Author Archives: Roger Catlin

Wisdom from Terrence McNally, 1938-2020

Theater suffered a loss this week when the playwright Terrence McNally died at 81, of complications of our current plague, the coronavirus. It was a sad irony since many of McNally’s plays dealt with the effects of a previous plague, AIDS, in the 1980s. His plays, musicals and screenplays, which included “Frankie and Johnny in [...]

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Wednesday TV: Traveling by Television

When travel began to be shut down due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, religious landmarks were among the first to close. Thus a new series like “Earth’s Sacred Wonders” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings) may be the only way for now to visit such places as Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Jerusalem and the Shaolin [...]

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Tuesday TV: ‘Council of Dads’ Debuts

A fragile and emotional time is probably the perfect atmosphere to introduce the new drama “Council of Dads” (NBC, 10 p.m.) in which a group of friends take over parenting for a father of five after he learns he has cancer. The cast includes Tom Everett Scott, Clive Standen, Sarah Wayne Callies and Michael O’Neill. [...]

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Monday TV: A Boy’s Move to Fisherman

The documentary “The Rescue List,” making its premiere tonight on “POV” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings) follows a team working to rehabilitate two boys in Ghana who were trafficked into slavery into fishermen on Lake Volta. Alyssa Fedele and Zachary Fink direct. Robert Finster plays a young “Freud” (Netflix, streaming) who is trying to [...]

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Sunday TV: Damian Lewis Spills on Spies

He’s kind of a king of Sunday night TV, on shows like “Homeland” and “Billions” and even before that on the “Masterpiece” series “The Forsythe Saga” and HBO’s “Band of Brothers.” Now he’s just himself, hosting the new series recounting famous intelligence operations from the FBI, CIA, KGB and MI6, “Spy Wars with Damian Lewis” [...]

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Remembering Kenny Rogers, 1938-2020

I feel kind of bad now that I pressed Kenny Rogers a few years back on whether a tour he was calling “The Gambler’s Last Deal: Final World Tour” would actually be his last. Similar ventures by, say, Kiss, Cher and the Who over the past few years had not resulted in actual farewells. When [...]

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Saturday TV: Not Much, Frankly

For a Saturday night when perhaps a record number of Americans will be home, there isn’t quite a lot of new or recommendable programs on. More bad planning! After marrying off representative brides from each state last week, a new season starts for “Say Yes to the Dress – Atlanta” (TLC. 8 p.m.), a city [...]

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Friday TV: Streaming to The Rescue

It would seem that streaming services are stepping to keep up with the demand of a nation being asked to stay home. But then again, it’s just Friday, when they regularly release a load of new titles. Octavia Spencer stars as a entrepreneur who built an African American haircare company that made her the first [...]

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Thursday TV: Conspiracies to ‘News’

The insidious networks of misinformation who snake their conspiracy theories into mainstream news media are deftly explored in the chilling new documentary “After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News” (HBO 9 p.m.), which begins with that weird belief that the military were training a secret operation in Texas during the Obama administration and [...]

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Other Things I’ve Written Lately

Some of the other things I’ve written lately for other outlets include: A report on the Library of Congress Gershwin Award given to Garth Brooks, for Entertainment Weekly A look at a new exhibit of John Singer Sargent charcoal drawings at the National Portrait Gallery (before the coronavirus shutdown), for Smithsonian An interview with [...]

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