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Wondering what to watch this week? Check out our weekly film and TV recommendations. We want to know what you’re streaming, too. Click here to share your picks with us.
Another day, another Marvel superhero spinoff, right? Wrong. For one thing, Loki’s no superhero; the Asgardian trickster god played so drolly by Tom Hiddleston in the “Thor” and “Avengers” movies easily holds his own here, in a nicely ambiguous blend of villain, frenemy, grieving outcast and arrogant cuss. Based on the first two episodes, the first of which debuted Wednesday, creator Michael Waldron’s six-episode series has serious promise, in part because it’s the right degree of serious, which is to say: It’s witty, too. (Disney+) — Michael Phillips
The season wraps up its 10-episode run this week, and if you haven’t given the show a look yet, there’s no better time to start streaming. Jean Smart — all hail Jean Smart! — plays a comedian past her prime who’s still pulling in big money and audiences thanks to a long-standing Vegas residency. When the casino boss attempts to cut back her dates in favor of younger acts, her manager foists upon her the punch-up services of a petulant 20-something comedy writer (played by Hannah Einbinder, the daughter of original “Saturday Night Live” cast member Laraine Newman) whose irony-soaked outlook is an ideal foil to this old-school showbiz veteran. By hook or by crook, this odd couple finds a small patch of common ground. “Hacks” (renewed for a second season) is exceedingly watchable in all its sun-bleached glory, if you take it on its own terms: Not so much a comedy but a wry drama. (HBO Max) — Nina Metz
This BBC/Apple domestic comedy follows Nikki (Esther Smith) and Jason (Rafe Spall) as they try to become parents, and during the first season, decide to adopt. “Trying” is currently in the middle of streaming its second season (and a third is already in the works), but I’m just in the last few episodes of the first. While Imelda Staunton is the marquee name (and she is terrific as the couple’s passionate and damn-the-rules adoption advocate), the shooting star here is Smith, whose genuine appeal combines many of the engaging qualities we see in Zooey Deschanel and Cristin Milioti. The way series creator Andy Wolton has written her character — with a dash of innocence, a big dose of resilience and a solid belief in the best of the people around her — is the foundation. Smith, who originated the role of Delphi Diggory in “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” takes all that and brings her smiling charm to the role. “Trying” also gets out into the streets of London on a regular basis, a great bonus for those of us missing the joys of travel during the pandemic. (Apple TV+) — Scott L. Powers
“The Bold Type”
Inspired by the experiences and career of Joanna Coles, former editor-in-chief of “Cosmopolitan,” Freeform’s “The Bold Type” follows the lives of three millennial women, portrayed by Jane Sloan (Katie Stevens), Kat Edison (Aisha Dee) and Sutton Brady (Meghann Fahy) who work at a fictional New York City women’s magazine, Scarlet, led by editor-in-chief Jacqueline Carlyle (Melora Hardin). The trio of young women juggle their professional goals and romantic relationships, all while living in the Big Apple. The series begins with Jane starting her new position as a staff writer at the magazine as she finds her writing voice; Sutton is in a secret relationship with Richard Hunter (Sam Page), a board member for “Scarlet”; and Kat, the magazine’s social media director, begins to explore her sexuality after meeting a photographer. Catch up on the series as the fifth and final season airs. (Freeform, Hulu) — Hannah Herrera Greenspan
Coronavirus creates creative film production and storytelling. Incredible actors (Helen Mirren, Morgab Freeman and Anne Hathaway, just to name a few) perform against themselves in these short films. Each of the seven interconnected futuristic shorts focuses on a single character and asks a simple question about meeting a version of yourself, whether through time travel, robot clones, isolation, space travel or simply in the stories that we tell ourselves. As anyone in therapy knows, meeting yourself can reveal deep truths and heal emotional wounds. These performances harken back to stage soliloquies with a single actor engulfing the audience in their every word and emotion as the story evolves in sometimes shocking ways. Learn more about the human condition in a time when we need to connect to each other more than ever. (Amazon Prime) — Lauren Hill
“Days of Heaven”
Terrence Malick’s dream of early 20th-century romantic tragedy involved massive production shutdowns, reshoots (essentially he made the movie twice) and two different world-class cinematographers, Nestor Almendros and Haskell Wexler. It turned out like magic. Its small but sturdy tale follows working-class Chicagoans Richard Gere, Brooke Adams and Linda Manz relocating to Texas (Gere’s character is on the lam, after accidentally killing a factory foreman) where the wheat harvest brings nature’s bounty, Sam Shepard’s wealthy, lonely farmer, a stunningly realized plague of locusts and a perfect, open-ended coda for the young girl narrating (Manz, wondrous). The Music Box Theatre is screening Malick’s 95-minute gem as part of its “Back on the Big Screen” retrospective. 1:15 p.m. Saturday, June 5, only, 3733 N. Southport Ave.; musicboxtheatre.com (Also: VOD) — Michael Phillips
With tennis champ Naomi Osaka pulling out of the French Open this week, citing the impact of press requirements on her mental health, I was compelled to revisit this two-part documentary about Tiger Woods. It offers a look at how a pressurized media environment might affect professional athletes. “Golf is basically a bastion of Caucasian America, and Tiger was walking into this white world and just dominating it,” Gary Smith, a senior writer at Sports Illustrated, tells the documentary’s filmmakers. “The magazine editors at S.I. wanted me to start peeling the layers away and seeing what’s going on there.” Now imagine how it might have felt for Woods, a mixed-raced man at the beginning of his career, to have a white reporter approach him with that sort of energy and intention — to peel back his layers, as if Woods were a specimen to be dissected. “Tiger answered my questions,” Smith adds, “but wanted to give off that he was in control and everything was cool. You always felt that you weren’t getting to the bottom of it.” That can be frustrating as a reporter; you’re always hoping for an unguarded conversation. Some athletes are willing to go there, but no one has to expose themselves on demand. It’s reasonable for athletes (anyone, really) to erect some barriers in that regard. Osaka’s barriers were just more plainly laid out than most. (HBO Max) — Nina Metz
“The Three Stooges”
After a hard week of work, what better thing to do than watch television that takes you back to the heyday of simpler times? That’s where “The Three Stooges” comes in. For two hours every Saturday night on MeTV (5-7 p.m., right before Svengoolie), troubles are forgotten in lieu of slapstick comedy that only this trio can deliver. Watching classic Moe, Larry, Curly, Shemp, or Joe and their hijinks — be it cooking a meal, running their own business, or doing home improvements — never gets old. Although one does wonder how many times Curly can be poked in the eyes by Moe without causing serious damage? I consider them the first Scooby gang — remember when they would try to foil a political plot, or a crime or murder mystery in an old castle? They would get their person in the end, but with bumps that only they could take and deliver. Larry was always my favorite. Tune in and get back to good. (MeTV) — Darcel Rockett
“Tuca & Bertie”
“Tuca & Bertie,” is a hilarious adult animated sitcom created by Lisa Hanawalt, production designer and producer of “BoJack Horseman.” If you’re a fan of “Big Mouth,” you’ll devour “Tuca & Bertie.” The show follows two 30-something bird-women who live in the same apartment complex: Tuca (voiced by Tiffany Haddish), a care-free, spontaneous and newly sober toucan, and Bertie (voiced by Ali Wong), an anxious, career-driven songbird with an impressive baking hobby. The series kicks off after Tuca moves out of their shared apartment so Bertie can live with her architect boyfriend and robin, Speckle (voiced by Steven Yeun, recently nominated for an Oscar in “Minari”). “Tuca & Bertie” began streaming as a Netflix original series in May 2019, but was then canceled less than three months after its premiere. Luckily, the series has found a new home on Adult Swim, with the second season premiering on June 13. This is the second time a Netflix original series will be revived on another network, the first with “One Day at a Time.” Netflix, please stop cancelling original shows that highlight important issues, while also seamlessly being digestible and funny! (Netflix) — Hannah Herrera Greenspan
I don’t remember exactly when I first watched “Secondhand Lions” (2003), but I can almost guarantee it was a Friday family movie night pick by my mom. I recently got a friend of mine to watch it for the first time by describing it as such: a nerdy kid (Haley Joel Osment) gets dropped off at his unfriendly uncles’ house (Michael Caine and Robert Duvall) by his terrible mother (Kyra Sedgwick) and ends up having a summer that would change his life. My favorite parts are the stories Caine’s character tells of his and his brother’s youth, proving that a truly gifted storyteller can make an ordinary day more exciting than any TV ever could. The film tackles abandonment, truth, love and growing up with humor and tons of heart. It will leave you in happy tears having learned more about what is most important in life. (VOD) — Lauren Hill
“America’s Got Talent”
Admittedly, I did not watch Tuesday’s premiere of the 16th season of “America’s Got Talent.” I learned early on in the “American Idol” craze that the cringe factor involved in such shows is too much for me. Instead, I wait for the highlights. Recently, friends in a group text sent me slaloming through YouTube reels. It started with 10-year-old Roberta Battaglia’s performance of Lady Gaga’s “Shallow”; made its way through a bunch of kid dance troops; detoured through “Britain’s Got Talent” and “India’s Got Talent”; and landed on 14-year-old Sofie Dossi, standing on her hands, shooting flaming arrows with her feet. “Her butt’s on her head!” my 4-year-old squealed, delighted, before attempting her own death-defying approximation. We’ve since had to watch the contortionist’s clip far too many times but I understand my daughter’s fascination. It has it all: skill, drama, beauty, comedy, wonder — the stuff of pure spectacle. Or, as my friend joked in the original text chat: “I think I have a lot of unprocessed feelings from 2020, but these Canadian children on this corporate capitalist platform weirdly renewed my faith?” (NBC for the full show; YouTube for highlights) — Jennifer Day
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