Worth Watching: 'Amazing Stories' on Apple & More Streaming ('Hillary' on Hulu, Amazon's 'Zero Zero Zero'), 20/20' Reports on Coronavirus
A selective critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
Amazing Stories (streaming on Apple TV+): Fantasy buffs of a certain age will likely remember this anthology series from 35 years ago with fondness. One of Steven Spielberg's first ventures in series producing, Amazing Stories has been revived by the streaming newcomer as (initially) a five-episode treat, with Once Upon a Time veterans Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz joining Spielberg as executive producers. The lavishly produced first episode, "The Cellar," tells a poignant love story across time. Teen Wolf's Dylan O'Brien stars as a dreamer who, while restoring an Iowa farmhouse, is thrust back a century, where he encounters the woman of his dreams (You's Victoria Pedretti), who conveniently is very much ahead of her time. Can they ever get in temporal sync?
Other highlights on a typically busy Friday for streamers:
Hillary (streaming on Hulu): Because we're starved for politically charged content these days, Nanette Burstein's four-part documentary portrait is an intimate study of the First Lady-turned-Secretary of State-turned-presidential hopeful. The film looks at Hillary Clinton's stormy marriage and unprecedented career through the prism of cultural shifts and attitudes toward feminism.
Zero Zero Zero (streaming on Amazon Prime Video): If Narcos left you wanting more, this eight-episode global thriller expands its violent story of the international cocaine trade to encompass suppliers in Mexico, buyers in Italy and shippers in the U.S. Not for people with zero tolerance for brutality.
Spenser Confidential (streaming on Netflix): Taking a lighter action-comedy buddy spin on the celebrated Robert B. Parker novels, this movie adaptation stars Mark Wahlberg as the former Boston cop, newly out of prison, who teams with new roomie Hawk (Winston Duke). Their goal: to take down the dirty cops, politicians and drug dealers who framed Spenser while he was investigating them.
20/20: Outbreak: What You Need to Know (9/8c, ABC): Taking a break from true-crime exploitation to return to its classic newsmagazine roots, 20/20 goes live with a two-hour report, anchored by David Muir with reporting by ABC's chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton, on the coronavirus health crisis. Among the highlights: video diaries from China's quarantined cities and from passengers trapped on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Another segment goes inside a biocontainment facility set up to treat those unfortunate tourists. Among those contributing: Rebecca Jarvis, Bob Woodruff, Deborah Roberts and foreign correspondents Ian Pannell, James Longman and Maggie Rulli.
Inside Friday TV: The ever-busy Netflix drops second seasons of the wacky police parody Paradise PD and chef David Chang's globe-trotting travelogue Ugly Delicious… Apple TV+'s Oprah's Book Club has a new recommendation: Jeanine Cummins' harrowing migrant thriller American Dirt, and in a two-part interview, Oprah Winfrey interviews the controversial author with fellow writers, followed by a conversation with Latinx people who share their own migrant experiences… Cartoon Network's Steven Universe (7/6c) begins its final run of 10 episodes (with a four-part finale scheduled for March 27), as Steven begins to question his purpose, now that he's running out of Gems to save… FX presents all four episodes of the true-crime docuseries The Most Dangerous Animal of All (8/7c, streaming Saturday on FX on Hulu), following Gary L. Stewart on his search for his biological father, who he begins to believe could be California's notorious Zodiac Killer… If the aforementioned American Dirt piques your interest, Showtime’s four-part docuseries The Trade (9/8c) takes a hard look at the perils of Central American migrants coming to the U.S. only to be deported back to their home countries, with traffickers and smugglers preying on them along their treacherous journey.