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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Thursday TV: End of ‘The Opposition’

Comedy Central's "The Opposition w/ Jordan Klepper" PremiereA changing of the guard occurs tonight in late night comedy.

Seems like a bad time politically to end “The Opposition with Jordan Klepper” (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m.), which has its final episode tonight after a nine month run. It’s not easy helming a show entirely in character; when Stephen Colbert did it, it was exhausting for him as well.

And the politics he’s been spoofing is already so over the top it’s tough to compete. But the post “Daily Show” slot has been a tough one for everyone following Colbert, including “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” that preceded this.

A sharp satirist who excels in the field, Klepper will re-emerge on the network with a new weekly series next year; for now nothing has been announced to fill  the 11:30 Comedy Central slot except reruns of “The Office.”

Elsewhere, “Desus & Mero” (Viceland, 11 p.m.) have their last show on their current network tonight as well, but only as a stepping stone up. The fast-thinking urban commentators and interviewers are moving over to Showtime and a presumably larger audience. For their final appearance on Viceland, a number of compatriots top by, from Awkwafina to Charlamagne Tha God as well as sports radio dude Mike Francesca.

A winner is named in the 10th season finale of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (VH1, 8 p.m.), where there will be tears and there will be glitter.

Ryan Murphy, James Baldwin and the parents of Trayvon Martin are among the honorees on “VH1 Trailblazer Honors 2018” (VH1, 9:30 p.m.).

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Wednesday TV: Season 20 for ‘Big Brother’

bigBro20A flight attendant, a former undercover cop, a welder and a Las Vegas entertainer are among the 16 cast members of the the 20th season of “Big Brother” (CBS, 8 p.m.).

Tonight’s two-hour premiere hosted by Julie Chen features three competitions even before the first Head of Household challenge. The winner of one will have a game advantage all season; two losers will have their game affected negatively. Tech is the theme this summer, with a Silicon Valley-styled home and various twists delivered through apps. Favorite players determined by viewer clicks will be rewarded accordingly; least popular players will be punished.

Because it’s the 20th anniversary, players from previous seasons will be popping up all summer. In addition to the three night a week schedule on broadcast prime time, “Big Brother After Dark” returns Thursday at 1 a.m. on Pop.

Before this season’s storms start up “Nova” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings) looks at the destruction of last year’s hurricane season on an episode called “Rise of the Superstorms.”

Something grim likely happens on “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu, streaming). But there’s also an unexpected cameo.

World Cup fever invades “MasterChef” (Fox, 8 p.m.) with  soccer-themed challenge.

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The Feelies at the 930 Club

IMG_5848The fast jangle and hypnotic rhythms of The Feelies is not just a warm throwback to 1980s when their first album ushered in a precise kind of frantic nerd rock, influencing a number of other bands. By now, the band is a standard bearer for an enduring strain of New York rock.

With its droning chords, flighty solos, pounding drum and deadpan vocals, it’s the closest thing to the Velvet Underground in the 21st Century.

It’s a homage the quintet acknowledged in its splendid and generous return performance at the 930 Club Friday night. Two of the four covers in their series of encores were from the Velvets.

And the harder rocking selections from their latest material from their 2017 album In Between forge the same heady path, particularly the title song. It was presented, as on the album, in two ways, the original and in an expanded psychedelicized version in the encores. By the end, Glenn Mercer was rubbing his guitar neck against the microphone, which you wouldn’t have expected such a reserved person to do.

Mercer is paired with the similarly bespectacled and overly reserved Bill Million; with Mercer taking on all the lead vocals and most of the lead guitar work, as Million adds the textures of his rhythmic guitar. The two barely spoke to the crowd and could scarcely bring themselves to even look up at them, despite the adoration before them.

To their left, Brenda Sauter began the show creating tones on guitar on the opening “When Company Comes.” She became a third percussionist late in the show, hitting a standing tom. But mostly she played bass, sang some harmonies and acted like Earth translator for the rest of the front line, saying thanks from time to time. “You make us feel so welcome,” she said at the outset.

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Tuesday TV: ‘Secret City’ on Netflix

AnnaTorvAnna Torv, once of “Fringe” stars in an Australian series “Secret City” (Netflix streaming) as a journalist looking into a death that has something to do with U.S./China political intrigue.

Also online, there’s a new standup special, “W. Kamau Bell: Private School Negro” (Netflix, streaming).

In the penultimate episode of “Civilizations” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings), the ideology of “progress” rises and falls in various countries and the “civilizing” component of Enlightenment has contradictions for some European artists.

Said to be the possible recipient of a future presidential pardon, Martha Stewart joins Marc Murphy and Chris Santos at the judges panel as a new season begins for “Chopped” (Food, 9 p.m.) — its 39th.

Auditions continue on “America’s Got Talent” (NBC 8 p.m.); there’s a qualifying round on “World of Dance” (NBC, 10 p.m.).

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Monday TV: Imagine Dragons, Acceptance

HBObelieverDan Reynolds, frontman of the group Imagine Dragons, acts like he deserves a big pat on the back for not adhering to the discriminatory policies of the Mormon Church in which he was raised. He does the only thing he thinks rock stars can do: throws a benefit concert. He refuses, though, to renounce the church which is seen as boosting suicide rates for gay teens in Utah. And you keep hearing that song that is the documentary’s title, “Believer” (HBO, 8 p.m.).

Another documentary about a singer trying to do good, “Singing with Angry Bird” on “POV” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings) follows South Korea opera singer Kim Jae-chang who organizes choirs in economically depressed areas.

Surely the worst broadcast show in recent memory is “The Proposal” (ABC, 10 p.m.), which began last week with 10 women asking a man they could not see to propose, only to return in bathing suits – something the Miss America pageant has even dropped. With scant sentences passed between them, a man made his choice. Tonight ten men seek an unseen woman. Lets see if they have to get in to Speedos to do so.

The whole terrible thing with a barking studio audience as if a game show makes “The Bachelorette” (ABC, 8 p.m.) by contrast seem like a measured and considered road to a lasting relationship (even if tonight’s episode has to do with Las Vegas and Wayne Newton).

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Sunday TV: Jamie Foxx Hosts BET Awards

Anita-BakerAnita Baker, currently on her farewell tour, will receive a lifetime achievement award at the BET Awards 2018 (BET, MTV, TV Land, VH1, 8 p.m.). Performers are to include Wale, YG, Ledisi, Marsha Ambrosias, Tye Tribbett, 2 Chainz, Miguel, Yolanda Adams, Daniel Caesar, Big Sean, SiR, Jay Rock, Meek Mill, Janelle Monáe, H.E.R., and Migos. Jamie Foxx hosts the event from the Microsoft Theater in L.A., that is followed by the 2018 BET Awards After Party Live” (BET,  VH1, 11 p.m.).

The final episode ever shot of “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” (CNN, 9 p.m.) is set in Bhutan among Buddhist monks.

“Westworld” (HBO, 9 p.m.) ends its second season greatly expanded in scope, with the ability to create strong individual episodes, but just as apt of running way off the rails. The official description of tonight’s 90 minute season finale is “One only lives as long as the last person who remembers.”

On “Masterpiece” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings), a fifth season starts for Detective Constable Morse on the prequel “Endeavor,”  with past and present colliding at the auction of a priceless Faberge Egg. It’s the first of six full-length episodes this season.

Jesse takes his ex-girlfriend and an Irish vampire to a Louisiana plantation where he grew up on the third season start of “Preacher” (AMC, 10 p.m.).

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Saturday TV: Radio Disney Music Awards

TrainorAh, you thought you were out of touch with the MTV Video Music Awards. At the 2018 Radio Disney Music Awards (Disney, 8 and 9:30 p.m.) the nominees include Cheat Codes, Hey Violet, Lauv and Why Don’t We as best new artist nominees.

There are also some familiar names for best artist including Bruno Mars, Ed Sheehan, Meghan Trainor, Selena Gomez, Shawn Mendes and Taylor Swift. And old-timers Kelly Clarkson, Janet Jackson and Carrie Underwood will be honored for their long careers. Performers include Trainor, above, but also Marshmello, Echosmith, Charlie Puth and the latest “American Idol” winner Maddie Poppe.

The work of American tennis coach Nick Bollettieri is profiled in the documentary “Love Means Zero” (Showtime, 9 and 10:30 p.m.).

On “Ransom” (CBS, 8 p.m.), Eric works with two teenagers whose parents are being held hostage by a mob boss.

The daughter of a government official working overseas is “Taken” (NBC, 8 p.m.).

In what is now a franchise within a franchise, Jack Wagner and Josie Bissett return in “Wedding March 4: Something Old, Something New” (Hallmark, 9 p.m.) which is now a kind of anthology about other weddings they host at an inn. This one stars Merritt Patterson and Andrew Walker as the young couple.

Also, lest you forget it’s June, there’s “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta” (TLC, 8 p.m.), “I Want THAT Wedding” (TLC, 9 p.m.) and “Say Yes to the Dress: Since I Said Yes” (TLC, 10:08 p.m.) which updates stories.

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At the ‘Luke Cage’ Premiere Party

IMG_5835The second season of “Luke Cage” (Netflix, streaming) begins tonight on the service, but had a premiere party the other night at the Kennedy Center celebrating Marvel’s bulletproof brother from Harlem.

As interesting as the first season was — and of Cage’s Netflix origins in “Jessica Jones” — the first two episodes they showed seemed to reflect more of the comic book origins, with contrived situations and scenes of pathos, requisite action segments and straightforward villains.

By now in the story Cage (the ever laid back Mike Colter) has become a renown community hero with a celebrity that sometimes gets in his way. Alfre Woodard returns as a kind of crime queen, accompanied by Theo Rossi’s cliched gangster portrayal. But this season features a new crime foe in the neighborhood, one who even without Kryptonite can exploit Cage’s vulnerabilities. The season premiere, surprisingly, is directed by Lucy Liu. But both episodes seemed a bit underwhelming.

The Kennedy Center event hosted by showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker seemed to pick up only once the screening was over. That’s when Coker, who fancies himself as big a music fan as he is a comics book nerd, brought out none other than KRS-One to freestyle, bring back some of his classics, and introduce a new track that clearly explained the illogic over illegal immigration (no person is illegal, and that contested land was once Mexico’s).

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