Author Archives: Roger Catlin

True Crime and a Whole Lot More

The documentarian Liz Garbus must have felt an intense kinship to Michelle McNamara, a true crime blogger who kept amassing information on a topic in order to fashion it into compelling art. For her latest film, she tackles McNamara’s obsession with a prolific rapist and killer in California in the 1970s and 80s that became [...]

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Also on Sunday: BET Awards on CBS

The comedian Amanda Seales hosts The BET Awards 2020 (BET, CBS, 8 p.m.), where performers include Alicia Keys, Chloe X Halle, DaBaby, D Smoke, Jennifer Hudson, John Legends, Lil Wayne and Usher among others. The pandemic means the ceremony will be socially distanced (and not like last year’s event with Rihanna, pictured above).  But it [...]

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Saturday TV: Beatles, Dylan and Concert

You can’t quite beat the double bill of The Beatles and Bob Dylan. It happens tonight on Turner Classic Movies with the pairing of the timeless “A Hard Day’s Night” (8 p.m.) followed by the less-often seen “Don’t Look Back” (10 p.m.), the revealing look at Bob Dylan at his most mercurial, amid his 1965 [...]

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Friday TV: The Eurovision Contest for Now

The pandemic meant no Eurovision Contest this year. In its place is a Will Ferrell spoof, “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” (Netflix, streaming). He stars with Rachel McAdams as an Icelandic act that seems like half of Abba but is in contention in the worldwide competition. Pierce Brosnan, Dan Stevens and Demi [...]

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Thursday TV: ‘Search Party’ Found Again

The third season of the funny (and lately missing) “Search Party” (HBO Max, streaming) moves from TBS to the newish service, extending the story of Alia Shawkat’s Dory and her hipster friends in Brooklyn as a criminal trial begins. For all the hoopla over its other holdings, this is one of the few titles that [...]

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Clubs Eye Pandemic Reopenings

As phase two kicks in (even as coronavirus cases spike), clubs are tip-toeing toward reopening, but not without as many regulations as an airplane ride – or perhaps more so. The venerable Birchmere Music Club in Alexandria, Va., announced plans to reopen July 10 with the Billy Price Charm City Rhythm Band – not one [...]

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Wednesday TV: Investigating Abuse

If one can stomach another documentary about the horrible abuse of the young women in the USA Gymnastics team, “Athlete A” (Netflix, streaming) follows the Indianapolis Star team of reporters uncovering more abuse and coverups by the underlying organization. Jorge Garcia of “Lost” stars as a former child star who has become a hermit as [...]

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Tuesday TV: The Legacy of Toni Morrison

The life and work of Toni Morrison, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of “Song of Solomon” and “Beloved” who died last summer at 88, is explored in a new “American Masters” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings). Interviews with Morrison are joined with those by Angela Davis, Fran Leibowitz and Hilton Als. “Frontline” (PBS, 10 p.m., [...]

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Monday TV: Walking the Old Rail Lines

Julia Bradbury walks some of the 10,000 miles of disused railway lines in the United Kingdom to find historical clues to the Industrial Revolution as well as signs of modern adaptations in the six-part documentary series “Coast & Country Railway Walks” (Acorn TV, streaming). A new film on “Independent Lens” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings) looks [...]

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Sunday TV: A Very Different ‘Perry Mason’

Raymond Burr seems the farthest thing away from the new adaptation of “Perry Mason” (HBO, 9 p.m.). Rather than a stocky defense lawyer of the 50s, the Erle Stanley Gardner character is a rumpled detective and former World War I soldier trying to scratch out a living in 1930s Los Angeles. Matthew Rhys of “The [...]

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