Friday TV: Further Excuse to Avoid Writing

Though she’s always been identified as a writer for decades, New Yorker Fran Leibowitz hasn’t turned anything out in 27 years — and that was a children’s book. Instead, she’s become a cranky personality and now turns her attention to a documentary series about her observations, “Pretend It’s a City” (Netflix, streaming), directed by no less than Martin Scorsese, who already made a documentary about her in 2010 for HBO, “Public Speaking.”

Attacks on the press were among the awful scenes of the Capitol sedition; the rate of physical attacks on U.S. reporters has spiked to 185 last year, up from 40 in 2019. It’s been bad in the Philippines as well, where President Rodrigo Duterte cracking down on journalists, with one in particular in his sights, Maria Ressa., currently facing jail time under a cyber libel law. A special report on a special night of “Frontline” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings), is titled “A Thousand Cuts.”

In the new Irish film “Herself” (Amazon Prime, streaming), Clare Dunne plays a woman who escapes her life as an abused partner and tries to rebuild her life with her two children.  

Wilmer Valderrama, Demi Lovato and Sia lend their voices in the animated “Charming” (Netflix, streaming), a fairy tale with music.

A second season starts for the fanciful series which takes a few flights of fancy in depicting the life of the poet Emily “Dickinson” (Apple+, streaming). 

With 10 new movies coming on its streaming service, “Marvel Studios: Legends” (Disney+, streaming) is a series that tries to parse the various superheroes.

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