Worth Watching: Celebrating Tina Turner, Maya Rudolph on ‘SNL,’ Opening Night as ‘Zoey’ Returns, AARP Rewards Movies, TV and Clooney
A selective critical checklist of notable weekend TV:
Tina (Saturday, 8/7c, HBO): What’s talent got to do with it? Just about everything, as the still-glam Tina Turner reflects on her turbulent life and incredible career in a triumphant biographical documentary. Speaking candidly from her palatial Swiss estate, Turner reveals that ever since she bravely opened up about her grim history of abuse by ex-husband Ike, she has tried to put that past behind her, while soaring to new heights of solo global superstardom. Then and now, she’s simply the best. (See the full review.)
Saturday Night Live (Saturday, 11:30 ET/10:30c, NBC): Tina Turner is just one of the many celebrity impressions the versatile Maya Rudolph nailed during her memorable reign as a Saturday Night Live cast member from 2000-2007. Having won a guest-performer Emmy last year for her spot-on channeling of Veep Kamala Harris on SNL, Rudolph returns to the stage for her second time as guest host. Jack Harlow is the first-time musical guest.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (Sunday, 9/8c, NBC): Returning from a brief (but still too long) hiatus on a new night, the magical musical dramedy finds its heroine (Jane Levy) in a reflective mood, hoping to recreate a treasured memory from her childhood with her beloved late father. But how to enjoy a meteor shower when annoying workmates Leif (Michael Thomas Grant) and Tobin (Kapil Talwalkar) come along for the ride? She’d like to lean on her own BFFs, but they’re occupied by the opening-night preparations for their MaxiMo restaurant space—which sets the stage for an exhilarating production number set to Jennifer Lopez’s “Let’s Get Loud.” Loud, proud and full of heart—that’s Zoey in a nutshell.
Movies for Grownups Awards (Sunday, 8/7c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): He won’t turn 60 until May, but George Clooney’s resumé qualifies him for a Career Achievement Award at AARP’s annual awards fest, presented as a Great Performances special, hosted by Today’s Hoda Kotb. This year, the “Movies for Grownups” roster expands to TV as well—it’s about time—and because the winners have already been announced, there’s no suspense but reason to celebrate as NBC’s This Is Us wins Best Series and Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit Best TV Movie/Limited Series. Schitt’s Creek’s Catherine O’Hara continues her comedy acting sweep, as does Mark Ruffalo for his duel role in HBO’s I Know This Much Is True.
City on a Hill (Sunday, 10/9c, Showtime): The gritty Boston crime drama returns for a second season with more conflict between racist and corrupt FBI agent Jackie Rohr (Kevin Bacon) and the more principled Assistant District Attorney Decourcy Ward (Aldis Hodge). Their focus this season is on a drug-ravaged federal housing project in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, where a gang-related tragedy sparks a war of a different sort between the feds and local law enforcement.
Inside Weekend TV: In the CNN Special Report The Price We Paid: The Economic Cost of COVID (Saturday, 9 ET/8c), correspondent Ed Lavandera travels to Kentucky as a microcosm of the debate over the social safety nets, including a new unemployment insurance program, meant to provide a lifeline to the millions made jobless by the pandemic. … Discovery+ offers an intimate look at Pope Francis in Francesco, a two-hour documentary that begins streaming on Palm Sunday. … Personal crises on CBS’s NCIS: Los Angeles (Sunday, 9/8c), when Callen (Chris O’Donnell) is forced to use Anna (Bar Paly) as bait to save Joelle (Elizabeth Bogush) from more Russian torture; and on NCIS: New Orleans (Sunday, 10/9c), when Sebastian (Rob Kerkovich) is put into protective custody, under Agent Carter’s (Charles Michael Davis) supervision, when a criminal Sebastian helped convict manages to escape police custody. … A new episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead (Sunday, 9/8c) asks whether the relationship of Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride) can be salvaged. We expect the answer is yes, because there’s already a spinoff being developed around them.