What’s On: Barbra Streisand and ‘Godless’ on Netflix, 20/20 celebrates Christmas movies
Barbra: The Music … The Mem’ries … The Magic! (streaming on Netflix): Nirvana for Barbra Streisand cultists who missed her latest concert tour, this special documents the Miami stop last December, and includes backstage glimpses with husband James Brolin in tow (“What tour has an ice cream truck?” La Streisand marvels) and even shows her calling a local crab restaurant at intermission to be sure her post-show order is on schedule. Part control freak and all-around consummate entertainer, Barbra regales an arena of fans with hits from her many #1 albums, brings Jamie Foxx (from the recent Encore CD) on stage for a duet, and basks in the afterglow of movie clips, including those she proudly directed, like Yentl (“You have to like telling people what to do … that suits me fine.”) You don’t have to tell her followers that this special will justify the entire year’s subscription to Netflix.
Godless (streaming on Netflix): If you’re a fan of the classic Western and have been missing it on TV, you can happily skip the parades and football this Thanksgiving weekend to binge-watch the seven episodes of this thoroughly entertaining limited series about a New Mexico frontier town populated almost entirely by women. Most are widowed from a recent mining disaster, and once they learn a posse of outlaws is heading their way—headed by a wonderfully scenery-chewing Jeff Daniels—they waste no time getting locked and loaded. Downton Abbey’s versatile Michelle Dockery is a rancher who takes in the Shane-like loner (an appealing Jack O’Connell) that the bad guys are coming for. The final shootout, pitting the shotgun-toting females against the ruthless bandits, is a triumph of action and suspense. Yee-haw!
Lights, Camera, Christmas! Inside Holiday Movie Classics (10/9c, ABC): A special edition of 20/20 pays tribute to the deluge of holiday movies we’re all about to dive into as an annual tradition (unless you’ve already started gorging on the latest Hallmark schmaltz-fests). Peter Billingsley of A Christmas Story is a featured guest—and did you know Jack Nicholson was almost cast as the father in that pernennial? Other fun facts will be revealed by ABC News correspondent Chris Connnelly, as modern favorites including National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and The Santa Clause are discussed. Happily, TV classics including A Charlie Brown Christmas and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer won’t be entirely ignored.
Inside Wednesday TV: Naturally, Hallmark Channel has a new romantic-comedy holiday movie to whet the pre-Thanksgiving appetite. In With Love, Christmas (8/7c), a Secret Santa works her magic on her office crush. … The CW’s two-night iHeartRadio Music Festival (8/7c, concludes Friday), taped earlier this year in Las Vegas, features performances by P!nk, Harry Styles, Coldplay, Chris Stapleton, Lorde and Miley Cyrus, with the ubiquitous Ryan Seacrest as host. … Animal lovers might opt for PBS’s Nature, presenting Nature’s Miniature Miracles (8/7c, check local listings at pbs.org), about smaller species of survivors including hummingbirds and baby turtles. … Or if you’d rather go big, a second season of Smithsonian Channel’s Polar Bear Town (8/7c) revisits the “Polar Bear Capitol of the World,” Churchill, Manitoba, site of an annual migration. This year, they seem to have made an earlier than usual summer arrival.