Worth Watching: ‘Jawline,’ 13 More ‘Reasons Why,’ Stand-Up on Amazon
A selective critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
Jawline (streaming on Hulu): If, as the song goes, video killed the radio star, what does it take to be a viral-video sensation in today’s oversaturated Internet culture? Liza Mandelup’s fascinating and surprisingly poignant documentary charts the would-be rise of 16-year-old small-town Tennessee cutie pie Austyn Tester, who learns the hard way what it takes to build — and more importantly, sustain — a “brand” when your online broadcasts reveal little discernible talent beyond projecting sweet sincerity and flattering your followers. “It’s hard getting famous,” Austyn laments, yearning to leave behind his dead-end hometown and take his social-media notoriety to the next level. It almost seems churlish to point out, despite the Kardashian example, that fame maybe should be something to be earned.
13 Reasons Why (streaming on Netflix): The teen-angst drama that once asked “Why’d she do it?” after a classmate’s suicide has now become a whodunit in its third superfluous round, as Liberty High is rocked by the murder of one of its less upstanding citizens after Homecoming. Once again, Clay (Dylan Minnette) is in the spotlight, as his and everyone else’s secrets are in danger of being exposed. Again.
The Laugh’s on Amazon: Prime Video doubles down — make that quadruples — on stand-up comedy with four new specials. Alonzo Bodden: Heavy Lightweight features the Last Comic Standing veteran taking on hot-button topics #IMomSoHardLIVE stars web favorites Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley, adapting their popular #IMOMSOHARD web series into a female-friendly set that any parent can relate to. Alice Wetterlund: My Mama Is a Human and So Am I is the stand-up debut of the comic actress (Silicon Valley), baring her soul with humor. Mike E. Winfield: StepMan is a showcase for the recent winner of NBC’s annual Stand-Up Comedy Competition.
Inside Friday TV: Animal Planet’s How Do Animals Do That? (8/7c) returns for a second season with back-to-back episodes, shedding light on eternal puzzles like how cats somehow always land on their feet, and why it seems that cows are forever chewing… Trans reality star and LGBTQ rights activist Jazz Jennings guests on ABC’s What Would You Do? (9/8c), observing with anchor John Quiñones as a hidden-camera scenario deals withs transgender bathroom laws… The Fuse Docs special Killer in Our Classroom: Never Again (10/9c) revisits students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida as they spread the message that stricter gun laws are needed in the wake of the February 2018 mass shooting.