Thursday TV: HBO Max’s ‘Love & Death’

The tawdry story of a small town Texas affair in the 70s “Love & Death” (HBO Max, streaming) gets a huge boost from its casting of Elizabeth Olsen, of “WandaVision” and “Wind River,” opposite Jesse Plemons, the Oscar-nominated actor from “The Power of the Dog,” “Fargo” and “Friday Night Lights.”

They may make an odd couple, but the screenplay from David E. Kelley, lately of “Big Little Lies” is pretty sharp, and the enjoyable supporting cast includes Krysten Ritter in big hair, Elizabeth Marvel and Patrick Fugit (the kid star of “Almost Famous” is the cuckholded husband). 

The true crime story of Candy Montgomery has been told a couple of times before (including last year’s “Candy” on Hulu, starring Jessica Biel), but this one is based on a book that grew out of a Texas Monthly article co-written by John Bloom, better known as Joe Bob Briggs. The first three episodes are available tonight; the subsequent four come on subsequent Thursdays. 

“The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” (Peacock, streaming) sounds like it concerns the kind of work Harvey Keitel did in “Pulp Fiction,” but it’s just a term used in Sweden for people who help others organize their homes. Amy Poehler hosts the show that follows their work. 

They’re making an awful big deal about the NFL Draft (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, NFL, 8 p.m.), which is showing on no fewer than four networks. Tonight’s first round will likely be the most newsworthy. And at least there won’t be any concussions. 

A primetime special, “The Last Late Late Show” (CBS, 10 p.m.) comes on the night of James Corden’s final episode after eight years. The special has Tom Cruise joining him performing “The Lion King”; the last show guests at 12:37 a.m. are Will Ferrell and Harry Styles. 

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