Watching: What to Watch This Weekend

A fun fantasy, a dance-filled drama.

Author Headshot

By Margaret Lyons

Television Critic

Dear Watchers,

I hope you’re finding comfort, candor, commiseration and encouragement in appropriate doses and from healthy distances. Oh, to be a lamb in a bucket.

See you Monday. Stay safe.


This weekend I have … 15 minutes, and I like adventures

A scene from the expansive fantasy series “Infinity Train.”  Cartoon Network

‘Infinity Train’

When to watch: Now, on HBO Max.

If your children are a little too young for “The Matrix,” or if you just like emotionally potent, expansive fantasy with plucky heroes or talking dogs named Atticus, watch this two-season dreamboat that aired on Cartoon Network and is now streaming. In Season 1, Tulip is attempting to make her way to computer camp when she instead finds herself on a magical train, where each car is a new world; in Season 2, she and some new companions learn more about the train and its inner workings and purpose. The show is whimsical and sometimes silly, but it’s also beautiful and perceptive.


… 95 minutes, and I like narrative nonfiction

Kenneth Sims Sr., left, and Kenneth Sims Jr. in a scene from “Ringside.”Chicago Boxing Film


When to watch: Friday at 8:30 p.m., on Showtime.

Even though this documentary is about two promising young boxers, it’s not about boxing qua boxing but instead about fathers and sons and philosophies of parenting and manhood. Kenneth Sims Jr. and Destyne Butler Jr. both started boxing as children, both coached by their dads — a complicated dynamic unto itself. And although their early years in the ring are similar, their paths diverge substantially by the time they are 18. “Ringside” was filmed over nine years, which makes it not a snapshot like a lot of sports docs but rather a long exposure, in which you can really trace exactly how everyone changes.


… several hours, and I like movement

Dominique Jackson, center, in Season 2 of “Pose.”Macall Polay/FX


When to watch: Now, on Netflix.

Season 2 of “Pose” is now streaming, and it’s a real balm for anyone missing the electricity of live performances or thinking about community responses to public health emergencies. The show, set in the drag ball scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s, has a distinct visual style, and in Season 2 there’s a constant sense of bodies in motion. Dance is one of the show’s core themes, and regular gestures become particularly expressive: slow fingers and long nails on elegant hands, squared shoulders and righteous posture, arms stretched across a table for a tentative embrace, the pop of a hip igniting grace and dominance.

Your weekend double feature: ’70s paranoid thrillers

Robert Redford in “Three Days of the Condor.”Paramount Pictures

‘The Parallax View’ and ‘Three Days of the Condor’

Amid the fallout from the Watergate scandal, a spate of superb American thrillers tapped into the conspiratorial mood that was gripping the country — and has perpetually renewed itself over time. If it were possible for a crime and a cover-up to happen at the highest reaches of government, then surely there were other deep-state secrets nesting in the shadows.

The director Alan J. Pakula addressed Watergate directly in his celebrated journalist procedural “All the President’s Men,” but he set the table two years earlier with “The Parallax View” (1974), which imagines a delectably sinister cabal operating outside the law. Now streaming on HBO Max, the film stars Warren Beatty as a reporter who investigates the assassination of a U.S. senator, which was officially chalked up to the work of a lone gunman but suggests an unseen force was pulling the strings. When the reporter goes undercover at an organization that recruits assassins, he discovers truths that threaten his own life.

One of the screenwriters of “The Parallax View,” Lorenzo Semple Jr., also had a hand in “Three Days of the Condor” (1975), which uncovers a scheme that infiltrates the upper echelons of the C.I.A. In a chilling sequence of events, an analyst at a clandestine C.I.A. office in New York (Robert Redford) returns from lunch to find his colleagues all gunned down. He’s the loose thread that needs tying — Max von Sydow, in a wonderfully icy turn, is his chief pursuer — and as in “The Parallax View,” the conspiracy is too vast for any one person to expose. — Scott Tobias

Stream “The Parallax View” on HBO Max. Rent it on Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu and YouTube.

Rent “Three Days of the Condor” on Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu and YouTube.


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