Andrew Garfield in ‘Heaven,’ A ‘Godfather’ Offer, NFL Draft, ‘SVU’ Return
Andrew Garfield moonlights from his busy movie career to play a Mormon detective in the grim limited series Under the Banner of Heaven. Marking the 50th anniversary of The Godfather, the Paramount+ limited-series drama The Offer goes behind the scenes of the making of the movie classic. Emotions run high as the 2022 NFL Draft gets underway on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network. A familiar face returns to Law & Order: SVU when former deputy chief Garland reaches out to Benson.
Under the Banner of Heaven
From FX comes a grim, fitfully compelling true-crime docudrama adapted by Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black (Milk) from Jon Krakauer’s best-seller. Andrew Garfield moonlights from his red-hot movie career to tackle the troubling role of Utah detective Jeb Pyre, a devout Mormon whose faith is challenged as he investigates the brutal slaying of a young mother (Normal People’s Daisy-Edgar Jones) and her infant daughter. Flashbacks to church founder Joseph Smith’s travails muddy an otherwise gripping case study of fundamentalism taken to extremes, as Jeb slowly realizes that the family the victim married into may be responsible for the crime. (See the full review.)
Say this for the overlong 10-part drama about the making of a movie classic, now marking its 50th anniversary: The Offer will make you want to watch The Godfather (and Part II, maybe even the third film) all over again. And Paramount+ complies, making the classic trilogy available for binge-watching. Miles Teller stars, woodenly, as fledgling producer Albert S. Ruddy, who battles skeptical studio bosses and actual mobsters to help visionary director Francis Ford Coppola (a terrific Dan Fogler) bring Mario Puzo’s gangster epic to life. Downton Abbey’s Matthew Goode is a riot as Paramount’s schmoozing, preening studio head, charged with reviving the ailing studio with hits like Love Story (starring his then-wife Ali McGraw) and this risky project. (See the full review.)
In what has become a major annual TV event, eager NFL fans tune in to see which top college prospects will join their favorite teams, often to emotional ovations. Round 1 gets underway in Las Vegas, with Rounds 2 and 3 airing Friday and the final rounds airing Saturday afternoon.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
A familiar face returns to the beat when former deputy police chief Christian Garland (Demore Barnes) reaches out to Benson (Mariska Hargitay) after human bones are found in Central Park that connect to a missing-persons case from his days as a beat cop. In other news, a victim from one of Carisi’s (Peter Scanavino) recent cases is arrested.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit where to stream
The ambitious third season of Donald Glover’s provocative comedy has been marked by standout stand-alone episodes having nothing to do with the European adventures of Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Smith), Earn (Glover) and entourage. Here’s another, directed by series creator Glover, that echoes the recent parable about reparations in its depiction of a privileged white couple (Justin Hagan and Christina Bennett Lind) who are suddenly exposed to a different culture and a wake-up call about family through the eyes of their young son.
There are multiple pleasures in the eventful penultimate episode of this delightful series about French Chef Julia Child (Sarah Lancashire): the physical comedy of David Hyde Pierce as her husband Paul, suffering a cold in a hotel suite as Julia prepares to make a speech at a Waldorf gala; a rant against TV by the glorious Judith Light as publisher Blanche Knopf; and a cameo by another future PBS star, who bolsters Julia’s ego after she encounters a famous feminist who attacks the TV chef’s impact on the modern wife. What a wonderful character, cast and series.
On the Stream:
- Star Trek: Picard (streaming on Paramount+): Picard (Patrick Stewart) is beset with childhood demons as he joins Seven (Jeri Ryan), Raffi (Michelle Hurd) and Rios (Santiago Cabrera) in a climactic battle against the Borg Queen and her new army for control of La Sirena. More sci-fi action on Halo, where super-soldier John (Pablo Schreiber) also looks to his past as he demands answers from Dr. Halsey (Natascha McElhone).
- The Flight Attendant (streaming on HBO Max): I’m about to give up on Season 2 of this increasingly silly mystery caper, with a gape-jawed Kaley Cuoco flailing in frantic confusion and panic at every twist as she heads to Iceland to rescue her friend Megan (Rosie Perez) from North Korean spies, only to encounter an unexpected ally. Also on the very busy streamer: the finale of international crime drama Tokyo Vice, the final installment of the docuseries The Way Down: God, Greed and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin, and Season 2 of the funky futuristic anti-romcom Made for Love, starring Cristin Milioti.
- Spaghetti Western homage That Dirty Black Bag reaches its violent Season 1 conclusion on AMC+, while horror-themed sister streamer Shudder goes behind the scenes of Wes Craven’s creepy 1988 The Serpent and the Rainbow in a new installment of Cursed Films II.
- Bubble (streaming on Netflix): Director Tetsuro Araki’s anime film is set in a Tokyo where bubbles have broken the laws of gravity.
- Smother (streaming on Peacock): The Irish thriller returns for a second season, with Val (Dervla Kirwan) thrown for another loop when her late husband’s estranged son (Dean Fagan) suddenly appears on the scene.
- Dear Mr. Brody (streaming on discovery+): When hippie millionaire Michael Brody Jr. announced in 1970 that he was giving his fortune away, letters of need poured in from across the country. A new documentary uses animation, archival footage and interviews with some of the letter-writers to tell this unusual story.
Inside Thursday TV:
- Young Sheldon (8/7c, CBS): Now it’s time for twins Sheldon (Iain Armitage) and Missy (Raegan Revord) to join the loop of those who know about brother Georgie’s (Montana Jordan) expectant secret. Mum’s the word (literally).
- Call Me Kat (9/8c, Fox): In a crossover episode, Welcome to Flatch’s Kelly and Shrub (Holmes and Sam Straley) drop by the Louisville café, while The Masked Singer’s Robin Thicke appears at a local fundraiser where Max (Cheyenne Jackson) hopes to make a connection to further his career.
- Bull (10/9c, CBS): With Bull (Michael Weatherly) out of commission from an injured back, Chunk (Christopher Jackson) and Marissa (Geneva Carr) go it alone to defend her childhood friend, a tech CEO, from a wrongful termination and sex-harassment charge. Former NCIS and Rizzoli & Isles star Sasha Alexander directs the episode.