Sunday TV: Amy Adams in ‘Sharp Objects’

SharpObjectsIt’s good to see Amy Adams operate, starring as a dark journalist investigating murders of young girls in her Missouri hometown in HBO’s newest series “Sharp Objects” (HBO, 9 p.m.). Director Jean-Marc Vallée gets the most out of the local landscape and the story by “Gone Girl” author Gillian Flynn. The cast includes such welcome faces as Patricia Clarkson and Chris Messina. And yeah, I’ll probably watch the whole glossy thing, brought to TV by Marti Noxon.

But there are as many annoying aspects to it as “Big Little Lies,” mainly an approach to storytelling that relies on jolting flashbacks that don’t immediately mesh with the present. Meant to be artful, it only seems to try to make things more jumbled than they could be. Plus, how could a tiny young woman consume this much alcohol?

On the second season finale of “I”m Dying Up Here” (Showtime, 10 p.m.), something positive comes out of the bad news received by Ralph and Adam.

Even Knievel died in 2007 after a lifetime of stunts. Tonight, the misleadingly named “Evel Live” (History, 8 p.m.) stuntman Travis Patrana tries to replicate three of his motorcycle jumps in Las Vegas.

This afternoon, Angela Meade stars as Queen of Babylon in Rossini’s opera “Semiramide” on “Great Performances at the Met” (PBS, 1 p.m., check local listings).

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Saturday TV: 105th Tour de France Begins

TourDeFranceInternational sport provides refreshing change this summer. Here is more of it with the 105th Tour de France (NBC Sports Network, 5 a.m., 8 p.m.). Part travelogue, part intense competition, it starts with a flat run from Noirmoutier-en-l’ile to Fontebay-Le-Comte.

World Cup quarterfinals have  Sweden vs. England (Fox, 10 a.m.) and Russia vs. Croatia (Fox, 2 p.m.).

With his own show “Real Time” on summer hiatus, “Bill Maher: Live from Oklahoma” (HBO, 10 p.m.) is a topical monologue from a show in Tulsa.

The course of a single day on the planet is chronicled on “Planet Earth: One Amazing Day” (BBC America, 9 p.m.).

Last year’s “Justice League” (HBO, 8 p.m.) makes its premium cable debut, as does “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” (Starz, 8 p.m.) and “Marshall” (Showtime, 9 p.m.) about Thurgood Marshall.

These sitcoms about a man at three stages of his life and another living by the book didn’t work out so well. So it’s time to burn off unseen first seasons episodes of “Me, Myself & I” (czbS, 8 and 8:30 p.m.) as well as “Living Biblically” (CBS, 9 and 9:30 p.m.).

Capitalizing on the recent hit, the new “Lego Marvel Super Heroes Black Panther: Trouble in Wakanda” (Disney XD, 8:55 p.m.) packs in the branding opportunities in its cumbersome title.

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Friday TV: ‘White Fang,’ Now Animated

FangJack London’s century old tale “White Fang” (Netflix, streaming) gets a full length animated version, with Nick offer man, Paul Giamatti and Rashida Jones lending their voices.

Jerry Seinfeld has driven his little comedy show from Crackle to the world-renown Netflix for his 10th season. Among the passengers this time around in “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” (Netflix, streaming) are Ellen DeGeneres, Dave Chappelle, Tracy Morgan, John Mulaney, Kate McKinnon, Alec Baldwin, Hasan Minhaj and Jerry Lewis.

A new season also comes for a streaming show from another figure noted for his sitcom work, Phil Rosenthal, creator of “Everybody Loves Raymond” who gallivants as a foodie in his “Somebody Feed Phil” (Netflix, streaming).

A second season of episodes is also available for the “Anne of Green Gables” variant “Anne with an E” (Netflix, streaming) as well as the series about the Italian soccer club, “First Team: Juventus” (Netflix, streaming).

Take a tour of prison systems across the planet with “Inside World’s Toughest Prisons” (Netflix, streaming) hosted by Paul Connolly.

The Indian import “Sacred Games” (Netflix, streaming) has a gang boss team with a cop to save a city.

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Thursday TV: Steve McQueen Month Starts

SteveMcQueenSteve McQueen is star of the month on Turner Classic Movies with Thursday night roster of movies that begins with “The Blob” (8 p.m.), “The Magnificent” (9:45 p.m.), “Never So Few” (midnight), “Somebody Up There Likes Me” (2:15 a.m.) and “The Swarm” (4:15 a.m.).

The first houseguest is evicted on a live “Big Brother” (CBS, 9 p.m.).

Jason Sudeikis, Sharon Osbourne and Brad Paisley are judges on “The Gong Show” (ABC, 8 p.m.).

Yvonne Orji and Omari Hardwick share their knowledge on the new series “2018 Best of Genius Talks” (BET, 10 p.m.).

Joel McHale, Constance Zimmer, David Arquette, Caroline Rhea, Laverne Cox and Michael Ealy play “Match Game” (ABC, 9 p.m.).

An 8-year-old pianist is among the “Little Big Shots” (NBC, 8 p.m.).

“Marlon” (NBC, 9 p.m.) goes to homecoming weekend on the first of two episodes.

It’s prime outdoor season on “Lone Star Law: Uncured” (Animal Planet, 8 p.m.).

On “Nashville” (CMT, 9 p.m.), Scarlett tries to help ean.

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July Fourth TV: Rocket’s Red Glare, Etc.

MacysfireworksStill don’t understand the phenomena of fireworks on TV, but there is a lot of it again tonight.

“Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular” (NBC, 8 p.m.) has, in addition to pyrotechnics over the East River, performances from Kelly Clarkson, Ricky Martin, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, American Authors and Brandon Victor Dixon. Its hosts are Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila from “American Ninja warriors.”

From Washington, the annual “A Capitol Fourth” (PBS, 8 p.m.) has  Jimmy Buffett (and his Broadway show “Escape to Margaritaville”), Mike Love’s version of the Beach Boys,  the remaining members of the The Temptations, Pentatonix, Chita Rivera, Andy Grammar, Luke Combs, Renée Fleming, CeCe Winans, Joshua Bell and Lauren Alaina and Kyla Jade of “American Idol.” John Stamos, who hosts the event on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, will probably want to play drums for the Beach Boys as well.

It plays opposite a new Fourth show at the opposite end of the National Mall being televised for the first time. “Fourth of July at the White House”(Hallmark, 8 p.m.) boasts Sara Evans, Russian pianist Lola Astanova and a couple of their own “American Idol” finalists, Jonny Brenns and Jax (The fireworks will be the same one seen on PBS).

Another American tradition of the day: Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest (ESPN2, noon).

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Tuesday TV: Several Short Comedy Sets

Comedy-Lineup-Season-1Netflix has been churning out a lot of comedy specials in recent months. Tonight, they start giving lesser-known comics a shot at that kind of fame with 15-minute sets on a show called “The Comedy Lineup” (Netflix, streaming). Among the performers are Sabrina Jalees, pictured, along with Tim Dillon, Michelle Buteau, Jak Knight, Sam Jay, Phil Wang, Ian Karmel and Taylor Tomlinson.

The defense team tries out its strategy for retrial on “The Last Defense” (ABC, 10 p.m.).

“Civilizations” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings) looks at art in the time of rapid change.

The story of ASPCA is explored, woozily, on “Drunk History” (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.).

“America’s Got Talent” (NBC, 8 p.m.) looks at auditions so far.

Kat doesn’t like the lack of diversity among applicants for the social team on “The Bold Type” (Freeform, 8 p.m.).

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Monday TV: At the Pyrotechnic Festival

BrimstoneBefore you light up your own fireworks this week, get a load of the work at the annual National Pyrotechnic Festival in Tultepec, Mexico, the basis of Viktor Jakovleski’s explosive documentary “Brimstone & Glory,” making its bow on “POV” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings), and which looks into the often dangerous lives of pyrotechnicians.

A more troubling documentary tonight is “The Rape of Recy Taylor” (Starz, 9 p.m.) about the rape of a 24-year-old sharecropper in 1944 by six white men who were never prosecuted. Filmmaker Nancy Buirski interviewed Mrs. Taylor about her experience weeks before her death at 97.

Turner Classic Movies begins July with a comprehensive American road trip covering 50 states in 50 movies Mondays and Tuesdays all month. They begin in New England with “A Summer Place” (8 p.m.) set on an island in Maine; “Lolita” (10:30 p.m.) which begins with Humbert Humbert’s visit to the fictional Ramsdale, N.H., “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” (1:15 a.m.) which originates in fictional Mandrake Falls, Vt; and  “Little Women” (3:30 a.m.) about life for a family in Concord, Mass.

Earlier today on TCM, it’s all about Joan Blondell in “God’s Gift to Women” (6 a.m.), “Colleen” (7:30 a.m.), “Smarty” (9 a.m.), “The Kid from Kokomo” (10:15 a.m.), “Traveling Saleslady” (noon), “Broadway Gondolier” (1:15 p.m.), “The King and the Chorus Girl” (3 p.m.), “Illicit” (4:45 p.m.) and “Stage Struck” (6:15 p.m.).

John Noble returns as Holmes’ father on “Elementary” (CBS, 10 p.m.).

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Sunday TV: ‘Power’ Back for Season Five

power-season-5-release-date-cast-info-trailer-premiere-binge-watch-starz“Power” (Starz, 8 p.m.) begins its fifth season with Omari Hardwick’s character Ghost teamed up with his former nemesis Kanan, played by 50 cent, who also happens to be an executive producer.

The third and final season starts for “The Tunnel: Vengeance” (PBS, 10:30 p.m., check local listings) with the burning of a boat carrying child refugees.

Weird time for what looks to be an interesting entertainment panel show “Close Up with the Hollywood Reporter” (Sundance TV, 10 a.m.) which starts with a roundtable of comic actresses, Rachel Brosnahan, Debra Messing, Tracee Ellis Ross, Frankie Shaw, Drew Barrymore and Molly Shannon.

The American prison system is examined in the documentary “American Jail” (CNN, 8 p.m.).

Derrick Beckles’ new series identifies its target audience: “Mostly 4 Millennials” (Cartoon Network, midnight).

“Succession” (HBO, 10 p.m.) has the worst Thanksgiving ever.

Shifting back the attention to Noah and Helen in California (with one tantalizing scene flashing forward) “The Affair” (Showtime, 9 p.m.) has an especially strong episode.

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Saturday TV: Baby’s Got Back Porch

sir-mix-a-lot-diynetwork-He likes big bedrooms and he cannot lie; you other brothers can’t deny. Premiering tonight is “Sir Mix-A-Lot’s House Remix” (DIY, 8 p.m.). And now every old rapper has a house renovation show.

“Ransom” (CBS, 9 p.m.) ends its season with two episodes. First, there is the negotiation for the release of a couple being held hostage by illegal immigrants in rural Canada that goes all wrong.  Then Evie gets brainwashed at 10.

“Taken” (NBC, 8 p.m.) comes to an end as well with an effort to stop Ramsey from assassinating a senator.

The highlights of the season are reviewed on “Planet Earth: Blue Planet II” (BBC America, 9 p.m.).

It’s all true crime replays on broadcast TV with “48 Hours” (CBS, 10 p.m.), “Dateline” (NBC, 9 p.m.) and a replay of “Truth & Lies: The Murder of Laci Peterson” (ABC, 9 p.m.).

And the 10th anniversary of “Casey Anthony and the Summer of Lies” is the subject of a “CNN Special Report” (CNN, 8 p.m.). Because no other news happened this week.

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Friday TV: Hugh Grant in New Miniseries

a-very-english-scandalOn the new three part miniseries set in 1960s England, “A Very English Scandal” (Amazon, streaming) Hugh Grant plays a closeted politician in the UK who hooks up with a stable boy. But when things go wrong with the relationship, he tries desperately to hide it.

Elsewhere online, Betty Gilpin and Alison Brie return for a second season of the enjoyable “GLOW” (Netflix, streaming), celebrating the world of female wrestlers in the 1980s.

It comes amid another typical Friday night load of online premieres that includes the BBC-co produced reality show “Churchill’s Secret Agents: The New Recruits” (Netflix, streaming) in which 14 modern day competitors take the same challenges World War II era spies did, in period costumes, with commentary from historians.

The French import “La Forêt” (Netflix, streaming) is a dramatic series built around the disappearance of three girls from the Ardennes Forest near a French village.

There’s a girl disappearing on its British import as well, “Kiss Me First” (Netflix, streaming), a new series in which characters tumble into worlds of virtual reality.

And the second season starts for the baking competition for terrible bakers, “Nailed It!” (Netflix, streaming).

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