Olympics Opening Ceremonies, New “Reacher”, Apple’s “Suspicion”, “Phat Tuesdays”
the Winter Olympics officially begins with the spectacular Opening ceremonies, airing live in the morning and again during prime time, where all networks except NBC are mostly in repeat mode. As usual on Fridays, streaming is alive and well, including a new version of the series from lee child To reach, Apple’s international thriller Suspicion and Prime Video’s celebration of Phat Tuesdays, a showcase for the rise of black comics in Los Angeles that helped launch many phenomenal careers.
Winter Olympics: Opening Ceremony
The big show is Opening ceremonies, once again staged in the “bird’s nest” of Beijing’s National Stadium, the site of an earlier grand spectacle when the city hosted the Summer Games in 2008. This venue was a controversial choice, and no American diplomat will be present this year. And yet, the spectacle of music, dance and fireworks will try to give a harmonious welcome to the international parade of athletes. Viewers can watch it live early in the morning or catch the primetime replay. Highlights on USA Network include female ice hockey and mixed doubles curling. All events are streamed live on Peacock, NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app, with replays available on Peacock’s premium tier. For a complete and up-to-date list, visit nbcolympics.com/schedule.
He’s the Incredible Hunk, a puncher with an incredibly deductive brain. Part Sherlock and part steamroller, Jack Reacher is the unlikely but immensely popular hero of lee child pulp thrillers, and he comes to an impressive physical life in the form of Alan Ritchson, who is much closer to most readers’ image of the role than Tom Cruise was in several feature films. The first season of To reach is based on Child’s introductory novel slaughter area, in which the taciturn hero gets off a bus in rural Georgia (played unconvincingly by Canada) and is immediately imprisoned for murder, living up to his credo that “trouble just seems to find me”. By breaking its zip ties with a flick of the wrist – “Do you recycle? After the success of Bosch on Prime Video, I was surprised not to see them tackle more book series adaptations. It’s right on the mark.
An international crime thriller based on the Israeli hit false flag features Uma Thurman (little seen in the early chapters) as a global communications mogul and candidate for the UK Embassy whose 21-year-old son is brazenly kidnapped from the hallway of a posh Manhattan hotel by assailants strangers wearing British royal masks. After a video of the kidnapping went viral, Americans’ Noah Emmerich (as FBI Special Agent Scott Anderson) is tasked with working with London police to grill prime suspects, including The Big Bang Theory Kunal Nayar and Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Elizabeth Henstridge – all of whom were visiting New York at the time. Not as generic as its title suggests, Suspicion could have worked better as a frenzy all at once. (Apple, as usual, is dropping the first two episodes, with the rest airing weekly.)
the after party
A much more inventive thriller, this comical experience in tone switches to psychological thriller mode, parodying the tastes of Brian DePalma when former Chelsea class president (wide city Ilana Glazer) takes the hot seat to be questioned by Detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish). Chelsea admits she attended the class reunion and afterparty – which resulted in the death of pop star Xavier (Dave Franco) – because she had a score to settle. But who was sending him these threatening texts, and why? It apparently has a lot to do with a memorable St. Patrick’s Day celebration over the past year. More will be revealed next week.
A second season of the sudsy South Carolina friendship fable opens by resolving Season 1’s cliffhanger: Who was in the car that Kyle (Logan Allen) crushed? Many more surprises and secrets follow, as best friends Maddie (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), Dana Sue (Brooke Elliot) and Helen (Heather Headley) enjoy their Margarita nights in the misleadingly named small town of Serenity.
A three-part docuseries lovingly returns to the Phat Tuesdays tradition at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, which from 1995 to 2005 established a weekly showcase for emerging or still unknown black comedians, launching many influential careers. Founder and host of Phat Tuesdays, Guy Torri, is an executive producer with the director Reginald Hudlin, and they’ve rounded up a whole gallery of talent to reflect on those good times: Anthony Anderson, Dave Chappelle, Snoop Dogg, Tiffany Haddish, Steve Harvey, Regina King, Craig Robinson, JB Smoove, Cedric the Entertainer, Nick Cannon, Chris Tucker , Kym Whitley and many more.
Also new to Prime Video on an exceptionally busy Friday:
- The Legend of Vox Machina: An adult fantasy adventure inspired by tabletop role-playing.
- love book: A romantic comedy starring The hunger Games’ Sam Claflin as a stuffy British writer who is dismayed to learn his novel is a hit in Mexico because his Spanish translator turned it into an erotic page-turner. During their book tour, he learns to recover.
Inside Friday TV:
- RuPaul’s Drag Race (8/7c, VH1): Pop star AvaMax is the guest judge when the queens produce parody versions of public service announcements on behalf of a charity supporting their unfortunate peers who were eliminated first. Gone but not forgotten.
- Black Horror (10/9c, AMC): Previously airing on Shudder, this anthology of dark horror tales opens with back-to-back episodes: “The Lake,” about a cursed body of water, and “Brand of Evil,” in which a graphic designer’s new job takes a terrifying turn.
- Unprotected sets (12:35 a.m./11:35 a.m., Epix): With anecdotes about his holy mother and sleazy father, the prankster from Minnesota Chad Daniels kicks off the third season of the late-night comedy series, which includes confessionals in the Green Room as well as stage performances.