The Return of ‘Ted Lasso,’ Olympic Opening Ceremony, Woodstock 2.0, ‘Playing with Sharks’ and ‘Stuntman’ on Disney+
Critical and Emmy darling Ted Lasso returns for a second season of mirth on the soccer pitch. The Olympics officially begin with an opening ceremony under a COVID cloud. A documentary relives the debacle that ensued when they tried to revive Woodstock 30 years later. New Disney+ films profile a shark expert and a stuntman with Evel Knievel aspirations.
Don’t tell Ted, but he’s a front-runner—at the Emmys, anyway, where the delightful sports comedy earned 20 nominations, the most ever for a first-year sitcom. Jason Sudeikis is effortlessly charming as the folksy Kansas transplant who may not understand all of the rules of the game of soccer as he coaches London’s underdog AFC Richmond team. But that hasn’t kept him from winning over skeptics with his incurable optimism and down-home wisdom. In the spectacular second season, Ted meets someone who may be resistant to his charms: a wary sports psychologist who won’t even accept his trademark biscuits, because she shuns sugar. The horror! (See the full review.)
Summer Olympics: Opening Ceremony
In case you chose not to wake up early to watch the event when it aired live in the morning, an edited prime-time replay will present all of the highlights of the Parade of Nations, the cauldron lighting and other memorable moments as the Summer Games officially get underway in Tokyo. A COVID-19 surge has already impacted the Olympics and is keeping spectators away from the Opening Ceremonies and most of the sporting events, but for now, the Games go on, and there will be plenty of athletic achievement to observe and root for over the next two weeks.
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Ted Lasso star Jason Sudeikis, Matt Damon and Camila Cabello are scheduled guests. BTS returns to play a Tonight game with the host, who’ll be appearing in “Fallon Five” comedy shorts throughout the Olympic Games all the way to the Aug. 8 Closing Ceremony.
Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage
The first in a series of Music Box documentaries from producer Bill Simmons looks back to the infamous Woodstock 99, an attempt in 1999 to recreate the iconic music festival from 30 years earlier in 1969. Intense summer heat boiled over into an explosion of rioting and destruction that became a touchstone in the rise of toxic white masculinity. Cultural critics, musicians and attendees weigh in on the carnival of disharmony 22 years later.
Playing with Sharks
The summer’s TV shark mania isn’t over quite yet. This inspiring documentary profiles Valerie Taylor, a pioneer in underwater filmmaking and shark research and advocacy. Archival footage and new interviews reveal how Taylor evolved from a champion spearfisher to one of the greatest protectors of these often-misunderstood ocean creatures.
Don’t try this at home—or anywhere, for that matter. A new documentary follows renowned stuntman Eddie Braun as he decides he has one more spectacular act to pursue before retiring from a three-decade career of falls, crashes and explosions. A fan of the legendary Evel Knievel since childhood, Eddie vows to complete one of the late daredevil’s most notorious stunts: the 1974 Snake River Canyon cannon jump that nearly killed Knievel back in the day.
Inside Friday TV:
- Schmigadoon! (streaming on Apple TV+): The romantic complications pile up in the third episode of the delirious musical-comedy spoof, when Josh (Keegan-Michael Key) faces being trapped into a shotgun wedding with a girl who seems much too much his junior. Prompting this observation from Melissa (Cecily Strong): “Have you not seen Sound of Music? Liesl is 16 going on 29! … Women were so underwritten in early musicals.” (See the full review.)
- Oprah’s Book Club (streaming on Apple TV+): Oprah Winfrey christens first-time author Nathan Harris as someone to watch when she interviews him about his debut novel of historical fiction, The Sweetness of Water. Oprah’s latest pick is set after the Emancipation Proclamation in the post-Civil War South, where two formerly enslaved brother have a memorable encounter with the white family next door.
- New movie thrillers to stream: From Germany, Netflix’s Blood Red Sky stars Peri Baumeister as a passenger on a flight from Germany to New York who goes into action after hijackers take over the plane. What they don’t know is that she’s a vampire, who’ll do anything to protect her young son. … Amazon Prime Video’s Jolt introduces another woman with a startling power: Kate Beckinsale as Lindy, whose rare neurological condition sends her into violent murderous rages that can only be stopped with an electrical shock. When her lover is killed, she lets her freak flag fly to get revenge on the murderer.
- Masters of the Universe: Revelation (streaming on Netflix): The fantasy franchise returns in an animated series in which the Guardians of Grayskull are reunited to restore the broken land of Eternia. The voice cast includes genre faves including Sarah Michelle Gellar, Mark Hamill and Lena Headey.
- Charmed (8/7c, The CW): In the third-season finale of the witchy reboot, Mel (Melonie Diaz) and Maggie (Sarah Jeffery) cast an ancient spell after an encounter with the Whispering Evil leaves Macy (Madeleine Mantock) near death. Harry (Rupert Evans) also gets busy, knowing only a Whitelighter can save her.