten used to traveling the world and reworking his tunes while dressed in cowboy garb and maintaining his career-long mystery before devoted fans. 

His streaming event “Shadow Kingdom” on Sunday allowed him belatedly to continue that interest. On stages he surrounds himself with old Hollywood klieg lights and smoke to create a kind of atmosphere. In his streaming concert, smoke almost takes over.

The idea is that he’s in an imaginary 30s cafe — the nonexistent Bon Bon Cafe in Marseilles, France is “thanked” at the end. But with the cowboy hats of the denizens, surrounded by columns of longneck beers and overflowing ash trays, it’s more like a period cafe in Hollywood, where it was almost certainly created.

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Tuesday TV: All About Pope Francis

A new season begins for the biographical series “In their Own Words” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings) which begins with no less than the life of Pope Francis, the first pope from the Americas, first non-European and first jesuit priest to reach that height.

Historian Bill Lepp travels to less-traveled corners to dig up truth behind the myths of American history in the new series “Man vs. History” (History, 10 p.m.), which begins in the West with the legends of Billy the Kid and Annie Oakley. 

The Bucks could win it all in Game 6 of the NBA Playoffs, with Phoenix at Milwaukee (ABC, 9 p.m.). It would be their first title since the only other time they won — 50 years ago.  

Chris Tucker is guest on the Anthony Anderson-hosted preshow “Jimmy Kimmel Life: NBA Finals Game Night” (ABC, 8 p.m.). 

A new “Frontline” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings) looks at the consequences of America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. 

The Olympics get a soft opening in a couple of sports. Softball includes Australia vs. Japan (NBC Sports, 8 p.m.), Italy vs. U.S. (NBC Sports, 11 p.m.) and Mexico vs. Canada (NBC Sports, 2 a.m.). Women’s soccer games are played deep into the night with China vs. Brazil (NBC Sports, 4 a.m.) and U.S. vs. Sweden (USA, 4:30 a.m.).

Coverage of today’s latest billionaire’s trip to space is provided in the special “Bezos in Space: Blue Origin Takes Flight” (Discovery, 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.). 

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Monday TV: 100 Years of Olympic Films

Whatever happens in Tokyo later this week, Turner Classic Movies presents 100 years of Olympic films, with “The Games of the V Olympiad Stockholm, 1912” (5 a.m.), “The White Stadium” (8 a.m.), “XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport” (10:15 a.m.), “White Vertigo” (1 p.m.), “Tokyo Olympiad” (3 p.m.), “Visions of Eight” (6 p.m.), “Games of the XXI Olympiad” (8 p.m.), “16 Days of Glory” (10:15 p.m.), “Marathon” (3:15 a.m.) and “First” (5:30 a.m.). 

Amid the current crisis in Haiti, Michèle Stephenson’s documentary “Stateless” looks at the complexity of the region where a 2013 legislation stripped citizenship from Dominicans of Haitian descent and a young attorney named Rosa Iris ran for Congress amid the turmoil. It makes its debut on “POV” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings). 

“Betraying the Badge” (Vice, 10 p.m.) is a whole new series about cops gone bad. 

Michelle Rodriguez of “Fast & Furious” films hosts an eight episode driving competition in the new “Getaway Driver” (Discovery, 9 p.m.). 

From the people that bring you 12 hours a day of “Ridiculousness” (MTV, 8, 8:30, 9, 9:30, 10, 10:30, 11, 11:30 p.m.) is “Adorableness” (MTV, 7 p.m.), filled with clips of kittens and such. Alyson Hannigan and Ross Mathews provide commentary. 

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Sunday TV: Riding the 100-Foot Wave

Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara came out of retirement to fulfill his dream of riding a wave taller than an 8-story wave in Nazaré, Portugal the documentary series “100 Foot Wave” (HBO, 10 p.m.). Philip Glass does the music. 

It comes after the second episode of “The White Lotus” (HBO, 9 p.m.) where there is some scuba diving and some paddle boating, but no surfing. (Also missing: the employee who had the baby in episode one is never seen again).

The new dark comedy “The End” (Showtime, 8 p.m.) is about a woman who wants to exercise her right to die, only to be thwarted by her daughter, a palliative care nurse. Harriet Walter and Frances O’Connor star.

The new psychological thriller “The Decieved” (Starz, 9:30 p.m.) begins its run, featuring Paul Mescal of “Normal People.”

The latest spin-off of the series “Power,” titled “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” (Starz, 8 p.m.) is a prequel about the teenage years of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson’s character Kenan Stark before he became a killer Mekai Curtis stars with Patina Miller, Omar Epps and Malcolm Mays. 

Cake makers Duff Goldman and Buddy Valastro return to settle scores in the third season of “Buddy vs. Duff” (Food, 9 p.m.). 

The new series “The Machines that Built America” (History, 9 p.m.) looks at important inventors.

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Saturday TV: ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ Returns

“Say Yes to the Dress” (TLC, 8 p.m.) returns for 20th season, with Kendall Vertes of “Dance Moms” helping his sister Ryleigh find a dress and stand up to their mom, Jill. The new season is full of virtual sessions and other pandemic interruptions, as well as the usual anxious brides.

It’s Milwaukee at Phoenix (ABC, 9 p.m.) in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, with the series all tied up 2-2.

It’s the most populous city in Japan, but there is also a “Wild Tokyo” (BBC America, 8 p.m.), according to this nature special.

Robert Irvine hosts the five-episode culinary competition “The Globe” (Discovery+, streaming). 

Wrap up Shark Week with “Brad Paisley’s Shark Country: Sharkmania” (discovery, 7 p.m.), “Return to Shark Vortex” (Discovery, 8 p.m.), “Shark Week Best in Show” (Discovery, 9 p.m.) and “I Was Prey: Best of Sharks” (Discovery, 10 p.m.). But there is also “Rogue Tiger Shark: The Hunt for Lagertha” (Discovery+, streaming), “When Sharks Attack” (National Geographic, 8 p.m.), “Shark Attack Files” (National Geographic, 9 p.m.) and “Shark Attack Investigation: The Paige Winter Story” (National Geographic, 10 p.m.). 

“The Empty Man” (HBO, 8 p.m.), a 2020 supernatural horror thriller starring James Badge Dale and Marin Ireland, makes its premium cable debut.

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