An Elektra-fying ‘Pose,’ ‘Vax Live’ Concert, Hallmark’s ‘Heart’-felt Finale, Showtime’s ‘Ziwe’ in Late Night
The most glamorous character on the flamboyant Pose takes the spotlight as the final season continues. Selena Gomez hosts a global concert urging equitable vaccine distribution for all. Hallmark’s popular When Calls the Heart resolves its long-simmering love triangle. Rising comedian Ziwe launches her late-night variety show on Showtime.
Towering above her flamboyant trans peers throughout the three seasons of Pose has been Elektra (Dominique Jackson), the sharp-tongued and statuesque house mother of self-invention. In a typically outrageous stand-alone episode in the final season, we learn how Elektra became Elektra in flashbacks involving her traumatic split with a disapproving mother (The Undoing’s Noma Dumezweni). Pivot to 1994, when she’s arrested as part of Mayor Guiliani’s anti-smut campaign just as she’s launching a phone-sex business, and Elektra panics after realizing what a police raid could reveal in her notorious walk-in closet. (Pose fans will understand why the episode is titled “The Trunk.”) As is often the case in a show that’s all about sisterhood and support, it’s up to the selfless Blanca (Mj Rodriguez) and her family of friends to come to the rescue.
Vax Live: A Concert to Reunite the World
Giving it her best shot, Selena Gomez hosts a global concert, also broadcast on iHeartMedia radio stations, aiming to inspire vaccine confidence and to call on world leaders for an equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide. President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden join campaign chairs Meghan Markle and Prince Harry for the event, which features performances by Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin and H.E.R.
When Calls the Heart
The “Hearties” fan base has been waiting quite a while for this. In the Season 8 finale of the period-piece romance, schoolteacher Elizabeth Thornton (Erin Krakow) will finally choose between the two good men in her life: Mountie Nathan Grant (Kevin McGarry) or local businessman Lucas Bouchard (Chris McNally). She’s also got some healing to do with her BFF Rosemary (Pascale Hutton), but once the heart gets what the heart wants, might there be a happy ending for this lovely widow?
Mare of Easttown
No one’s safe from suspicion in the small Pennsylvania town that’s the setting for this taut mystery series—and the list of suspects includes tormented Deacon Mark (James McArdle). The shady man of the cloth is grilled by county detective Colin (Evan Peters) after the uncompromising Mare (the terrific Kate Winslet) is temporarily and very reluctantly sidelined from the case.
The playfully provocative and self-described “actress-model-pop star” graduates from writing for shows including Desus & Mero and Our Cartoon President to fronting her own comedy-variety showcase. The Brooklyn-based Ziwe gets off to an odd start by welcoming the notoriously misanthropic Fran Lebowitz as a first interview guest, grilling her on subjects of race. (A later interview with Gloria Steinem was not available for review.) Ziwe is on more successful satirical ground when she gathers a group of white women named Karen for an irreverent chat. Jane Krakowski and Cristin Milioti appear in a running gag, and Ziwe is her own musical guest for a cabaret interlude. A mixed but promising bag.
Inside Weekend TV:
- Nichols and May: Take Two (Saturday, 11:45 am/10:45c, Turner Classic Movies): As part of TCM’s Classic Film Festival, the 1996 documentary remembers the comedy teaming of future directors Mike Nichols and Elaine May and features a conversation with author Mark Harris (Mike Nichols: A Life). Followed by a screening of Nichols’ 1966 film version of Edward Albee’s lacerating Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1 pm/12c).
- Attenborough’s Journey (Saturday, 8/7c, BBC America): Famous for his many nature documentaries, Sir David Attenborough’s life and career is the focus of this film, celebrating the nature advocate as he turns 95.
- Pink Skies Ahead (Saturday, 9/8c, MTV): Jessica Barden stars in a coming-of-age drama as Winona, a college dropout living with her parents (Marcia Gay Harden and Michael McKean) who eventually comes to terms with her anxiety disorder. Kelly Oxford directs from a script based on her own essay. Henry Winkler makes an appearance as Winona’s still-devoted pediatrician.
- From the true-crime blotter: CBS’s 48 Hours (Saturday, 10/9c) reports on a Florida’s mother disappearance during the pandemic in which COVID-19 may have been used as a pretext to cover up a crime. In two back-to-back hours of Dateline NBC (Saturday, 8/7c) investigates the murder of a luxury-car dealer and the slaying of a couple in South Carolina.
- Saturday Night Live (Saturday, 11:30/10:30c, 8:30/PT): That well-known comedian Elon Musk (is anybody laughing?) makes his hosting debut as SNL returns from a month’s hiatus. Miley Cyrus is musical guest for the sixth time.
- American Idol (Sunday, 8/7c, ABC): The Top Seven acknowledge Mother’s Day with a song dedicated to family, then tackle music from the Coldplay songbook, with lead singer Chris Martin as their mentor. Coldplay performs their new single “Higher Power.”
- The Top Ten Revealed (Sunday, 8/7c, AXS TV): Host Katie Daryl assembles expert panels to weigh in on such topics as the Top 10 “Smokin’ ‘Hot’ Songs for Summer.” Followed by a new season of The Year in Music (8:30/7:30c), hosted by Lzzy Hale, which opens with a survey of 1982, when Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” ruled the album and music-video charts.
- What’s Going On: Marvin Gaye’s Anthem for the Ages (Sunday, 8/7c, CNN): Don Lemon anchors a 50-year reflection on Marvin Gaye’s iconic and still relevant song and album that became a landmark of American protest music. Interviews include Motown peers Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson, and those inspired by Gaye’s legacy, including Maxwell, Sheila E., Andra Day, Spike Lee and Lee Daniels.
- NCIS: Los Angeles (Sunday, 9/8c, CBS): Deaf actress Raquel McPeek Rodriguez guests as a deaf engineer who’s the sole survivor when her team is attacked for their military-grade tech. It’s up to her to help the NCIS agents retrieve the material before the thieves flee the country.
- Family Guy (Sunday, 9:30/8:30c, Fox): The Griffins adopt a cat (voiced by 9-1-1’s Tracie Thoms), and Brian is determined to convince the family that their new pet in pure evil.