As the Olympic Games come to an end, an evening for “There” and “Since” |
History unfolds in half-hour spoonfuls on “I was there” (9:30 p.m. Sunday, Histoire, TV-14). This 12-part non-fiction series takes viewers through some of the most dramatic (and randomly chosen) moments in history, from the Salem witch trials to the Hindenburg explosion, to the siege of Leningrad, to the collapse of Chernobyl and the assassination of Lincoln.
“There” demonstrates the constant improvement in the technique of reconstructing history. Credible extras populate the scenes as host Theo EJ Wilson walks among them, providing context and detail and explaining context forgotten in most history books. In the only episode made available for review, Wilson presents the Salem Witch Trials as a social battle that began as a skirmish between two prominent Salem families whose rivalry was fueled by a broken dam and flooded land, as well than a power struggle for control. of the local Puritan congregation. When a bigoted preacher loyal to one family was appointed over the objections of the other, the seeds for the witch trials were sown.
Who is Theo EJ Wilson? He is presented here neither as a historian nor as an actor, but as the grandson of a Tuskegee airman. Apparently, he’s handsome and looks pretty good on TV, and that, apparently, is enough.
Produced by ABC anchor and Clinton White House adviser George Stephanopoulos, “I Was There” is a 21st-century update of “You Are There,” a similar historical/educational series that was a staple of radio and then CBS television in the 1940s and ’50s. Walter Cronkite was among his guests.
This series put the audience, the “You” in a historical setting. Who is the “I” in “I was there”? Is it a star turn for Wilson or a marketer’s acknowledgment that his audience can’t think beyond the first person singular?
• “From” (8 p.m., EPIX, TV-MA) is here. Although not based on a work by Stephen King, this horror thriller reminds us of the influence of the prolific author.
“De” opens in a ramshackle tourist town, the kind that dried up about a generation or two ago when the freeways pulled vacationers and traffic in a different direction. I’ve always loved those sad old places. They are home to derelict typewriter repair shops and faded, derelict motels, places that still heralded the luxurious newness of air conditioning and color television. I’ve seen them on the Lee Highway down south, on country roads in the Great Smoky Mountains and in the Catskills in New York. I’m sure most states have their variations on these ghost towns.
What if the ghosts don’t want to leave? “From” begins with a very simple and disturbing premise: everyone in town has arrived “from” somewhere else but found they couldn’t leave. Besides being stuck in a place with no cell service, they have to be inside with the windows closed when the sun goes down, because that’s when the dark forces of the surrounding forest descend.
Harold Perrineau (“Lost,” “Oz”) stars as the local sheriff, a thin reed of authority trying to keep this ragtag group of reluctant tourists from descending into anarchy or madness. Directed and produced by Jack Bender (“Lost,” “Game of Thrones,” “Mr. Mercedes”), you might not want to get stuck in “From,” but it’s worth a stroll.
• In a 2014 stand-up routine heard on the Internet, comedian Hannibal Buress asked customers about “Google Bill Cosby and the Rape,” opening an avalanche of revelations and public denunciations on the fourth and final episode of “We gotta talk about Cosby” (9 p.m. Sunday, Showtime, TV-MA).
• Events for the 2022 Winter Olympics include bobsleigh and figure skating (7 p.m. NBC), women’s curling (7 p.m. CNBC) and cross-country skiing (7 p.m. US).
• Three one-hour portions of “Jeopardy: National College Championship” (7 p.m., ABC, r).
• A trip to the Galápagos in “Attenborough’s Global Adventure” (7 pm, BBC America).
• The third woman to possess an enchanted cloth expresses doubts about her powers in 2022 romance “The Wedding Veil Legacy” (7 p.m., Hallmark, TV-G).
• Three women retaliate against a cyberbully in the 2022 clash “Caught in His Web” (7 p.m., Lifetime, TV-14).
• Scheduled on “60 Minutes” (6 p.m., CBS): Updates from Ukraine; an updated report on “directed energy” attacks on Americans.
• The 2022 Winter Olympics (7 p.m., NBC) conclude with a lavish closing ceremony.
• Fogg has a fateful encounter in New York during the season finale of “Around the World in 80 Days” on “Masterpiece” (7 p.m., PBS, TV-14, check local listings).
• The 2022 documentary “America’s Deadliest Rock Concert: The Guest List” (7 p.m., Reelz, TV-14) recalls a Rhode Island nightclub fire in 2003 caused by a pyrotechnic incident that claimed the lives of 100 fans of the 1980s band Great White.
• A sick creature spoils Christmas plans in the season finale of “All Things Great and Small” on “Masterpiece” (8 p.m., PBS, TV-PG, check local listings).
• Chuck expands his horizons to target a whole class of criminals on “Billions” (8 p.m., Showtime, TV-MA).
• Conflicted siblings provide an update on “The Righteous Gemstones” (9 p.m., HBO, TV-MA).
• A Kansas native returns to “Somebody Somewhere” (9:30 p.m., HBO, TV-MA).
– “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” (10 p.m., HBO) is entering its ninth season.
A shy college student (Jean-Louis Trintignant) goes on an unlikely road trip with an older bon vivant (Vittorio Gassman) in the 1962 Italian comedy “Il Sorpasso,” also released as “The Easy Life” (1 a.m., Monday morning, TCM, TV-MA).
“Big Brother: Celebrity Edition” (7 p.m., CBS, TV-PG)… Hijacked victim is buried alive on “9-1-1″ (7 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14)…” 48 hours” (8 p.m., CBS)… Thony faces a tough decision on “The Cleaning Lady” (8 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14).
“Big Brother: Celebrity Edition” (7 p.m., CBS, TV-PG)… Burns and Marge tangle over a football prodigy in “The Simpsons” (7 p.m., Fox, r, TV-PG). A campus tour on “All American” (7 p.m., CW, r, TV-PG)… Thanksgiving on “The Great North” (7:30 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14)… Bishop needs help on “The Equalizer” (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14) … High Ambitions on “Bob’s Burgers” (8 p.m., Fox, r, TV-PG) … “Two Sentence Horror Stories” (8 p.m., CW, TV-PG and 8:30 p.m., TV-14) … Peter recalls his favorite movie scenes on “Family Guy” (8:30 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14) … A star athlete’s house is invaded on “SWAT” (9 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14) … I’m (not) with the band on “The Wonder Years” (9:30 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG).
“Okay, that was weird. The least anticipated story of the week was the scandal involving Felicity Huffman (“Desperate Housewives”) and “When Calls the Heart” star Lori Loughlin (7 p.m. Sunday, Hallmark, TV-G), in a bribery plot / cheating to get their respective daughters into elite universities.
This is obviously an ongoing case, and all parties must have their say, or one day, in court. But the motivation at the center of this story is worth discussing. It implies an overwhelming need to do anything to get children into elite schools. As if something “less” was unthinkable.
Television plays a significant role in this insecurity. I can’t remember how many times I’ve had to describe an ABC legal drama where every character hails from the most exclusive Ivy and spends most of the pilot bragging about it.
There was a time, not too long ago, when John Grisham wrote best-selling books about barely accredited young lawyers from anonymous institutions who took on impossible cases against huge corporations and ultimately won. And I got the girl, to boot.
Thus, the neurotic obsession of our present age with elitism and inequality is hardly entrenched.
If anything stands out from this sordid affair, it’s an appreciation that shoddy efforts at snobbery are still essentially pathetic. Or on classic TV, comedy. Watching “Gilligan’s Island,” we identified with Mary Ann and the Skipper, and felt sorry for the millionaire and his wife.
— CNN debuts the four-hour documentary “Tricky Dick” (8 p.m., Sunday), chronicling the life and times of Richard Nixon’s public career, which spanned decades from the dawn of the Cold War to the Clinton years.
— An anxious new mother joins a solidarity and support group, only to find he has darker plans on his agenda in shock 2019 “Mommy Group Murder” (7 p.m., Lifetime, TV-14).
– The Thunder and Warriors meet in NBA action (7:30 p.m., ABC).
— A former kidnapper returns to form on “Ransom” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
— Program on “60 Minutes” (6 p.m., CBS): embassy employees in China and Cuba complain of mysterious ailments; AOL founder Steve Case and his plans to invest in the future of neglected small towns in America; a visit to Monaco.
— The duels begin on “World of Dance” (7 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
— Auditions continue on “American Idol” (7 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
– Lex Luthor is free on “Supergirl” (7 p.m., CW, TV-PG).
— Mr. Wednesday prepares for battle on “American Gods” (7 p.m., Starz, TV-MA).
— After discovering her royal lineage, an adopted 10-year-old girl becomes a little bully in the 2019 clash “Mommy’s Little Princess” (7 p.m., Lifetime, TV-14).
— A secret room harbors dangers on “Charmed” (8 p.m., CW, TV-14).
— Hidden secrets revealed in “The Walking Dead” (8 p.m., AMC, TV-MA).
— A new trial continues on “The Case Against Adnan Syed” (8 p.m., HBO, TV-14).
– Ax is determined to destroy Taylor in the fourth-season premiere of “Billions” (8 p.m., Showtime, TV-MA).
– Ulysses pursues a conspiracy theory on “Now Apocalypse” (8 p.m., Starz, TV-MA).
— “Unsung” (8 p.m., TVONE) portrays the Jets.
— Peaceful openings on “Madame la secretary” (9 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).
— The tension mounts on “Good Girls” (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
— Mo’s past is revealed on “Black Monday” (9 p.m., Showtime, TV-MA).
— St. Patrick’s Day inspires many traditions. Syfy offers a marathon of “Leprechaun” movies, from “Leprechaun 5: In the Hood” (Saturday 4 p.m., TV-14) to “Leprechaun 2” (8 p.m.). TCM takes the traditional approach, ladling the Technicolor blarney from director John Ford’s 1952 romance “The Quiet Man” (7 p.m. Sunday, TV-PG).
“Dateline” (7 p.m., NBC, TV-PG)… “NBA Countdown” (7 p.m., ABC)… The kids are fine on “MasterChef” (8 p.m., Fox, r, TV-PG)…” 48 Hours” (9 p.m., CBS) … A vintage portion of “Saturday Night Live” (9 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).
A visit from an old friend inspires Miles in “God Friended Me” (7 p.m., CBS, TV-PG)… Homer can’t leave Bart’s virtual kingdom in “The Simpsons” (7 p.m., Fox, TV-14 ) … Empathy for all things on “Bob’s Burgers” (7:30 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
A walk down the aisle on “NCIS: Los Angeles” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-14)… On two episodes of “Family Guy” (Fox, TV-14), Meg’s Winter Olympics ( 8 p.m.), the fights on a dowager (8:30 p.m., r)… Aches on “Shark Tank” (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).