Watching: If You Miss Museums

Or theater …

Author Headshot

By Margaret Lyons

Television Critic

Dear Watchers,

If you’ve ever wondered why the “Parks and Recreation” theme song is so catchy, or why the song in the opening for “What We Do in the Shadows” is so distinctive, you might like this recent episode of the podcast “Strong Songs.” I sure did.

Have a safe week.

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I want something inspiring but not corny

Stephen Burks in “Craft in America.”Courtesy of Berea College

‘Craft in America’

When to watch: Now, on the PBS app or the PBS website (free).

“Peace is the only adequate war memorial,” says one of the profiled artists on the newest installment of one of my favorite PBS shows. “Craft in America” casts a wide net and covers artists and craftspeople who work in a variety of disciplines, and this episode, “Democracy,” feels especially interesting in a moment when the concept of American patriotism is so fraught and when we lack a collective agreement about the virtue of expression. If you have ever enjoyed episodes of “CBS Sunday Morning,” watch this. (Both “Democracy” and another episode, “Storytellers,” also air on PBS on Dec. 11.)

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I miss provocative theater

Natalie Palamides as seen in “Natalie Palamides: Nate — A One Man Show.”Netflix

‘Natalie Palamides: Nate — A One Man Show’

When to watch: Arrives Tuesday, on Netflix.

This one-woman show is hilarious and legitimately disturbing, and it is 100 percent not the comedy special to watch with your whole family. Natalie Palamides plays Nate, a lovelorn doofus who chugs LaCroix and pines over his ex-girlfriend, and Palamides uses brilliant vulgarity and spectacular crowd work to tease out complex ideas about consent and group mind.

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“Nate” relies on a lot of audience participation, and sometimes that kind of work doesn’t translate well to television; luckily, that’s not the case here. Instead, when a person in the theater is called on, for example, to dry Palamides off with a towel, the same vicarious nervousness and quiet pride one usually feels only right there in the room, under the spell of the performer onstage, somehow made its way through the screen and to my couch.

EXTRA-CREDIT READING

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