New seasons of ‘Lupin,’ ‘Love, Victor,’ ‘Flack,’ ‘Betty,’ ‘Home Before Dark,’ Experience ‘Zenimation’
If much of today’s streaming menu looks familiar, it’s because many series have advanced to a sophomore season, including the buzzy international hit crime drama Lupin and the proudly diverse teen romance Love, Victor. Formerly on Pop TV, the edgy Flack moves to Amazon Prime Video. And for those needing to chill after a hectic week, Zenimation provides sensory bliss in themed moments from Disney animation.
An unexpected breakout hit for the streaming behemoth, the stylish international thriller is back with a five-episode “Part 2,” which raises the stakes for the suave Assane Diop (Omar Sy), gentleman thief and master of disguise. There’s new urgency to his revenge plot against Hubert Pelligrini (Hervé Pierre) after his wealthy nemesis had Diop’s young son Raoul (Etan Simon) kidnapped. Adding to the suspense: the Paris police are on Diop’s trail following a string of audacious heists.
The sort-of sequel to Love, Simon continues with a 10-episode second season, in which teen star athlete Victor (Michael Cimino) deals with the pressures of being openly gay as it impacts his home and school life. Now a high-school junior, Victor has to figure out how to let his peers know about his budding relationship with Benji (George Sear), fearing pushback from his basketball bros.
The flashy dramedy, set at a London-based PR firm where getting their high-profile clients out of scandalous messes earns their keep, returns for a six-episode second season. True Blood’s Anna Paquin stars as Robyn, a pro at fixing everyone’s life but her own. As she tries to mend relationships with her co-workers at Mills Paulson PR, her boss Caroline (Sophie Okonedo) may be shaking up things for all of them. Guest stars this season include Sam Neill, Daniel Dae Kim and Martha Plimpton.
The bohemian female skateboarders navigate a New York City challenged by the pandemic in the freewheeling comedy’s second season. (In one episode, Nina Moran’s Kirt wonders if she has Covid after eating a tasteless empanada.) Maybe because the city is already struggling, their male skateboarding rivals are becoming their allies, forming a united front on wheels.
Skateboarding also provides the springboard for female empowerment in this fable set in a remote village in India, where teenage Prerna (Rachel Saanchita Gupta) and her peers are introduced to the sport. Amid a battle to create a skatepark of their own, Prerna must balance her desire to compete in a national championship with her duties to her traditional family.
Home Before Dark
ABC may have canned Rebel too soon, but if you’re in the market for another offbeat crusader, check out the exploits of teen investigative journalist Hilde Lisko (Brooklynn Prince)—a character based on real-life Pennsylvania muckraker Hilde Lysiak—as she snoops into a new case in a 10-episode second season (episodes drop weekly). An explosion at a local farm sends Hilde on the hunt, taking on a corporation with her reporting that once again puts her and her indulgently worried family at risk.
Sometimes you just need “a moment of mindfulness,” the calling card of this blissful series of shorts (all under 10 minutes), weaving together wordless sequences from Disney’s animated classics, vintage and new. With themes including “Rain,” “Waterways,” “Everyday Comforts,” “Snowscapes” and “Kindness,” these visual and aural montages are a timeless tonic for these turbulent times.
Inside Friday TV:
- Musicals on Turner Classic Movies: In recognition of this week’s release of In the Heights, the film’s director Jon Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) discusses scenes from classic musicals that inspired his collaboration with Lin-Manual Miranda. Films screened include Esther Williams in 1952’s Million Dollar Mermaid (8/7c), Fred Astaire’s dancing-on-the-ceiling stunt in 1951’s Royal Wedding (10/9c) and the eternal Meet Me in St. Louis (11:45/10:45c).
- Shock Docs: The Devil Made Me Do It (streaming on discovery+): The real-life basis behind another big-screen film currently streaming on HBO Max, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, this documentary special delves into the true story of how Arne Johnson of Connecticut came to believe he was possessed by a demon following an exorcism of his girlfriend’s son, later charged with his landlord’s murder. The ensuing court case put the devil himself on trial.
- More from the true-crime blotter: ABC’s 20/20 (9/8c) asks “What Happened to Vanessa?” as it delves into the 2020 murder of Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen, featuring interviews with her fiancé and soldiers from her unit who attest to the sexual harassment she experienced before her disappearance and death. On Dateline NBC (10/9c), Andrea Canning conducts the first network interview with Toby Dorr, a prison volunteer who in 2006 helped inmate John Menard escape from a Kansas prison, upending her life as a mother of two.
- Mythic Quest (streaming on Apple TV+): In another break from the comedy’s workplace setting, the series continues its fascinating character study of the video game’s head writer C.W. Longbottom with a follow-up to last week’s origin story. In a caustic and darkly comic showdown between two famed Oscar winners, F. Murray Abraham’s C.W. forces a chatty Rachel (Ashly Burch) to drive him to the estate of his one-time friend and fellow sci-fi writer Peter Cromwell (William Hurt). Each thinks the other has much to atone for, as they assess careers and lives that didn’t turn out quite as they expected.