Friday TV: Portrait of a Photographer

Winogrand“Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable” chronicles the work of the celebrated street photographer who died in 1984. He made more than 1 million images with his 35mm Leica capturing the late 1950s to the early 70s, and influenced generations of photographers after him. Sasha Waters Freyer’s film, which uses some of his home movies and newly discovered audio tapes, makes its debut on “American Masters” (PBS, 9 p.m.).

Young comic Ramy Youssef creates a new comedy about real life for a Muslim growing up in New Jersey, dealing with family, friends, romance and the future, in the series “Ramy” (Hulu, streaming), which also deals with faith.

Australian funnyman Chris Lilley of “Summer Heights High” fame is back with six new characters he impersonates on the 10-episode  “Lunatics” (Netflix, streaming). Among them a pet psychic, an overly tall college girl, an ex porn star, an incompetent real estate agent and a teen who is to become a future Earl.

The self-help author graduates from Ted talks to a full-length stage lecture “Brené Brown: The Call to Courage” (Netflix, streaming).

Gina Rodriguez stars as a music journalist weathering a tough breakup by spending a big weekend with girlfriends in the the new film “Someone Great” (Netflix, streaming). With Brittany Snow, Rosario Dawson, LaKeith Stansfield and Lizzo.

The day after one Vice reporter just read the 400 page Mueller Report after it was issued, here’s a “Vice Special Report: The Future of Work” (HBO, 10 p.m.) looking at how automation and artificial intelligence will replace jobs in the future. Among the first group targeted: truck drivers. Fianna Toboni reports. (It replaces “Real Time with Bill Maher” this week).

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Thursday: ‘Life,’ Mueller Report, in Pieces

life-in-pieces-season-4-premiereIt’s a weird time of year, when many shows are ending their season, but something like “Life in Pieces” (CBS, 8:30 p.m.) is just starting its fourth season, with a vacation in Mexico. Then there’s a second episode at 9:30.

Nearly two years in the making, the redacted Mueller Report will get its widest public release just before noon today, and networks will be on the air all day trying to cover it. Preceding it with his own spin at a 9:30 a.m. press conference will be Attorney General Bill Barr (who has reportedly shared the full report with the White House so it could plan its preemptive spin). It’s all part of what will be a big news day all around likely to crash established daytime schedules at least.

It affects late night as well, in that “Late Night with Seth Meyers” (NBC, 12:35 a.m.) will go 90 minutes tonight for the first time. That’s to make time for a special “A Closer Look” on the report in addition to its “Game of Jones” review of “Game of Thrones” with Leslie Jones. Plus Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is a scheduled guest alongside Amy Sedaris and Toro y Moi.

The South Korean import “My First First Love” (Netflix, streaming) is an eight-episode series about five young people sharing a house.

Sandra negotiates a plea agreement for a homeless man accused of trespassing at a national wildlife refuge on “For the People” (ABC, 10 p.m.).

Perhaps you thought the contestants on “The Bachelor” are dumb. Not as dumb as those on “Double Shot at Love with Pauly D & Vinny” (MTV, 8 p.m.). One of them didn’t know how many stars there were on the U.S. flag. Then again, Vinny didn’t know either.

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Wednesday TV: Another ‘Amazing Race’

You're in Our Race NowSeason 31 (!) of “The Amazing Race” (CBS, 9 p.m.) finally makes it to the air, nine months after shooting wrapped — and 14 months since the last season finale. The 11 teams are comprised solely of previously competitors on any one of the three leading CBS reality competitions — “Survivor” (CBS, 8 p.m.), “Big Brother” and this one. Some have competed in more than one of those shows, such as Rachel Reilly, who returns to play with her sister. Other vaguely familiar names (and I watch these shows) I could only pick out Rupert and his wife from “Survivor”; You Tubers Tyler Oakley and Korey Kuhl, and “Big Brother” women Janelle Pierzina and Nicole Franzel (on separate teams). Host Phil Keoghan kicks it all off in Hermosa Beach, Calif. and they promptly go to Japan. The premiere, originally planned for next month, was moved up after the failure of “Million Dollar Mile” in this time slot, moved to Saturdays after just two episodes.

Whatever happened at Coachella this year, Beyoncé wasn’t there. But she was there last year. And only now is she releasing her performance there saluting historically black colleges and backstage planning for it. It’s called “Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé” (Netflix, streaming) and like each week’s episode of “Game of Thrones,” it hasn’t been seen by anybody before today’s debut.

Patrick Stewart narrates the new “Breakthrough: The Ideas That Changed the World” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings), which begins with an episode about the development of the telescope.

“The Magicians” (Syfy, 9 p.m.) has its season finale and its episode description is no more helpful than it’s ever been: “Quentin and Josh get cake.”

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Tuesday TV: Escaping to Nebraska

BlessThisIn a premise as old as “Green Acres,” Dax Shepard and Lake Bell play a New York couple who abruptly move to a Nebraska farmhouse in the new “Bless This Mess” (ABC, 9:30 p.m.). With Ed Begley Jr. and JT Neal among the colorful locals that include Ed Begley Jr., Pam Grier and Lennon Parham. It all sounds a little forced but it comes in part from Elizabeth Meriwether who created “New Girl.” To depict Nebraska, though, they’ve got to do a little more to up the Go Big Red factor and get rid of the mountains in the background.

A better family picture can be found in the new “There She Goes” (BritBox, streaming), starring David Tennant as the head of a family dealing with a daughter born with rare chromosomal disorder that causes severe disabilities and behavioral issues. How the family copes is the basis of the series, based on creator Shaun Pye’s own family.

The rise of Jim Crow eliminates any advances after the Civil War in the concluding chapter of “Reconstruction: America After the War” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings) that also tracks how Civil War statues were erected decades later to send their own message.

How the two dancers met is covered in tonight’s “Fosse / Verdon” (FX, 10 p.m.).

The football star Junior Seau is profiled on “30 for 30” (ESPN, 9 p.m.).

“The Big Interview with Dan Rather” (AXS, 8 p.m.) begins its ninth season with an interview with Steve Perry of Journey, a far step from his Watergate reporting.

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Monday TV: Tracking a Family Separation

MarcosDavid Sutherland’s documentary “Marcos Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”  follows the immigration crisis through one family – a Marine veteran in Ohio separated from her undocumented husband, trying to unite with him over the border. The co-production with “Frontline” and “Voces” makes its debut on “Independent Lens” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings)

In the new Disney Channel-style sitcom “No Good Nick” (Netflix, streaming) Siena Agudong stars as 13-year-old Nicole who insinuates herself into a family to exact some revenge from them, but might have second thoughts. Melissa Joan Hart, who once played these kind of teenage roles herself, now plays the mom. Sean Astin of “Stranger Things” is the dad.

“Family Guy” (TBS, 10:30 a.m.) marks its 20th anniversary with 20 episodes all day.

Bernie Sanders gets a “Town Hall” (Fox News, 6:30 p.m.) on Republican state television, but not exactly in prime time.

Here’s another new series for baker Duff Goldman: “Duff Takes the Cake” (Food, 10 p.m.).

The Top 10 are revealed live on “American Idol” (ABC, 8 p.m.).

They start something called cross battles on “The Voice” (NBC, 8 p.m.).

“Jesus: His Life” (History, 8 p.m.), the series, ends weeks short of Easter.

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Robyn Hitchcock: Sublimely Weird


Age is only helping Robyn Hitchcock settle into his role as wizened surrealist singer and mystic storyteller.

More than 45 years after starting his first band, the founder of the Soft Boys who went on to fronting the Egyptians and a long, accomplished solo career is a unique troubadour — a singer who can create a splendid musical reverie of abject strangeness and splendid ’60s chords while freestyling fantastical spoken word tales between songs as he tuned.

In a nicely balanced show last week among the wonderfully rough-hewn beams of The Barns at Wolf Trap in rural Virginia, Hitchcock, 66, played guitar and sang, blew some harmonica and began a second set at a Steinway piano. His tousled hair now white, he also divided his attire between a seasonally-attuned flowered shirt with birds on it and another that portended the coming summer, with a popsicle pattern.

Songs fluctuated from nifty obscurities to former MTV staples, with crowd-pleasers like “Balloon Man” and “Madonna of the Wasps” amid things like the opening “Man with a Woman’s Shadow,” and more recent “Light Blue Afternoon.”

The selection from his latest self-titled album is his closest stab at at straight-ahead country, “I Pray When I’m Drunk,” though it sounded less so live. He had a new single he was selling too, so he sang the pleasing “Sunday Never Comes.”

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Sunday TV: ‘Game of Thrones’ Wall Falls

GoTThe overload of hype has almost put me off the return of “Game of Thrones” (HBO, 9 p.m.) for its final six episodes, with the Wall crumbling and the invaders imminent. Yes, I’ll be watching with everyone else the saga with paradoxically both too many characters but also too many deaths. But as the show has been galloping to its conclusion, there’s been much more emphasis on huge battles over the kind of dialogue and quieter moments between characters that set the series apart in the first place. And now, with the White Walkers and so forth, it’s become kind of a monster show as well.

The first half of the final season last year were battle-crammed, as if rushing to get everything in position for the end; the last few episodes will likely be more like this. The very success of the series will mean they’ll throw even more money at it to make it spectacularly cinematic, which will likely mean buying more extras for slaughter. The only restraint may be not following each episode with a talk show.

Likely going unnoticed opposite it is an interesting new six-part version of Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings) that revives the 19th century saga of French class struggle without all the songs of the popular stage musical. Dominic West grows a huge beard and terrible attitude as Jean Valjean (as if he’s been thrown in jail for transgressions on “The Affair”). David Oyelowo is Javert, Lily Collins is Fanzine, and Oscar winner Olivia Coleman is Madame Thenardier. And just about everybody you’ve ever seen in British drama also seems to have a part. Screenwriter Andrew Davies (the original “House of Cards”) knows how to fashion a drama, and there’s more naughty bits than one would expect in public television drawing room drama. And as if to keep up with its HBO competition, there are fields full of dead bodies at first as well.

“Veep” (HBO, 10:30 p.m.) goes to Iowa for the county fair campaigning and first debates.

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Saturday TV: Beyond the Torn Achilles

resurgenceSports dominate TV tonight.

The sports documentary “The Resurgence: DeMarcus Cousins” (Showtime, 8 p.m.) looks at the torn Achilles that ended the NBA season of DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins and joining the Golden State Warriors in the offseason.

The NBA Playoffs begin with a primetime showcase of Clippers at Golden State (ABC, 8:15 p.m.). Other games have Brooklyn at Philadelphia (ESPN, 2:30 p.m.), Orlando at Toronto (ESPN, 5 p.m.) and San Antonio at Denver (ESPN, 10:30 p.m.).

It’s opposite Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoff of Toronto at Boston (NBC, 8 p.m.). Other games have Carolina at Washington (NBC, 3 p.m.), Dallas at Nashville (CNBC, 6 p.m.)  and Colorado at Calgary (NBC Sports, 10 p.m.).

A third network has NASCAR’s Toyota Owners 400 (Fox, 7:30 p.m.).

Health trends in different cultures across the globe are studied in “Chasing Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta” (CNN, 9 p.m.).

One aspect of the saga you may not have thought worthy of coverage becomes a two hour documentary, “Charles Manson: The Funeral” (Reelz, 8 p.m.).

“Crazy Rich Asians” (HBO, 8 p.m.) makes its premium cable debut, as does “The Equalizer 2” (Starz, 8 p.m.).

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Friday TV: Pulitzer Awarded Own Bio Film

pulitzerAt a time when journalism seems at a crossroads, here’s a portrait of a media mogul whose name became synonymous with excellence, “Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People” on “American Masters” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings). Toward the end of his life, President Theodore Roosevelt sued him for “criminal libel” for investigation potential corruption in the building of the Panama Canal. Pulitzer’s 1911 Supreme Court victory laid precedent for First Amendment issues being tested today.

An actual star in France, the comedian Gad Elmaleh plays a version of himself in the eight-episode “Huge in France” (Netflix, streaming), trailing to L.A. to reconnect with his estranged son.

The eight episode “Special” (Netflix, streaming) stars Ryan O’Connell about his life as a gay man with mild cerebral palsy, based on his book “I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves.”

The latest high school romance flick from the service, “The Perfect Date” (Netflix, streaming) stars Noah Centineo as a high schooler who rents himself out as a plus one. With Laura Marano, Odiseas Georgiadis and Camila Mendes.

In the dubbed Spanish  flick, ”Who Would You Take to a Desert Island?” (Netflix, streaming) four roommates decide their choice.

The subtitled “A Land Imagined” (Netflix, streaming) is a subtitled police thriller from Yeo Siew Hua, a Singapore-France-Netherlands co-production.

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The Unexpected Return of Mott the Hoople

MottMott the Hoople always seemed the kind of band that would implode at any moment, and such was the case when they pulled into New York in the middle of their 1974 U.S. tour, becoming the first rock band to play a week on Broadway.

That achievement didn’t pay off for the band (any more than introducing Queen to open their shows that year did). And by the end of the year, they were done.

Now, apropos of nothing but a random 45th anniversary of the album they had out at the time, The Hoople, the band is back playing the U.S. for the first time since then. Only eight stops were scheduled for the beloved glam band – the connective tissue between T-Rex and the New York Dolls; Who among the 1,300 at the 1928-era, 1,300-capacity Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pa., near Philadelphia Monday would have expected this great good fortune, to see this storied band once more in 2019?

Mott the Hoople had reunited famously only once, a decade ago, for a couple of shows at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. That one featured the earlier version of the band whose names were memorable from being part of the lyrics of its “Ballad of Mott the Hoople” — Verden Allen, Mick Ralphs, Overend Watts, Dale ‘Buffin’ Griffin.

That lineup didn’t include two who were part of the 74 Broadway stint (and the subsequent live album issued that year), ex-Spooky Tooth guitarist Ariel Bender and pianist Morgan Fisher.

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