Worth Watching: ‘Cobra Kai’ Moves to Netflix, ‘All Together Now,’ ‘Muppets Now’ Rebooted & ‘Phineas and Ferb’ on Disney+
A selective critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
Cobra Kai (streaming on Netflix): Nostalgia with a kick. Netflix becomes the home of the first two seasons of the acclaimed Karate Kid continuation (previously a YouTube original), with a third coming in 2021. Ralph Macchio reprises his role of the now adult Daniel LaRusso, whose childhood rivalry with nemesis Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) is rekindled when Johnny reopens the fabled Cobra Kai karate dojo. Where’s Mr. Miyagi when you need him?
All Together Now (streaming on Netflix): Moana‘s Auli’i Cravalho, last seen on TV in the live version of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, displays her musical chops again in an uplifting Netflix movie based on Matthew Quick’s novel Sorta Like a Rock Star. She’s the musically inclined Amber, who hopes to go to Carnegie Mellon after graduating high school, while working at a donut shop to help support her single mom (One Day at a Time‘s Justina Machado) and volunteering at a retirement community, where she bonds with a cranky resident played by the legendary Carol Burnett. Amber faces some setbacks on the way to realizing her dreams, but will she give up? All together now: Not likely.
Muppets Now (streaming on Disney+): Who hasn’t experienced a computer upgrade at the most inconvenient time? That’s what happens to Scooter when I.T. guy Chip services his overwhelmed computer, forcing him to go into overdrive to upload the latest episode of the raucous Muppet series before the hard reboot. Among the highlights: Pepe the King Prawn makes up yet another game show while the contestants try to keep up, and Uncle Deadly walks fanboy Walter through the dangers of stage combat.
Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe (streaming on Disney+): The Emmy-winning animated series returns as a movie special, with a soundtrack to boot, as stepbrothers Phineas (Vincent Martella) and Ferb (David Errigo Jr. joining the cast) go on a cosmic adventure to rescue their older sister Candace (Ashley Tisdale) after she’s abducted by aliens. What they don’t know, as they cross the galaxy, is that Candace has found her new bliss in a paradise free of annoying brothers.
Inside Friday TV: Acknowledging the symbolic importance of Aug. 28 as a day that resonates through civil-rights history, Oprah Winfrey presents OWN Spotlight: Culture Connection & August 28th, which will air throughout the day (1 pm/12c, 4 pm/3c, 6 pm/5c). The special features Winfrey’s interviews with filmmaker Ava DuVernay and activist Rev. Al Sharpton, book-ending showings of DuVernay’s documentary short August 28: A Day in the Life of a People… CBS News also spotlights The Power of August in a special airing on its digital news service CBSN (8/7c), with reports on pivotal moments in history including Emmett Till’s murder, the March on Washington, the Voting Rights Act, Hurricane Katrina and President Obama’s nomination. The special is told in four acts, each lasting eight minutes and 46 seconds, said to be the length of time a Minneapolis police officer had his knee on George Floyd’s neck… Freeform presents a grown-ish All Nighter-ish Marathon (starts at 6 pm/5c) with selected episodes from the black-ish spinoff’s three seasons, including new footage and interviews with the cast from their homes-away-from-college… Correction from a week ago: This is the premiere date for Hulu’s original comedy Binge. A less violent twist on The Purge, the movie is set during the one day of the year when people can legally consume drugs and alcohol. Santa Clarita Diet‘s Skyler Gisondo stars… Premiering on virtual cinemas nationwide (and some actual theaters): the documentary Mr. Soul!, which relives the glory days of Soul!, the groundbreaking weekly show about black culture that aired on public television from 1968-73, hosted by the openly gay Ellis Haizlip, a highly visible advocate for social equality.