Playing this week: “The Thing About Pam” and the Critics Choice Awards


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, March 7-13. Details and times are subject to change.

THE THING ABOUT PAM 10 p.m. on NBC. The slurp of a sip-sized drink becomes something sinister in this true crime limited series, which stars Renée Zellweger as a woman from Missouri, Pam Hupp, who becomes involved in a murder that ultimately reveals a larger illicit scheme. It’s a juicy role for Zellweger, who goes up against Judy Greer (as prosecutor) and Josh Duhamel (defense attorney). For more true crime, see the two-part documentary UNDERCURRENT: THE DISAPPEARANCE OF KIM WALL, debuts on HBO at 9 p.m., which looks back at the murder of Wall, a Swedish journalist, in 2017 while reporting a story aboard a submarine.

THE GREEN KNIGHT (2021) 7 p.m. on Showtime. You’ve probably seen a movie about King Arthur – or at least heard the tales, or baked with flour. You are less likely to have seen the story of Arthur Gawain’s nephew – the subject of the anonymous 14th century poem “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” – on the big screen. This aesthetic adaptation from filmmaker David Lowery stars Dev Patel as Gawain, who goes in search of a giant. In his review for The New York Times, AO Scott called the film “lavish, tattered, and inventive.”

DOMINO MASTERS 9 p.m. on Fox. Ambitious domino builders face off in this new contest, in which contestants compete to create the most awe-inspiring Rube Goldberg-style staggering domino arrangements. Expect the exactness required here – where one wrong move could completely ruin a project – to create some tense moments. Imagine a reality TV show where chefs have to juggle their culinary creations before the judges sit down to eat.

FREE STATE OF JONES (2016) 7:40 p.m. on FXM. Composer Nicholas Britell and actor Mahershala Ali worked on two particularly different films released in 2016: Barry Jenkins’ Oscar-winning contemporary coming-of-age story “Moonlight” and Gary Ross’ historical drama “Free State of Jones”. In Ross’ film, Ali plays a man named Moses, who is a close friend and confidant of the film’s subject, Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey), a Southern dissident who created a homemade army that went into rebellion. against the Confederacy in Mississippi, and whose work on behalf of African American rights extended beyond the war. In his review for The Times, AO Scott praised what he called Ross’ “unusual respect for historical truth” and wrote that he did “a good job of balancing the factual record with the demands of dramatic storytelling”. Another of Ross’ films, the drama of the jockey SEA COOKIE (2003), will also air Thursday at 4 p.m. on Showtime.

JULIA (1977) 6 p.m. on TCM. Jane Fonda plays a fictionalized version of playwright and author Lillian Hellman in this historical drama. Adapted from a slice of Hellman’s 1973 book, “Pentimento: A Book of Portraits,” the film is set on the eve of World War II, centering on a friendship between Hellman and a character known only as Julia. (Vanessa Redgrave), a young American from a wealthy family who uses her money to support anti-Nazi efforts. The film was also the feature debut of Meryl Streep, who has a small role as Hellman’s other friend.

WEST SIDE STORY (2021) 8 p.m. on HBO. The last few years have brought two attempts to reinvigorate “West Side Story”. On Broadway in 2020, Belgian experimental theater director Ivo van Hove presented a version that injected the musical with projected video and skinny jeans. Even more recently, we got this big screen redesign of Steven Spielberg, who reworks some elements while still getting close to the original Broadway and Hollywood productions, at least on the surface (take a look at the sets and haircuts here, and you know we’re in the middle of the 20th century in New York). But this version of the forbidden love story between Maria (Rachel Zegler) and Tony (Ansel Elgort) still has plenty of fresh ideas, thanks in large part to its substantial reworking of Arthur Laurents’ book by playwright Tony Kushner. and his new choreography by Justin Peck. In his review for The Times, AO Scott wrote that the new film makes the musical “bold, surprising and new”, even if performances and transitions between musical numbers and other scenes can be uneven. “The seams — connecting past to present, comedy to tragedy, America to dreamland — sometimes show,” Scott wrote. “But those seams,” he added, “are part of what makes the film so exciting. It’s a dazzling display of cinematic craftsmanship that also feels raw, unstable, and alive.

THE 27TH ANNUAL CRITICS’ CHOICE AWARDS 7 p.m. on the CW and TBS. Awards season continues on Sunday night with this broadcast of the Critics Choice Awards, which this year comes just two weeks before the Oscars. The Best Picture nominees at the Critics Choice Awards largely overlap with the Oscars – “West Side Story,” “CODA,” “Don’t Look Up,” “Dune,” “King Richard,” “Licorice Pizza,” “ Nightmare Alley” and “The Power of the Dog” are all nominated for the top prize in both competitions – along with “Tick, Tick… ​​Boom! by Lin-Manuel Miranda. taking the place of Haruki Murakami’s adaptation “Drive My Car” at the Critics Choice Awards. There are also differences in the best actor and actress categories, which here include nominations for Nicolas Cage (“Pig”), Peter Dinklage (“Cyrano”), Lady Gaga (“House of Gucci”) and Alana. Haim (“Licorice Pizza”), neither of whom will be up for an Oscar acting award. Taye Diggs and Nicole Byer are the hosts.

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