Worth Watching: Streaming Cinema (‘Dig,’ ‘Palmer,’ ‘Little Things’), ‘The Brooklyn Saints,’ Hollywood Bowl Concerts
A selective critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
The Dig (streaming on Netflix): History piles upon history in an evocative movie about an archaeological dig in the shadow of World War II. Ralph Fiennes stars as an amateur archeologist hired by a widow (Carey Mulligan) in 1939 to excavate burial mounds on her estate property in England. When he and his crew discover evidence of an Anglo-Saxon burial site, ancient history collides with modern realities of a changing future in war-torn Britain.
A very different sort of treasure hunt occurs in the Netflix movie Finding ‘Ohana, a Hawaii-set YA adventure starring Kea Peahu as 12-year-old Pili, a New York transplant whose new life in Oahu caring her grandfather is enlivened when she finds a pirate’s journal. Clues lead her, her older brother and a gang of new friends to seek a shipwrecked treasure hidden for 200 years in the island’s dangerous but alluring caves and mountains.
Palmer (streaming on Apple TV+): If you’d rather watch something with all the feels, check out this heartwarmer from director Fisher Stevens, starring Justin Timberlake in the title role of Eddie Palmer, a hardened ex-con turned janitor who finds himself unexpectedly protecting and bonding with a young neighbor boy (Ryder Allen) being victimized by homophobic bullies in small-town Louisiana. The expert supporting cast includes June Squibb as Palmer’s grandma and Ted Lasso‘s Juno Temple as the boy’s addict mom.
The Little Things (streaming on HBO Max): Or go for the chills in director/writer John Lee Hancock’s psychological thriller set in the 1990s, featuring Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Mr. Robot‘s Rami Malek as California detectives on the hunt for a serial killer targeting women. Jared Leto, another Oscar winner, is their creepy prime suspect.
We Are … The Brooklyn Saints (streaming on Netflix): With the Super Bowl just one weekend away, this uplifting four-part docuseries finds a very different way to celebrate the game. The Brooklyn Saints is a youth football program for players ages 7-13 which brings together an inner-city community in East New York, Brooklyn. This is the story of the young athletes and their support system of coaches and families.
In Concert at the Hollywood Bowl (9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): With the iconic Bowl now vacant like most performance spaces during the pandemic, this series looks back at highlights from the past decade with eclectic concerts celebrating music of all kinds. Back-to-back episodes feature “Jazz at the Hollywood Bowl,” with Dianne Reeves and Mega Nova (Herbie Hancock, Carlos Santana and Wayne Shorter) among the headliners, and “Musicals and the Movies,” with Broadway stars Kristin Chenoweth, Audra McDonald, Sutton Foster and Brian Stokes Mitchell supported by Gustavo Dudamel and the L.A. Phil.
Inside Friday TV: Amanda Seyfried is the night’s guest programmer on Turner Classic Movies, basing her picks on her acclaimed performance as screen star Marion Davies in Netflix’s Mank. First up: 1941’s Citizen Kane (8/7c), the Orson Welles classic whose script’s development is the subject of Mank, and Cain and Mabel (10:15/9:15c), a comedy from 1936 in which Davies plays a showgirl opposite Clark Gable’s prizefighter… NBC’s The Blacklist (8/7c) promises a big reveal: the #1 name on Red’s (James Spader) infamous blacklist, as he and the Task Force search for Liz (Megan Boone)… ABC’s 20/20 (9/8c) revisits the bizarre case of a man imprisoned after claiming he killed his wife while sleepwalking… What genre of sitcom will the Disney+ marvel WandaVision move on to this week? Reason enough to tune in… Streaming on Hulu: the first two seasons of Jann, a dramedy starring Canadian one-hit wonder Jann Arden (“Insensitive”) as a fictionalized version of herself, a musician in denial that her career isn’t what it used to be.