The Entertainment Forecast

Friday, May 26 – Thursday, June 1

Harlem gal pals plot to “Run the World.”

FRIDAY, May 26
Run the World
Three fiercely loyal best friends (Amber Stevens West, Andrea Bordeaux and Bresha Webb) in Harlem continue their plans for “world domination” for the new season of the acclaimed sitcom (9:30 p.m., Starz).

A chilling tale of a social influencer who finds something truly scary when she goes off the grid on the other side of the world. With Riverdale’s Emily Tennant, below (Shudder).

Sarah Silverman: Someone You Love
If you loved her in School of Rock, History of the World Part II or Crank Yankers, you’ll love this saucy stand-up comedy special from the Emmy-winning actress, writer, producer, podcaster and comedian, filmed at the Wilbur Theater in Boston (10:15 p.m., HBO).

SUNDAY, May 28
Silo’s Baking Competition
Home improvement queen Joanna Gaines hosts this new competition in which bakers from across the country come to the Texas site of the Magnolia network’s Silos Baking Company to try to impress their hostess (8 p.m., Magnolia).

Bama Rush
Docuseries uncovers the dark underside of Tik-Tok fueled “rushing” at the University of Alabama, following the trajectories of four young women who embark on the process of finding (and fitting into) a sorority (HBO Max).

Discover the dark side of the sorority pledging process in Bama Rush.

MONDAY, May 29
The Curious Case of Natalia Grace
Curious, indeed. Find out about the strange case of a young Ukrainian orphan adopted by an American couple who later suspected their “little girls” was actually an adult masquerading as a child—with a devious plan to harm them (9 p.m., ID).

In this British series, a couple (played by Sean Bean and Nicola Walker) navigates continuing needs for love and companionship within their 30-year relationship (PBS Prime).

The American Gladiators Documentary
Two-night event goes behind the scenes of the reality-competition TV series, which began in 1989 and became a pop-cultural phenomenon (ESPN).


Florence Pugh and Morgan Freeman star in A Good Person (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment) about two people who bridge the generation gap to discover friendship, forgiveness and hope after a tragedy.

Drag Me to Dinner
This 10-episode send-up of reality competition, below, features 40 drag queens vying to see who can throw the best, most outlandish dinner party for judges including Neil Patrick Harris and Elijah Wood (Hulu).

Ghost Adventures
Ready to be scared? Come along with paranormal investigator Zak Bagans and his crew as they stir up more haunted histories (10 p.m., Discovery).



Horror fans will flip over Hammer Complete (McFarland), a compendium of the fabled British movie studio that launched in the 1930s, becoming an icon of horror in the 1970s and ‘80s with pulpy titles like The Curse of Frankenstein, Horror of Dracula and Prehistoric Women. But Hammer did more than blood-‘n’-guts flicks, as this lavishly detailed collection shows, along with all the films’ budgets, actors, directors, and more!

The Dead Files
Series returns as its NYPD homicide detective teams up with a medium to help solve paranormal-activity phenomena for homeowners across America (9 p.m. Travel Channel).

Eli Roth Presents: The Legion of Exorcists
The horror-movie maestro hosts this new series, examining tales of demonic possession and exorcists around the world who use their tools to address the situation (10 p.m., Travel Channel).

The Summer of Our Discontent

Julia Louis-Dreyfus spins comedy gold in this yarn of New York neurotics

You Hurt My Feelings
Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tobias Menzies, Michaela Watkins & Arian Moayed
Directed by Nicole Holofcener
Rated R

In theaters Friday, May 26

Neurotic New Yorkers ride out self-doubts, snubs and disappointments in the latest film from Nicole Holofcener, a director weaned on the comedies of Woody Allen.

A native New Yorker herself, Holofcener grew up as the daughter of a set decorator for Allen’s Big Apple-centric films. She appeared as an extra in a couple and eventually became a production assistant and editor for others before going on to make her own, including the critically acclaimed Enough Said and Can You Ever Forgive Me?

It’s no surprise she’s so attuned—like Allen—to what makes a certain sector of New York, and New Yorkers, tick and tock.

You Hurt My Feelings stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Beth, a writer whose writing isn’t going so well. Her memoir was a modest success, but she can’t stir up much interest in her latest work, a novel. Her agent tells her it’s tough out there in today’s literary world, with so many “new voices” competing to be heard.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tobias Menzies star as married New York professionals.

That makes Beth feel like “an old voice,” she dejectedly tells her therapist husband, Don (Tobias Menzies, who played Prince Phillip on Netflix’s The Crown). He’s undergoing a bit of life crisis of his own, fretting about his sagging face and his lost youth, and he’s been getting a bit confused about which of his patients go with what problems. One bickering married duo he’s counseling (the real-life couple of David Cross and Amber Tamblyn) tells him he’s been wasting their time and their money, and they demand a refund. Maybe he’s not the therapist he thought he was.

David Cross and Amber Tamblyn play a bickering married couple.

Beth worries that their grown son (Owen Teague) isn’t fulfilling his potential working in a cannabis store with a bunch of slacker potheads. She doesn’t feel any better about his situation when she’s in the store and it gets robbed.

Meanwhile, Beth’s sister, Sarah (Michaela Watkins), is weary of her job as an interior designer catering to uber-persnickety patrons. Sarah’s husband, Mark (Arian Moayed), is a struggling actor whose self-esteem has just taken a big hit.  

Left: Arian Moayed and Michaela Watkins

All these mini crises intersect and come to a head when Beth overhears a remark made by her hubs to his brother-in-law, Mark, that he doesn’t really think her writing is, well, all that good. Suddenly, Beth’s whole world seems to implode. How could he betray her like that? Was Don lying all those times when he encouraged her as a writer and tried to be supportive? It makes her want to throw up on the sidewalk, but she’s too upset to even do that. Eventually, feelings get hurt all around.

This is the kind of small, grown-up movie that not a lot of studios make anymore—a subtle slice-of-life comedy with a small group of characters that feel like real people, in places that look authentically lived-in, instead of fabricated movie sets. It’s full of little micro details that might seem insignificant, but everything rings true, drawing us closer to the characters and providing connective tissue to their wobbly world—an obscenely overpriced hand-crafted bench, a doctor’s explanation of her new “concierge” fee, a wall of exotic socks, a wastebasket that never seems to get emptied, a blouse donated to the homeless that the donor later decides she wants back. It’s sharp and funny and sweet, and keenly observant about how couples and friends may tell little lies to each other—and themselves—and not even realize it. But they continue to love and live, and life goes on.

All the characters are immensely likeable and relatable. And the cast is tremendous, especially Louis-Dreyfus, the Seinfeld veteran whose finely tuned comedy chops can adapt to almost any situation. (I love how she turns a box of bakery doughnuts into a running gag.) It’s no wonder director Holofcener wanted to work with her again after Enough Said, in which JLD starred alongside James Gandolfini, Toni Collette, Catherine Keener and Ben Falcone. Michaela Watkins was also in that movie, too.

Speaking of Seinfeld, that show also revolved around neurotic, self-centered New Yorkers, and it routinely took little things and made big deals out of them—a puffy shirt, getting lost in a parking garage, waiting for a table at a Chinese restaurant, muffin tops, fusilli. Even though it’s miles away from the crazily calibrated absurdity and goofiness of the TV series, there’s undeniably something Seinfeld-ian about this movie, in which little problems ripple into a wider sea of anxieties, and four central New Yorkers flail and flop around in it all.

Like Seinfeld, and like Woody Allen, You Hurt My Feelings understands how to find the funny in human frailty and foibles, and how to navigate the comically uneven—and sometimes messy—sidewalks of life, all the while with a knowing smile.

—Neil Pond

A Next-Gen Fish Tale

Going ‘under the sea’ with Disney’s latest live-action version of an animated classic

The Little Mermaid
Starring Halle Bailey, Melissa McCarthy, Jonah Hauer-King and Javier Bardem
Directed by Rob Marshall
Rated PG

In theaters Friday, May 26

Disney’s beloved fish-out-of-water tale makes a splashy return in this highly anticipated live-action, all-star remake about a spunky aqua teen who longs to be part of the human world.

Like its 1989 animated predecessor, it’s based loosely on a 19th century Danish fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson. But mermaids—half human, half fish—were swimming around the far-flung pools of pop culture for centuries before that, and the new movie taps into the ancient fantasy and fascination with these alluring mythical creatures and their addictive siren song, which can supposedly lure sailors to doom and death.

It becomes the latest in Disney’s modern-era march of revisionist cinema since the 1990s, putting live actors alongside hi-tech digital effects for remakes of its “cartoon” movies, including Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo, 101 Dalmatians, The Lion King and Mulan.

And it also becomes one of the best.

Newcomer Halle Bailey is Ariel, fascinated with what goes on above sea’s surface, a place she is forbidden to go by her hyper-protective father, King Titan (Javier Bardem). But when curiosity gets the best of her and she pokes her head out of the waves for a peek, she ends up rescuing a young prince (Jonah Hauer-King) from drowning during a dramatic nighttime shipwreck, hauling the unconscious seafarer onto a beach and serenading him before disappearing again into the water.

That sets things into high gear, as Prince Eric tries to reconnect with the alluring mystery creature that saved his life and Ariel makes a deal with the conniving sea witch Ursula (Melissa McCarthy) to trade her tailfin for feet. But there’s a catch: Ariel must give up her enchanted siren-song voice and share a kiss of “true love” with Eric within three days, or she’ll be consigned to the depths of the ocean forever.

Melissa McCarthy is Ursula

Comic relief is provided by the flappy, yappy seagull Scuttle (voiced, in a gender switch from the previously animated role, by Awkwafina) and the crab Sebastian (Daveed Diggs), a loyal attendant in the royal court of King Triton. Jacob Tremblay (from Room) is the voice of the little sidekick fish Flounder.

Scuttle the seagull is voiced by Awkwafina

Broadway virtuoso Lin-Manuel Miranda (one of the film’s dozen producers) wrote three new songs and tweaked the lyrics of a couple of others (“Kiss the Girl” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls”) for the new movie, reflecting a commendable next-gen sensitivity to issues of female empowerment and consent. But unless you’re a Little Mermaid superfan, and you’re paying super close attention, you might not even notice—or care that a couple of other tunes in the animated version (“Les Poissons” and “Daughters of Triton”) got the hook.

But you will thrill to the movie’s well-known, iconic soundtrack standouts, given tremendous new zap as underwater, computer-enhanced, razzly-dazzly production numbers—reflecting not only Miranda’s buoyant Broadway roots, but also those of director Rob Marshall, a former theatrical producer and choreographer who went on to make music-filled movies including Chicago, Into the Woods and Mary Poppins Returns. “Under the Sea” is a joyous, calypso-flavored aqua chorus line, with dozens of dancing, prancing sea critters; “Part of Your World” gets new emotionally enhanced wallop and human resonance.

And you’ll be rocked by the stupendous performance by 23-year-old Halle Bailey. The Grammy-nominated pop singer and TV actor (from Grown-ish) gives a star-making movie turn as a splendid Disney princess-to-be who makes you feel the heartfelt tug of her big dreams of discovering what’s out there—and up there. Melissa McCarthy practically steals the show as Ursula, hamming it up with a flourish of florescent octopus tentacles, cackling over her bubbling cauldron of sinister spells and plotting to take over the undersea world. English actor Hauer-King has a bit of resemblance to Ryan Gosling, making me drift away for a couple of fanciful moments thinking about The Little Mermaid going ashore in La La Land. And Javier Bardem, so menacing in No Country for Old Men, looks regally right-on as a bearded, bad-ass, big-kahuna submariner.

Javier Bardem is King Titan

It’s about a couple of young people falling in love, of course—in a risky, forbidden, boundary-crossing inter-species relationship, with disapproving parental figures. Think Romeo and Juliet, tossed in the tide and spritzed with ocean mist. The new Little Mermaid leans into its timely theme of cultural differences and societal riffs, as both merfolk and humans inherently distrust, and even hate what’s on the other side of the thin membrane of “border” that separates them.  

Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric and Halle Bailey as Ariel.

But hey, let’s don’t get heavy. Dive into this new Mermaid, a delightful, thoroughly entertaining, refreshingly impressive upgrade, a terrific new take on an animated classic, respectful to the Disney original but with vibrant new jolts of movie magic, drama, danger, spectacle, joy, yearning, wit and romance.

Plus an important mega-message for little girls and young women everywhere and anywhere: In the water, on the land, in a seashell or a castle—like Ariel, if you can dream it, you can do it.

This summer, is everything really “better down where it’s wetter”? So far, yes, it is!

—Neil Pond

The Entertainment Forecast

Friday, May 19 – Thursday, May 25

Church cover-ups, cross-cultural girl rock & something to ‘Cheer’ about

I’m diggin’ Donna Summer in Saturday’s new doc about the disco queen!

FRIDAY, May 19
The Secrets of Hillsong
Documentary explores the rise of the global megachurc, its precipitous fallout leading to the expulsion of its co-pastor husband-and-wife couple, and the patterns of cover-ups the organization used to protect itself (10 p.m., FX).

Spy Master
Six-part espionage drama stars Adina Sadeanu as secret agent for the KGB during the Cold War who makes a daring escape to the United States (HBO Max).

Love to Love You, Donna Summer
An in-depth look at the life, career and music of the singer who helped define the so-called “disco era” with hits including “Last Dance,” “She Works Hard for the Money,” “Love to Love You Baby” and “On the Radio” (8 p.m., HBO Max).

Cheers to Cheers
Thirty years ago tonight, Cheers (above) went off the air. Watch a commemorative marathon of the final season’s episodes, all revolving around TV-dom’s most famous watering hole—and toast by hoisting a sudsy beverage of your choice (Pluto TV).

SUNDAY, May 21
Ghosts of Beirut
An international cast circulates through this new limited series about a true-life espionage saga, the two-decade manhunt for an elusive Lebanese terrorist (10 p.m., Showtime).

American Idol
Who’ll be the new champ? Tune in tonight for the superstar-packed three-hour live season finale, featuring a singing square-off between the three finalists (8 p.m., ABC).

MONDAY, May 22
Prehistoric Planet
The new season of the natural-history series uses groundbreaking research and high-tech visuals to take you deep into the past, to a time before time, when dinosaurs ruled the world (Apple TV+).

Fanny: The Right to Rock
Engrossing documentary about the first all-female rock band to release an LP with a major label—the Filipina-American sister act Fanny (above), which went on to make four more albums in five years during the 1970s (10 p.m., PBS).


Ever wanted to live on a boat? Or in a floating house? Indulge your fantasy with Making Waves (Thames & Hudson), author Portland Mitchell’s generously illustrated look at people who’ve pulled up their land stakes and now live “on the water.”

Smartless: On the Road
New docuseries follows three actor friends (Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes) on their cross-country, coast to coast podcast tour (HBO Max).

Sydney Sweeney (below, from season two of The White Lotus) stars as in this dramatization of a real incident—as a former American intelligence agent, Reality Winner, sentenced to prison for releasing confidential information about Russian interference in the 2016 elections. (10 p.m., HBO)


Creed III (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment) continues the Rocky spinoff franchise with the continuing saga of boxing champ Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan, who also directs) who faces off in the ring with an old friend (Jonathan Majors), now an ex-con with nothing to lose.

The fun-filled story of a teenager (Billy Batson) who finds out a magic word (Shazam!) turns him into a superhero (Zachary Levi) continues in Shazam! Fury of the Gods (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment), which includes commentary by director David F. Sandberg.

Born Chinese
If you loved this year’s big Oscar winner, Everything Everywhere All the Time, then check out this genre-hopping worlds-collide action comedy about a high school teen who becomes engaged in a battle between mythological Chinese gods. It features three of Everything’s  stars, Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Stephanie Hsu (Disney+)

New comedy series stars Seth Rogan and Rose Byrne (above) as two best friends approaching midlife who reconnect after a long rift (Apple TV+)

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
The broadcast TV premiere of the hit martial-arts movie based on Marvel comics and starring Simu Lee as a modern San Francisco resident who taps into an ancient power (8 p.m., ABC).

Willie World

Nashville museum is a deep-dive time capsule of vintage country music

Nashvillians don’t have to go “On the Road Again” to visit a “Willie” terrific collection of memorabilia and artifacts from country music’s golden era.

The Willie Nelson & Friends Museum features exhibits on Nelson and more than 30 other country stars. It’s just off Briley Parkway, across McGavock Pike from the entrance to the Opryland Hotel and the Grand Ole Opry, in a strip mall book-ended by Cooter’s and the Nashville Palace.

“We’ve got a really small space for a whole lot of stuff,” says owner Mark Hughes, whose mother, Jeannie Oakley, and her husband, Frank—longtime friends of Nelson and other country stars—started their collection in their Madison, Tenn., picture-frame shop 1979. The museum grew and moved several times over the years (off Music Row, then to Branson, Mo.) before settling into its current Music Valley Drive location in 1992.

Its 4,500-square feet of exhibit space details the world of Willie Nelson and many other entertainers who’ve intersected with his wide-ranging musical orbit over the years, including Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Porter Wagoner, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Mel Tillis, Faron Young and Dottie West. There’s a pair of Nelson’s running shoes, and the guitar he played on his first Grand Ole Opry appearance—and his paltry $15 paystub from the gig. Over here’s a mockup of the front of his tour bus; over there’s a custom-made billiard table that once sat in his parlor; walls and display cases hold dozens of photos; and yep, that’s a booth and seats from Tootsie’s Orchard lounge, where Nelson and other singer-songwriters used to hang, just feet away from the backstage entrance to the Ryman. The laminated top of the booth is covered in autographs and scribbled notes, like hillbilly-music hieroglyphics.

There’s a blowup of Willie’s high school yearbook pic, movie memorabilia and items from the first Farm Aid concert, in Champaign, Ill., in 1985, including a bandana signed by all the artists who came to perform—including Willie’s fund-raising partners Neil Young and John Mellencamp, plus Loretta Lynn, Bob Dylan, B.B. King, Billy Joel and Tom Petty. Look, that’s Willie’s 1979 Entertainer of the Year trophy from the Country Music Association, his only win in that category. And yes, that’s a handwritten note from Patsy Cline, thanking him for writing “Crazy” and letting her record it.

You can sit in a little theater alcove and watch a couple of documentaries featuring Nelson and other country performers reminiscing about bygone Nashville days. Or browse displays of stage attire from a country music who’s who of stars.

Another display, of framed photos, shows Willie’s wives, all four of them.

Hughes notes that Nelson’s granddaughter, Raelyn, was coming by the museum the next day to tape an episode of her Music is Funny podcast from the museum. Nelson used to drop by himself from time to time when he was in Nashville, but that doesn’t happen much anymore, now that he’s a bona fide global superstar who doesn’t spend a lot of time in Tennessee anymore. And even though he remains very active at 90, he’s not quite as wide-ranging as he used to be.

Many of the display items came from the Internal Revenue Service, which auctioned off Nelson’s property to chisel away at the $16.7 million they said he owed them, in the early 1990s, for unpaid taxes. “My mother was able to work out something with the IRS,” says Hughes, “and get first crack at some things.” Some things by the truck load, as it turned out.

Hughes says he often hears from museum visitors how surprised they are to see photos of Nelson well-groomed and clean-cut, without his long hair and signature braids, no beard, and wearing dapper, double-breasted suits—1960s Willie, as he was trying to crack into the Nashville music biz. “They say, ‘I’ve never seen Willie with short hair!’ They had no idea he existed before ‘Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain’,” he says, noting Nelson’s No. 1, written by Fred Rose, from his 1975 Red Headed Stranger album, which signaled the beginning of his “outlaw” phase—and the end of regular trips to the barbershop.  

Visitors enter (and exit) the museum through a well-stocked gift and souvenir shop, full of t-shirts and country music collectibles. You can buy a Willie Nelson bandana (complete with braids) or cannabis-themed koozies. And get your future foretold by a mechanized Willie-bot in a coin-operated fortune-telling booth.

The museum displays are mostly vintage, truly from another era, a snapshot of country music before the current millennium and its ever-rising tide of newer, younger acts. “We don’t have anything against so-called newer stars,” says Hughes. “That’s just not what we’re about.”

“There are very few artists who can span the number of years that [Nelson] has contributed, and still be the level [Nelson] is today,” he says, citing Wille’s recent pair of 2023 Grammy Awards. “There aren’t many places people can walk into and see such a diverse collection of specific country music memorabilia, and you can run a thread through all of it and see how everything’s connected”—connected to Willie, as a songwriter, a singer, a hit-making megastar…and good friend to just about everyone whose paths he crossed along the way.

And that includes Hughes, the former businessman who years later took over, and expanded, his mother’s Willie-centric collection.  

People think, “Long hair, smokes pot,” says Hughes of how many fans perceive Nelson. “Yeah, that’s true. But to me, he’s a very nice guy. I’ve never, ever seen him upset.”

—Neil Pond

The Entertainment Forecast

Friday, May 12 – Thursday, May 18

A chip off the ol’ Rocky block, stars sing Broadway’s praises & Natalie Portman has a (soccer) ball

Meet the fam of ‘Rocky’ star Sylvester Stallone in a new docuseries.

FRIDAY, May 12
City on Fire
Eight-episode original drama revolves the shooting of a NYU student in Central Park, creating an ever-deepening mystery about a series of citywide fires, the downtown music scene and a wealthy family imploding under the stress of a lifetime of dark secrets (Apple TV+).

Great Performances at 50
The iconic Public Television documentary-film series celebrates a birthday milestone with a revue of milestone Broadway shows and songs, hosted by Sutton Foster and featuring Jane Krakowski, Betty Buckley, Vanessa Williams and many more. It’s like going to the theater…without going to the theater! (9 p.m., PBS).

Talented singing, songwriting and instrument-playing musicians compete in this new “build a band” competition hosted by Brandon Jenner and mentored by Grammy-winning artists and producers (9 p.m., AXS TV).

SUNDAY, May 14
Fear the Walking Dead
They’re still dead, they’re still walking, and they’re heading tonight into the eighth and final season of this installment of the hit post-apocalypse franchise. So, there’s still plenty to fear! With Lennie James, Kim Dickens, Karen David and Ruben Blades (9 p.m., AMC and AMC+).

The Cube
Three-time NBA champion Dwayne Wade hosts the new season of this high-octane competition series in which contestants confront physical and mental challenges while confined inside a moving glass box (9 p.m., TBS).


Cosplay, you may be aware, is when people dress up for conventions and other events in the “costumes” to “play” their favorite characters from comics and movies. Thurstan Redding’s explosively illustrates this pop-culture phenomenon in Kids of Cosplay (Thames and Hudson), with more than 70 surreal portraits of young people getting their cosplay on.

The Neighborhood
Dave (Max Greenfield) finally learns the truth about the long-ago disappearance of his father (guest star Kevin Pollack) (8 p.m., CBS).

MONDAY, May 15
Street Outlaws: Locals Only
It’s fast and it’s furious as cameras follow local race drivers across America in a bracket-style elimination to determine, well, who’s the fastest and the furious-est (8 p.m., Discovery).

Anna Nicole Smith: You Don’t Know Me
Documentary (below) delves into the life, death and secrets of Vickie Lynn Hogan, who became international famous as model turned actress Anna Nicole Smith (Netflix).

The Tower 2: Death Message
Season two of the streaming crime-drama series begins as London dig for clues into grisly murders, organized crime and other dark turns of events. Starring Gemma Whelan and Jimmy Akingbola (Britbox).

Angel City
Actor Natalie Portman founded the Angel City Football Club, an all-female soccer team in 2020, and now she’s one of the producers of this docuseries (above) about the players worked to build the franchise (9 p.m., HBO). 

Conor McGregor
New documentary series goes inside the world of mixed martial arts champ Conor McGregor as he prepares for a return to the UFC octagon (Netflix).

The Family Stallone
It’s Rocky, with all the chips off the ol’ block-y! This new docuseries takes you inside the life of actor Sylvester Stallone and his family, including wife Jennifer Flavin and their three daughters (Paramount+).

I Survived Bear Grylls
The TV survivalist joins with comedian Jordan Conley to host this new competition series featuring simulations of some of Gryllis’ most grueling and hair-raising endurance situations (9 p.m., TBS).

The Geography of Bliss
Rainn Wilson (from TV’s The Office) goes on a global trek in this new docuseries (above) to find the happiest places on the planet (Peacock).

The Entertainment Forecast

Friday, May 5 – Thursday, May 11

Steve Harvey goes to court, Muppets Mayhem & a first for Garth Brooks

Padma Lakshmi gets her yum on.

Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi
The renowned foodie returns for a new season of this series exploring America’s rich, electric regional cuisines (Hulu & Disney).

Gripping dystopian drama series unfolds the saga of the last people on earth, who live underground to protect themselves from the toxic and deadly world above. Rebecca Ferguson, Tim Robbins and rapper-actor Common star (Apple TV+).

Season four begins of the award-winning documentary series (above), which heads tonight into the aftermath of a devastating earthquake in Syria, and also explores new groundbreaking developments in artificial intelligence (8 p.m., Showtime).

MTV Movie & TV Awards
Find out what’s popular with the “kids” these days on this show honoring the top things on screens of all sizes, with a special “Comedic Genius” trophy going to actress/comedienne Jennifer Coolidge. Previously announced host Drew Barrymore won’t be there, however, in a show of support for Hollywood’s writers’ strike. (8 p.m., MTV).

The 2010s
Docuseries examines culture, politics, personalities, music and lifestyle that defined the not-so-long-ago decade (9 p.m., CNN).

Horrible Bosses
It’s ribald and raunchy, yes, but wildly funny, and if you haven’t seen it—well, tune in to this 2011 comedy caper to see how the misguided plans of three guys (Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis) to get rid with their awful bosses take a turn toward the hilarious. With Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston and future Royal Meghan Markle! (10 p.m., TruTV). 

Jeopardy Masters
Ken Jennings host this prime-time special-event edition of the iconic game show, featuring top-ranked returning contestants (8 p.m., ABC).

Judge Steve Harvey
Court is once again in session as the host of TV’s Family Feud picks up the gavel and puts on the cloak in this unscripted comedy series, usong his life experiences and common sense to “rule” on a variety of small claims, friendship-taxing disagreements and neighborhood disputes (Hulu).


Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s the Superman 1978-1987 5-Film Collection (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment), a superb collection of Man of Steel movies—Superman: The Movie, Superman II, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, Superman III and Superman IV. Not the most inventively titled flicks, they nonetheless re-established the Man of Steel for a whole new generation. Includes commentary, vintage featurettes and cartoons from the groundbreaking Fleischer Studios, dozens of deleted scenes, and more.

Class of ’09
Brian Tyree and Kate Mara star in this new thriller series about a class of FBI agents grappling with immense changes as the criminal justice system is altered by artificial intelligence (Hulu).

The Muppets Mayhem
New streaming movie (above) follows the Muppet “act” the Electric Mayhem Band—with Dr. Teeth, Animal, Floyd, Zoot and Janice—on a mishap-py mission to record their first album. Voices by Llly Singh, Tahj Mowry and others (Disney+).

The Game Show Show
If you love game shows (and who doesn’t?!), you’ll love this new series, which takes a long, insightful look at the history and impact of game shows across eight decades of American culture (10 p.m., ABC).

The Academy of Country Music Awards
I know, it’s a bit confusing. There’s the CMA Awards and the CMT Awards, and tonight it’s the ACM Awards, hosted this year by superstars Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks—marking his first time as an awards show host—and streaming live from Frisco, Texas (Prime Video).

Out with a Bang

Marvel’s cosmic misfits return for an overstuffed blowout farewell party

Zoe Saldana as Gamora in ‘Marvel Studios’ ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Baustista, Karen Gillan & Will Poulter
Directed by James Gunn

In theaters Friday, May 5, 2023

The gang’s all here as Marvel’s motley crew of cosmic outlaws closes out their movie trilogy with a bang in a daring dash to save one of their own. This big, bold rousing finish (supposedly) is the overcrowded end of the franchise, which began nearly a decade ago and now hinges on the backstory of Rocket, the genetically modified wisecracking racoon (voiced again by Bradley Cooper).

The Guardians quip, banter and rip across the universe, encountering an array of bizarro cyborg critters and a crazed despot (Shakespearean actor Chuckwudi Iwuji, deliciously, devilishly nasty) intent on creating a new, perfected world—and discarding all his “mistakes” along the way.

Vol. 3 throws a lot at the screen—a barrage of digital effects, a who’s who of characters and a dense stream of details. If you haven’t been along for the ride from the beginning, paying attention through the other Guardians flicks, the events of The Avengers and the interwoven connectedness of the broader Marvel Cinematic Universe, well, good luck. You might not understand how the green-skinned Gamora (Zoe Saldana), who died in a previous movie, can show up again, and have no memory that she and Guardians leader Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) were once lovey-dovey.

As diehard Marvel fans know, there’s always the chance of new beginnings and redo’s, thanks to time warps, Infinity Stones and other comic-book shenanigans.

Just about everyone is aboard for this way-out wrap party. There’s Drax the Destroyer (former wrestler Dave Bautista); Gamora’s sister Nebula (Karen Gillan); Mantis (Pom Klementieff), whose enhanced ability for empathy comes in handy. Groot, the size-shifting, virtually indestructible humanoid tree, is voiced again by Vin Diesel, even though he grunts only one thing (“I am Groot”) over and over.

Look: There’s Sylvester Stallone, back again! And Elizabeth Debicki! Will Poulter makes the movie debut of a golden-hued, artificially fashioned space super-dude, Adam Warlock, whose comic-book roots go back to the 1960s. And Cosmo the telepathic dog has a new voice—it’s Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova, who got an Oscar nomination for playing Borat’s daughter in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. Returning director James Gunn’s brother, Sean, also returns as a humanoid alien with a mohawk fin on his head and a whistle-controlled arrow in his quiver.

There more than a few space-age shootouts with all kinds of zappers and blasters, and even a high-tech version of an old standby, the hand grenade. But nothing blows up like the heated moment when one of characters drops the F-bomb, marking an onscreen first for a Marvel movie.

At one point, the Guardians plop down in a comically mutated surburbia that looks like Ozzie and Harriett spliced with The Twilight Zone. Is that Howard the Duck, the waterfowl star of Marvel’s first feature-length theatrical movie (1986), playing a card game? Be quick or you’ll miss a visual shoutout to Alf, the sitcom space alien. To top it all off, there’s a climactic rescue of a bunch of cute kids, who look like ragged theater waifs abandoned after being worked to the bone in back-to-back productions of Cats and Les Miserable.

Baby Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper)

It’s a mega-movie loaded with wildly colorful characters, oddball creatures, monsters and cuddly pets, loads of whimsy and jokes, bursts of dramatic intensity, lushly detailed world-building and ka-boomy blasts of explosive, expensive-looking, sometimes chaotic action. But there’s also a surprising amount of emotional heft and heart, particularly in the sentimental swell of Rocket’s early days when he was experimentally bioengineered alongside other “altered” caged animals. If those TV PSAs for animal-cruelty prevention really get to you, you’ll be wrecked by watching what went down with Rocket and his penned-in pals. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  

And you’ll certainly tap your toes to the soundtrack, a highly curated playlist loaded once again with scene-appropriate tunes by the Flaming Lips, Heart, Faith No More, Alice Cooper, the Beastie Boys, Florence and the Machine, Bruce Springsteen and X. The movie opens, fittingly, with Radiohead’s “Creep”—and Rocket muttering along to the lyrics, about being a self-loathing “freak” and “weirdo”—and closes with a bouncy, upbeat Poco tune that will be familiar to fans of the first movie, back in 2014.

Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Dave Bautista as Drax, and Karen Gillan as Nebula

If this is, indeed, the final Guardians mission, they go down swinging (and swearing!). But rest assured, you’ll be seeing these characters—or some of them, anyway—in other Marvel projects, in some form or another. This may be a goodbye, but these Marvel space seeds were also engineered to grow, made to be movie perennials, sewn to sprout—to regenerate like the roots and branches of Groot—over and over, returning again and again.

—Neil Pond

The Entertainment Forecast

Friday, April 28 – Thursday, May 4, 2023

A new ‘Afterparty’ whodunnit, Star Wars shorts & a fem-centric spin on ‘Fatal Attraction’

FRIDAY, April 28
The Afterparty
Season two of the feisty murder-mystery whodunnit comedy series begins with returning cast members Tiffany Haddish (above), Sam Richardson and Zoe Chao, and new players including Elizabeth Perkins, Paul Walker Hauser, Ken Jeong, Jack Whitehall and others (Apple TV+).

Peter Pan and Wendy
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should—I really don’t see a reason for this remake of the classic childhood tale from Scotland’s J.M. Barre, but Peter Pan has become one of Disney’s most enduring characters. He’s even the host of his own attraction, Peter Pan’s Flight, in most Disney parks. And hey, it’s a kick to see Jude Law as Capt. Hook (Disney+).

SATURDAY, April 29
Moonage Daydream
Acclaimed 2022 doc about the music and life of glitter rocker David Bowie comes to TV (8 p.m., HBO).

SUNDAY, April 30
Tom Jones on Masterpiece
Four-part new adaptation (above) of one of the great novels in the English language, with a new twist to its tale of a young man’s love for a wealthy heiress (9 p.m., PBS).

Fatal Attraction
This new series spin on the 1980s psychosexual classic (stewed rabbit, anyone?) stars Joshua Jackson, Lizzy Caplan, Amanda Peet and Toby Huss in a torrid tale of forbidden love and infidelity through a contemporary prism of strong women, personality disorders and dangerously tangled webs (Paramount+).

A Small Light
Bel Powley, Joe Cole and Live Schreiber star in this new limited series based on the inspiring true story of the women who played a critical role in hiding Anne Frank and her family during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam (9 p.m., National Geographic).

Undercover Underage
Reality series focuses on a nonprofit working with decoys to entrap would-be predators (9 p.m., ID).

Thalia’s Mixtape
Docuseries about the young Latin global superstar and her musical influences (Paramount+).

King Charles: The Boy Who Walked Alone
Royals alert: Longtime friends, school chums and Buckingham Palace staffers offer up recollections of Britain’s new monarch ahead of his coronation in this new 90-minute documentary (above) sure to delight fans of all things Brit-ty (Paramount+).

Bring It Home

Woody Harrelson stars in Champions (Universal Home Entertainment) as a former basketball coach who finds new purpose in his life when he’s court-ordered to take on a team with intellectual disabilities. With Cheech Marin, Ernie Hudson and Kaitlin Olson

Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All
How did a young stuttering British child grow up to become a global superstar? Find out in this new musical documentary that examines the life and career of the London-born singer-songwriter (Disney+).

Pete Davidson stars in ‘Bupkis,’ based on his own life.

Pete Davidson stars in this new half-hour live action comedy with a fictionalized spin on his life (Peacock). 

Star Wars: Visions
Second installment of the popular streaming series, pushing the Star Wars mythos into new realms of storytelling with animated shorts from studios around the world (Disney+).

The Entertainment Forecast

Friday, April 21 – Thursday, April 27

Ana de Armas goes ghost, James Cordon goes out with a bang & Carol Burnett gets an all-star birthday party

FRIDAY, April 21
Knives Out castmates Chris Evans (yes, he’s Captain America!) and Ana de Armas (she was Marilyn Monroe!) reunite for this rollicking romcom (above) about a guy who falls in love with a girl—and finds himself in a whirlwind international adventure to save the world after he finds out she’s really a secret agent (Apple TV+).

Dear Mama
Docuseries explores the linked lives and Black-activism legacies of iconic rapper Tupac Shakur and his mother, Afeni, a proto-feminist leader in the Black Panther party of the 1970s (10 p.m., FX).

SATURDAY, April 22
Chasing the Rains
Bridgerton’s Adjoa Andoh narrates this four-episode streaming series, timed to Earth Day, which takes viewers on a journey into one of Africa’s most majestic and rarely filmed areas, beyond the peaks of Mount Kenya where water is lifesblood (AMC+).

Otter Dynasty
It’s like Dynasty, only with otters. This real-life “family drama” series centers on a group of smooth-coated otters all battling for turf on the island of Singapore (9 p.m., Animal Planet). 

SUNDAY, April 23
Somebody Somewhere
Bridget Everette returns to season two of this Duplass Brothers comedy series, about a young Kansas woman struggling to find a fit in her hometown—and gradually finding a community of her own (10:30 p.m., HBO).

Amityville: An Origin Story
Learn the true story about America’s most infamously haunted house (above)—and about the heinous murders that launched its horrific reputation (MGM+).

MONDAY, April 24

New series (above) follows Danielle Jalade as a young teen on a quest to take her roller-skate crew, the We-B-Girls, to the top (9 p.m., Disney Channel).

TUESDAY, April 25
Supermarket Stakeout
New season of the on-location speed-shopping competition, in which host Alex Guarnaschelli gives contestants $$ to purchase the ingredients for what they’ll be making—by negotiating with customers in the store’s parking lot (9 p.m., Food Network).


Author Claire Dederer dives into a serious—and seriously timely—subject in Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma (Knopf), which examines the contradictory impulses when people whose art we might admire (like filmmakers Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, superstar Michael Jackson, and super-macho writer Ernest Hemingway) give in to darker impulses we deplore. It’s not an easy question, and it doesn’t offer easy answers, but it’s certainly a probing read from a writer who’s covered our culture in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Nation and other publications. 

If you were a country singer from Texas, what might your favorite foods be? In the new cookbook Ya’ll Eat Yet?(Dey Street), hitmaker Miranda Lambert takes us on a tour of the recipes that fed her when she was growing up in the Lone Star State, with a heartfelt look at the women whose kitchen expertise made lifelong impacts far beyond her tummy. 

In Pilgrims, Pickers and Honky Tonk Heroes (Backbeat Books), veteran Nashville journalist Tim Ghianni relates fascinating accounts of his work during a bygone era covering Nashville and its music-makers, making many of them his friends. It’s a one-of-a-kind, personalized journeyman’s glimpse into a world where Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Chet Atkins, Waylon Jennings, Charlie Daniels, Willie Nelson and Roy Clark all breathed the same rarefied Music City air, with richly detailed side trips about rock legend Jimi Hendrix (yes, also a Nashville resident at one time), the proto-country punk band Jason & the Scorchers, and much more. 

TUESDAY, April 25
Family Legacy
Does the musical apple fall far from the tree? Not in this new docuseries, which follows the children of famous musical artists and band members, including Van Halen, Melissa Etheridge, the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC (Paramount+).

The Light We Carry: Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey
Special presentation with the TV talk-show queen interviewing the former First Lady as she wraps up the tour for her 2022 book, The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times (Netflix).


Saint X
New streaming series (above), told through multiple timelines, follows a woman’s mysterious death during a Caribbean vacation and her sister’s dangerous pursuit of the truth. Starring Alycia Debnam-Carey, Josh Bronzie and Betsy Brandt (Hulu).

Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter and Love
Bernadette Peters, Billy Porter, Jane Lynch, Katy Perry, Kristen Chenoweth and many others pay tribute with song and reflections to one of comedy’s leading ladies (above) on her 90th birthday in this two-hour special filmed live in Hollywood (8 p.m., NBC).

THURSDAY, Aprll 27
Love & Death
Based on a true story, this new series tells the tale of a pair of churchgoing couples enjoying their smalltown Texas life…until extramarital dilly-dallying causes someone to pick up an axe. Yikes! Starring Elizabeth Olsen, Jesse Plemons and Lily Rabe (HBO Max).

The Last Last Late Late Show
Primetime special celebrates the show’s final night (right) on the air just ahead of its farewell episode, as host James Cordon welcomes a parade of guest stars—including superstar Tom Cruise—to commemorate 8 years of Karpool Karaoke and other antics (10 p.m., CBS)