Friday TV: Engaging New Series ‘Deaf U’

Gallaudet University ranks high as a school for the deaf and hard of hearing, but that doesn’t mean its students are bursting with personality and energy. A lot of “Deaf U” (Netflix, streaming) has to do with their splashy interactions and all of the hookups among a small group of students at the D.C. school, where women far outnumber men. 

There’s not a lot of studying on camera. But it’s a deft look at the variety of people within the deaf community. It’s directed by Gallaudet grad Nyle DiMarco, who is maybe the leading deaf figure in reality TV having won both “America’s Top Model” and “Dancing with the Stars.” And it’s about as good a reality series as is out there these days. 

Tom Wolfe wrote a nifty book about the Mercury space program that became a movie. Now it’s a fairly dull eight-part series not exactly filled with big names. Still “The Right Stuff” (Disney+, streaming) might be just right for some audience. 

Radha Blank wrote, directed and stars in the new comedy “The Forty Year Old Version” (Netflix, streaming) in which a playwright decides to become a rapper at age 40. Blank’s directorial debut won a prize when it debuted at Sundance in January. 

It’s that time of year, so there’s a new horror series based on the “Haunting” anthology series, “The Haunting of Bly Manor” (Netflix, streaming). Henry Thomas and Victoria Pedretti star in the series set in 1980s England. 

There’s a “West Wing” reunion (virtually) on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” (CBS, 11:35 p.m.).

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