Playing this week: “This Is Us” and a Memorial Day concert


Between network, cable and streaming, the modern television landscape is vast. Here are some of the shows, specials and movies coming to television this week, May 23-29. Details and times are subject to change.

MILLION DOLLAR MERMAID (1952) 8 p.m. on TCM. Busby Berkeley choreographed this musical based on the life of Annette Kellerman, Australia’s 20th century swimming star. Kellerman is played by swimmer-turned-actress Esther Williams, in one of her many aquatic musical performances. TCM shows it alongside another example, EASY TO LIKE (1953), which airs at 10 p.m.

IT’S US 9 p.m. on NBC. When this Dan Fogelman drama debuted in 2016, it quickly became a hit — largely, it seems, because it offered something user-friendly yet high-quality at a time when anger reigned supreme. . “I’m all for really dark art and dark TV and film, but there’s a time when people crave a different kind of emotion at 8 or 9 or 10 at night,” Fogelman said in an interview with The Times in 2017. (It helped that the show had standout performers including Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia.) The series will end Tuesday night with a finale which, based on the season so far, promises to be bittersweet.

THE MURDER OF FRED HAMPTON (1971) 6:30 p.m. on TCM. Two years after 21-year-old Black Panther figure and civil rights leader Fred Hampton was killed in a police raid, Chicago filmmaker Howard Alk and producer Mike Gray released this feature-length documentary. Divided into two parts, the film functions both as a portrait of Hampton and as an investigation into the circumstances of his death.

TOP GUN (1986) 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Paramount Network. ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ hits theaters this week, but some viewers might feel like they’ve seen it before – originally slated for release in 2019, the film’s numerous delays mean several lengthy trailers have been released to repeatedly rekindle the hype – and it’s kind of hard to imagine there are scenes in the movie that haven’t been shown yet. Still, it’s a natural time to revisit the original film, which helped cement the careers of Tom Cruise, who plays a cutting-edge pilot at an elite naval flying school, and director Tony Scott, whose footage flying virtuosos are surely the real star here. When the film was first released, critic Walter Goodman, in his review for The New York Times, praised the aerial sequences – although he did have a note about high-tech aircraft that seems prescient retrospectively. “Despite the film’s emphasis on the importance of pilots,” he wrote, “given all the electronic marvels in contact with them – like being able to lock an enemy aircraft into their line of sight and d send a missile to pursue and destroy it – they seem part of a cosmic technological enterprise.

GREAT PERFORMANCES: IN COMPANY WITH SONDHEIM 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). The revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Company” which is currently on Broadway with Katrina Lenk and Patti LuPone opened just days after Sondheim died in November at age 91. by the pandemic. The show is a flip-flop take on the genre of the original musical: its main character, a serial New Yorker, has been subtly renamed (Bobby is now Bobbie) and is played by Lenk. The fact that a revamped version of Sondheim’s show is set to open days after his death is a mark of the ability of plays and musicals to continue to grow even after their creators have left. “Theatre is fleeting,” director Marianne Elliott said in an interview with The Times last year, “it’s about the now. Even if you place it in another time period, it should have something to say about the present.

ABOMINABLE (2019) 6 p.m. on FX. Most of the time, finding an unexpected creature on the roof of your house is a negative experience. But that’s not the case for Yi, the young girl voiced by Chloe Bennet in “Abominable.” The plot of this animated family adventure film begins when Yi discovers a lost Yeti hiding on the roof of his apartment. She and two young accomplices help reunite the creature with its family while keeping it out of the hands of money-backed evil humans who want the Yeti for financial gain. In his review for The Times, Glenn Kenny wrote that the film is “an exceptionally watchable and lovable animated tale” – although, he noted, the Yeti character, nicknamed Everest, “looks like a relative not too away from Gritty, the Philadelphia Flyers’ adorably outraged mascot.

OLD (2021) 8 p.m. on HBO. Gael García Bernal and Vicky Krieps star in this latest M. Night Shyamalan film. Adapted from a graphic novel by French writer Pierre Oscar Lévy and Swiss illustrator Frederik Peeters, “Old” is as much about its setting as its characters: the plot centers on a family vacationing on a beautiful, otherworldly beach that causes its visitors to age at an accelerated rate: half an hour equals about a year of physical aging. In his review for The Times, Glenn Kenny said Shyamalan, a master of the shocking twist, might not have quite given this film’s interesting premise a satisfying ending. But, wrote Kenny, “the director’s fluid directing style, whose standout features are an almost always-moving camera and a bag of focusing tricks, serves him particularly well here.”

NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). Memorial Day is Monday, May 30. This annual concert, held beneath the United States Capitol, honors the holiday with appearances from military personnel and famous entertainers. This year’s lineup includes bands like the US Navy Band Sea Chanters, US Army Chorus and National Symphony Orchestra, as well as actors Gary Sinise and Jean Smart, musician Rhiannon Giddens and more.


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