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'Mr. Soul!' and 'Summer of Soul' recall buried history

By Kevin McDonough Starting Sunday, HBO Max begins streaming "Mr. Soul!" This 2018 documentary was seen earlier this year on PBS's "Independent Lens." It recalls a remarkable cultural showcase that ran on "educational" television in the years … more

'Pursuit of Love' ruined by too much trickery

By Kevin McDonough Fans of British period films might enjoy the three-part adaptation of Nancy Mitford's beloved novel "The Pursuit of Love," streaming today on Amazon Prime. The story unfolds amidst the English upper class in the years … more

Paramount+ reboots 'Behind the Music'

By Kevin McDonough Paramount+ offers a way-back trip to the turn of the century. Look for the return of "Behind the Music," the pop biography series that debuted in 1997. The series applied the "whatever happened to?" approach to musicians and … more

'Turning the Tables With Robin Roberts' debuts

By Kevin McDonough If you thought the Disney+ reboot "Turner and Hooch" was "back to the future," perhaps you need a new Delorean! The premium streaming service digs deep into its vault with two golden oldies. "Chip 'n' Dale: Park Life" … more

'American Masters' profiles legendary Buddy Guy

By Kevin McDonough If you care about music, history and American culture, don't miss the "American Masters" (9 p.m., PBS, TV-14, check local listings) profile "Buddy Guy: The Blues Chase the Blues Away." Chief among its delights is the fact that … more

Olympics begin; comedy series 'Ted Lasso' returns

By Kevin McDonough After a year of delay, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (7:30 p.m., NBC) begin. Tonight's broadcast of the opening ceremonies, the lighting of the cauldron and parade of nations actually took place this morning. But what's the … more

Looking for 'Eden'; 'Freaky'; Tig Notaro gets animated

By Kevin McDonough Having just completed two seasons of "The Crown" playing the disappointed and dissipated Princess Margaret, actress Helena Bonham Carter narrates the new BBC series "Eden: Untamed Planet" (8 p.m. Saturday, BBC America, AMC and … more

'Ultra City Smiths': A hard-boiled baby doll mystery

By Kevin McDonough Gloriously strange, smart and artfully produced, "Ultra City Smiths" may be the summer's best new series. It streams on AMC+ starting today. A comedy stop-motion animation of baby dolls depicting characters in a hard-boiled … more

'Turner & Hooch' buddy cop comedy series debuts

By Kevin McDonough Are you ready for the "new" version of "Turner & Hooch"? The fact that we live in a world where somebody would think that was a good idea baffles yours truly. But the purpose of this column is to review "Turner & Hooch," … more

PBS launches 'In Their Own Words' with 'Pope Francis'

By Kevin McDonough PBS launches the biography series "In Their Own Words" (8 p.m., TV-PG, check local listings). Blending archival interviews, news footage and occasional animation, it profiles some of the most compelling figures of the present … more

Broadway satire 'Schmigadoon!' is without bite

By Kevin McDonough Apple TV+ invites viewers to get lost in "Schmigadoon!," a musical parody spread out over six episodes premiering on successive Fridays. Cecily Strong ("SNL") and Keegan-Michael Key ("Key and Peele") star as Josh and … more

'The End': A grown-up meditation on dark thoughts

By Kevin McDonough Count Showtime's Australian import "The End" (8 p.m. Sunday, TV-MA) among the (thankfully) rare comedies to kick off with a botched suicide attempt. But it's not the first! Among the more amusing things about "The End" is … more

Colin Farrell stars in dark, violent 'The North Water'

By Kevin McDonough Nothing brings out manly violence and metaphor-laden narratives quite like a whaling expedition. Set in the middle of the 19th century and based on a novel by Ian McGuire, all five episodes of "The North Water" begin streaming … more

Are 'Heist' dramas more style than substance?

By Kevin McDonough How do you pull off a "Heist"? Ask the folks who did. That's the subject of this new six-part Netflix docuseries. It explores the curious people who perpetrated some of the biggest robberies in recent history, elaborately … more

There's no separating sports and politics

By Kevin McDonough Nothing annoys some people like the mingling of sports, activism and politics. Yet they are linked in myriad ways. Lest we forget, the 2021 MLB All-Star Game (8 p.m., Fox) was originally supposed to take place in Atlanta, … more

'History of the Sitcom' skips too much in its coverage

By Kevin McDonough Anthony Mackie ("The Falcon and the Winter Soldier") hosts the 2021 ESPYs (Saturday, 8 p.m., ABC) live from the New York City waterfront. ESPN, the network that gives the awards their name, or at least their letters, is … more

Are good actors wasted in Marvel movies?

By Kevin McDonough "Black Widow" streams on Disney+, and arrives in theaters today as well. A sequel of sorts to some "Captain America" thing I wouldn't have been caught dead watching, it's a Marvel movie remarkable for the number of interesting … more

Borrowing, recycling abound in TV entertainment

By Kevin McDonough Creative recycling abounds. Over on the CW, an old remake gets a special retrospective, while a former CW favorite moves to streaming. Meanwhile, a spinoff from an ABC franchise begins a new season on Freeform. "ET Presents: … more

Julie Chen and 'Big Brother' return for 23rd season on CBS

By Kevin McDonough You know you're knee-deep in summer programming when the prime-time schedule for the four major networks does not feature one scripted series. It's the night that "Big Brother" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) returns for its 23rd … more

Show demonstrates why we don't deserve animals

By Kevin McDonough I confess, I'm an animal lover. We have three dogs and once shared the house with four cats, and have attributed personalities, backstories and even neurotic quirks to them all. We hold a mortgage on a property dotted with the … more
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