Saturday TV: I Believe I’m ‘The Fly’

flyIt’s the most famous high-pitched plea in movie history: “Help me!” It happened in the classic 1958 horror film “The Fly” (TCM, 8 p.m.), the one with Vincent Price (Jeff Goldblum was in the 1986 remake). It’s paired tonight with the first of two lesser-known sequels, the 1959 “Return of the Fly” (TCM, 10 p.m.), also with Price.

Later, Turner Classic Movies brings a rare crime noir with Lucille Ball as a detective in the 1947 “Lured” (midnight), and two films with Matthew Broderick, “The Freshman” (2 a.m.) and “Torch Song Trilogy” (4 a.m.).

It’s another weekend of NFL Playoffs with Indianapolis at Kansas City (NBC, 4:30 p.m.) and Dallas at Rams (Fox, 8 p.m.).

The all-female “Ocean’s 8” (HBO, 8 p.m.) with Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Cate Blanchett and Sarah Paulson, makes its premium cable debut as does the my Schumer comedy “I Feel Pretty” (Showtime, 9 p.m.) and “The Padre” (Starz, 10 p.m.) with Nick Nolte and Tim Roth.

Three couples seek to revive Huntsville, Ala., through a real estate project they call the Comeback Group on the new series “Love & Marriage: Huntsville” (OWN, 10 p.m.). It follows the sixth season premiere of “Iyanla: Fix My Life” (OWN, 9 p.m.).

The two couples from a previous romantic film, “One Winter Weekend,” return to the same ski resort on the new sequel “One Winter Proposal” (Hallmark, 8 p.m.) with Taylor Cole, Jack Turner, Rukiya Bernard and Dewshane Williams.

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Friday TV: ‘Sex Ed’ Amid Netflix Onslaught

Sex Education Season 1New online today is the British teen comedy series “Sex Education” (Netflix, streaming) about an awkward kid (Asa Butterfield) whose mom (Gillian Anderson) happens to be a sex therapist.

The amusing “Friends from College” (Netflix, streaming) with Keegan-Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, Nat Faxon and Fred Savage, returns, a year since the affair that fractured the group.

Chevy Chase and Richard Dreyfuss star in the new comedy “The Last Laugh” (Netflix, streaming) as a talent manger who tries to spring a comic from a retirement home so he can go back on tour for tie first time in  50 years earlier.  Andie McDowell and Kate Micucci also star in the film that sounds like a plot from “The Cool Kids” (Fox, 8:30 p.m.).

In the Spanish import “Solo” (Netflix, streaming), a surfer falls off a cliff in the Canary Islands and reconsiders his life. With subtitles.

A British-Pakistani man is coerced to become an “Informer” (Amazon Prime, streaming) in a new six-part series starring Nathan Rizwan and Paddy Considine.

The new “Back with the Ex” (Netflix, streaming) is an Australian reality show about four singles trying to get the spark back with an ex.

Rebecca is trying to find a way to stop thinking of her exes on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (CW, 9 p.m.).

The Cleveland Orchestra marks his 100th anniversary on “Great Performances” (PBS, 9:30 p.m., check local listings) with a program of Strauss, Mozart and Ravel, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, with a special appearance by pianist Lang Lang.

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Thursday TV: Wan New Sitcom ‘Fam’

FamIs Nina Dobrev the new Sally Field? The former star of “Vampire Diaries” sure looks like Gidget in the bland new sitcom “Fam” (CBS, 9:30 p.m.), about a an engaged couple who suddenly have to take in a bratty 16-year-old half-sister, played by Odessa Adlon (Pamela Adlon’s daughter).

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC, 9 p.m.) returns for its sixth season on a new network. NBC picked it up after Fox let it go, and though there seem to be some budget increases and a shift to office romance, its main problem continues to be the ain’t-I-cute showboating of star Andy Samberg. The agreeable ensemble will also eventually lose Chelsea Peretti in the move.

Amid the current impasse, ABC chooses to look back at what looks like a much more minor event 20 years ago, “Truth and Lies: Monica and Bill” (ABC, 9 p.m.), a case that led to impeachment even though a fixer didn’t use campaign funds to pay for silence (or do it twice). But if you want to listen to recorded conversations between Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp, knock yourself out. They include Barbara Walters’ feigned outrage at Lewinsky during an interview though Walters own affairs with a senator wouldn’t be admitted until years later.

Tying into its impending rebooted series, CW has a documentary about the UFO epicenter “Roswell: Mysteries Decoded” (CW, 9 p.m.).

As popular as it is, there isn’t much hip hop music performed on TV. But there sure are a lot of reality shows about it. Tonight sees the fifth season of “The Rap Game” (Lifetime, 9 p.m.) and “Growing Up Hip Hop” (WE, 8 p.m.) and “Marriage Boot Camp: Hip Hop Edition” (WE, 10 p.m.) featuring Soulja Boy, Waka Flocka, Lil’ Mo and Lil’ Fizz among other lil’ stars.

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Wednesday TV: How to Be a Dictator

DictatorsCreating a culture of fear, creating a common enemy, creating myth to justify governance, controlling the press, propaganda and creating a cult of personality were all common traits of the six totalitarians cover in the new docuseries “The Dictator’s Playbook” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings).

The weekly profile of a half dozen 20th Century rulers begins with a riveting look at Kim Il Sung who rose from poverty to build the most controlled society on earth, whose regime continues after three generations.

“The Goldbergs” (ABC, 8 p.m.) manages to create a spin-off, with Barry’s ex-girlfriend Lainey returning to her old high school as its music teacher. AJ Michalka (half of the pop group Aly & AJ) stars; Tim Meadows, who had played the school’s guidance counselor, is now the principal; Bryan Callen’s Coach Mellor also returns.  And the makers exploit nostalgia for the 90s the way the original show does for the 90s.

“You’re the Worst” (FX, 10 p.m.) returns for its final season with a splendid episode that sets the stage for the season’s central story — the wedding planning of Aya Cash’s Gretchen and Chris Geere’s Jimmy, and whether it will happen at all. Stephen Falk’s sharp comedy is rounded out by Kether Donohue and Desmin Borges.

“Modern Family” (ABC, 9 p.m.) returns with new episodes, with Haley and Dylan looking to find their own place before the baby comes.

“The Masked Singer” (Fox, 9 p.m.) set a ratings record in its weird premiere last week, the highest rated reality telecast in two seasons, with 14 million viewers. It will be interesting if it can keep up the interest with its second episode, which will feature singing from Rabbit, Alien, Raven, Pineapple, Poodle and Bee.

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Tuesday TV: New ‘Project Blue Book’

projectBlueBookFrom producer Robert Zemeckis, director of “Back to the Future” and “Contact” among other films comes the new series “Project Blue Book” (History, 10 p.m.), about the phenomenon of UFO sightings in the late 1950s and early ‘60s.

The reliable Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger on “Game of Thrones”; Tommy Carcetti on “The Wire”) plays a scientist hired by the government to mostly debunk thousands of claims from the public of UFO sightings, but he’s not so sure. Amid the period costumes and wrenched drama there is the hint it’s not all fantasy due to the network presenting it. But it looks to be struggling between using as source material recently declassified government files or “X-Files” reruns.

Two characters from the old series “The Fosters” go off on their own, starting a new life in Los Angeles in the spinoff “Good Trouble” (Freeform, 8 p.m.).

The child star turned tabloid obsessions looks to build her own party destination in Mykonos, Greece in the reality series “Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club” (MTV, 8 p.m.) in which she appears to be a malevolent boss over career waitresses, looking all the time like a lower grade “Vanderpump Rules.” It’s a big deal for MTV, sadly, probably because of the star, so they follow with an aftershow at 9.

Here to invade your prime time is a Presidential Address (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, 9 p.m.) trying to make a case for a border crisis. It’s the first time there has been such an address in this administration from the Oval Office. Look for a telepromptered screed from Stephen Miller lasting about eight minutes. Democrats will follow with a response. And fact checkers will be working overtime.

Adjustments include shelving planned new episodes of “FBI” and “NCIS: N.O.” and replacing with reruns of “The Neighborhood” (CBS, 9:30 p.m.) and “NCIS: New Orleans” (CBS, 10 p.m.).

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Monday TV: The Virgin ‘Bachelor’ Returns

BachelorColton Underwood is the first virgin at the center of “The Bachelor” (ABC, 8 p.m.). But anyone who follows the show may already be sick of him, first on The Bachelorette” and then on “Bachelor in Paradise,” where he waffled most of the summer despite a woman who wanted to get serious. Now he’s amid 30 women in sparkly gowns who think so little of their dating possibilities that they’re ready to fight more than two dozen others for the opportunity to snare the dude. Half the women seem weirder than him. Nearly every intro video is shot in gym, emphasizing the surface aspects of attraction.

The College Football National Championship pits two unbeaten teams against each other, Alabama vs. Clemson (ESPN, 8 p.m.).

A family that stood apart from the oil boom in North Dakota to stick with traditional agriculture is profiled in “My Country No More” on “Independent Lens” (PBS, 10 p.m.).

The summer hit tries a midseason variation with “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” (NBC, 8 p.m.), in which 50s act from the U.S. and international “Got Talent” competitions return before the American judges Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel. The returnees range from Susan Boyle and ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer to many you have already forgotten.

The new “Cartel Crew” (VH1, 9 p.m.) follows the offspring of drug cartel operators in Miami and Columbia in what looks like a kind of “Mob Wives” vibe of in-fighting and tight dresses.

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Sunday TV: Celebrities Dress Up, Drink

Golden GlobesWho cares what a few dozen random no name (and unnamed) entertainment writers think?

They’re the ones who pick the often weird choices you’ll see on the 76th Annual Golden Globes Awards (NBC, 8 p.m.), hosted by Sandra Oh, who stands to win for her nominated work on “Killing Eve,” and Andy Samberg, who has actually won a Golden Globe for his work on “Brooklyn Nine Nine” (to mention one of their weird choices).

Who cares what a few dozen random no name (and unnamed) entertainment writers think?

They’re the ones who pick the often weird choices you’ll see on the The Golden Globes (NBC, 8 p.m.), hosted by Sandra Oh, who stands to win for her nominated work on “Killing Eve,” and Andy Samberg, who has actually won a Golden Globe for his work on “Brooklyn Nine Nine” (to mention one of their weird choices).

But it draws both TV and movie people, and they all dress up and drink, so, of course people pay more attention to it than they actually should.

Among TV categories HBO’s “Charp Objects” and FX’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” share some of the most nominations.

But it draws both TV and movie people, and they all dress up and drink, so, of course people pay more attention to it than they actually should.

Among TV categories HBO’s “Charp Objects” and FX’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” share some of the most nominations.

But its start time is iffy due to the NFC playoff game of  Philadelphia at Chicago (NBC, 4:30 p.m.). The other

NFL playoff game has Chargers at Baltimore (CBS, 1 p.m.) in and AFC.

There’s a look at how “Dirty John” (Bravo, 10 p.m.) operates in its seventh episode.

On “Ray Donovan” (Showtime, 9 p.m.), the family bands together to save one of their own.

The immigration problem gets a quicker resolution on “Madam Secretary” (CBS, 10 p.m.).

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Saturday: National Parks Disappearances

nationalParkA special two-hour episode of “Vanished” (History, 8 p.m.) looks at all the missing persons cases that have occurred in national parks. It was made before the government shutdown led to the vanishing of oversight and maintenance crews there. Soon the only look inside the treasures may be through events like today’s 15 hour marathon of  “America’s National Parks” (National Geographic, 3 p.m.).

NFL playoffs begin with the wild card round, with Indianapolis at Houston (ESPN, 4:30 p.m.) in the AFC and Seattle at Dallas (Fox, 8 p.m.) in the NFC.

“Surviving R. Kelly” (Lifetime, 9 p.m.) ends its shattering three days with a look at how the world today is affected. It’s been the highest rated program on Lifetime in more than two years.

Jerry Seinfeld is guest on “The Alec Baldwin Show” (ABC, 10 p.m.).

The premiere of “The Titan Games” (NBC, 8 p.m.), which drew 6.5 million viewers Thursday, is rerun among all the other network reruns.

Good show for a Saturday night: The documentary on the first person hired to appear on “SNL,” Gilda Radner, “Love, Gilda” (CNN, 9 p.m.).

Christmas may be over but the seasonal romances continue with “Winter Castle” (Hallmark, 8 p.m.) in which Emilie Ullerup goes to an ice hotel for her sister’s destination wedding and falls for the best man, Kevin McGarry, who has come with a guest, Meghan Heffern.

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Friday TV: Hollywood Walk of Fame Honors

HollywoodWalkOfFameIf you think Sunday’s Golden Globes are a questionable award, how about The Hollywood Walk of Fame Honors (CW, 9 p.m.), which collects the people who have been given stars along Hollywood Boulevard and its nearby streets this past year.

They close down the streets for individual ceremonies, but they’ve apparently collected all of the 2018 class for this special. Among the recipients: Jennifer Garner, Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Tracy Morgan, N ‘Sync, Zoe Saldana, Gillian Anderson, Mary J. Blige, Jack Black, Mark Hamill, Cedric the Entertainer, Simon Cowell, Weird Al Yankovic, Eric McCormack, Carrie Underwood and, uh, Minnie Mouse.

Dwayne the Rock Johnson coincidentally is also part of a bit on the new standup special “Ron Funches: Giggle Fit” (Comedy Central, 11 p.m.)

A Town Hall with Nancy Pelosi (MSNBC, 10 p.m.) has the new Speaker of the House talking with Joy Reid and assorted Americans at a town hall style meeting.

A set of trials show the lapses in the justice system on “Surviving R. Kelly” (Lifetime, 9 p.m.).

The team tries to stop an imminent bombing on “The Blacklist” (NBC, 9 p.m).

On a new “Fresh Off the Boat” (ABC, 8 p.m.), Louis and Jessica win a weekend trip, but a different one than they expected.

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Practically New NRBQ Carries Its Mantle

IMG_6476Those who haven’t seen the long-running NRBQ for a decade or two (or five) might have been surprised at the pre-New Year’s show at the Hamilton in D.C. to find that it is almost entirely a different band.

And while it may be unsettling for fans of Joey and Johnny Spampinato, the late Tommy Ardolino or even Big Al Anderson, to see their wholesale replacements, the younger members miraculously seem largely as skilled and certainly steeped in the unique sensibility of the band, ready to rock, croon old pop or take off on free jazz at will.

Born since the band was conceived, talented guitarist Scott Ligon, bassist Casey McDonough and super young-looking drummer John Perrin could have been raised in a lab to take the mantle of the quirky, fun-loving band.

Even the singing voices of Ligon and Perrin seem pitched at about the same light timbre of Terry Adams, who at 70 is the sole connection to the beginnings of the band more than a half century ago.

Still holding down his side of the stage, manically attacking the electric piano or clavinet, smiling goofily, his hair spilling from beneath a molting straw hat festooned with a hatband of flowers, Adams still brings the bulk of the band’s cockeyed personality. At the same time, his keyboard playing is a marvel in its accuracy (despite looking like he’s only freely pounding).

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