Watching: What to Watch This Weekend

A rich foreign drama.

Author Headshot

By Margaret Lyons

Television Critic

Dear Watchers,

There’s a potential “Younger” spinoff in the works, according to The Hollywood Reporter, centered on Hilary Duff’s character, Kelsey. I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to my beloved fizzy fave, but the idea of extending the world of the show without needing to recycle yet again the Liza-Charles-Josh love triangle holds some real appeal. (The first six seasons of “Younger” are available on Hulu; unfortunately, the upcoming seventh season, on TV Land, is delayed because of the coronavirus.)

Have a safe weekend. See you Monday.


This weekend I have … 90 minutes, and it’s Mother’s Day

Roy Wood Jr., left, and his mom, Joyce Dugan Wood, as seen in “Call Your Mother.”Comedy Central

‘Call Your Mother’

When to watch: Sunday at 10 p.m., on Comedy Central.

This sweet documentary is about stand-up comedians and their relationships with their mothers. If you pick any podcast at random, you have a 12 percent chance of hearing a comedian talking about his or her or their mom, so this is a welcome chance to hear from some of those mothers themselves. There are varying levels of introspection here — and varying levels of raunchiness — but the filmmakers find insightful ways to triangulate honesty and resonance along with the humor.


… a few hours, and I like period dramas

Hedda Stiernstedt, center, in Season 1 of “The Restaurant.”Sundance Now

‘The Restaurant’

When to watch: Now, on Sundance Now, or with the Sundance Now add-on on Amazon.

The third season finale of this Swedish drama (in Swedish, with subtitles) is now streaming, which nudges the show from weekly pleasure for current fans to primo binge zone for new viewers. The show is about a family that owns a restaurant in Stockholm, and it covers a ton of ground — Season 1 starts in 1945, and Season 3 starts in 1968. But it’s all told with an eye to personal relationships, particularly as the adult siblings jockey for position and face their own personal demons. If you ever wished you could cross “Call the Midwife” with “Succession,” watch this. (The first 30 days of Sundance Now are free.)


… several hours, and I like secrets

Linda Cardellini, left, and Christina Applegate in “Dead to Me.”Saeed Adyani/Netflix

‘Dead to Me’

When to watch: Now, on Netflix.

Season 1 of this sunshine dramedy introduced us to Judy and Jen (Linda Cardellini and Christina Applegate), who met in a grief support group but turned out to be connected in dark and surprising ways. Start there. Season 2, now streaming, picks up where we left off, and as always, the problem isn’t the crime, it’s the cover-up. What I like most about “Dead to Me” is how it sees cover-ups in everything: in suburban nonsense, beachy waves, slogan T-shirts, mediocre romances. Everyone is covering up vulnerability, trying to hide their worst secret, not because it’s evil — though maybe it is — but because it’s unlovable. If you like the best parts of “Weeds,” watch this.

Your weekend double feature: Early ’80s African-American indies

Richard Romain and Tommye Myrick in a scene from “Cane River,” a film directed by Horace B. Jenkins.Oscilloscope Laboratories

‘Cane River’ and ‘Losing Ground’

There are a number of striking parallels between “Cane River” and “Losing Ground,” two African-American independent dramas currently streaming on the Criterion Channel. Both were produced in 1982 and were thought lost to history until they were discovered, restored and rereleased to great acclaim within the last five years. Both were by nascent filmmakers, Horace B. Jenkins and Kathleen Collins, who wrote and directed them in their early 40s and then died shortly afterward, before they could make follow-ups. And both are raw, personal and exceptionally ruminative love stories that draw heavily from natural backdrops.

Of the two, Jenkins’s “Cane River,” which debuted on the service this week, is the more combustible romance, a Romeo and Juliet scenario about the forbidden love between a descendant of Creole landowners in Natchitoches Parish, La., and a younger working-class woman. Jenkins soaks in the lushness of the setting and the chemistry between his stars, Richard Romain and Tommye Myrick, but their relationship is undercut by region-specific class and racial differences that history hasn’t wiped away.

There’s passion, too, in the foundering marriage at the center of Collins’s “Losing Ground,” couched in the intellects of a philosophy professor (Seret Scott) and an artist (Bill Gunn) who are looking for satisfaction they no longer find in each other. Their eyes start to wander at a summer home in upstate New York, which Collins shoots in a way that recalls Eric Rohmer’s “Claire’s Knee,” full of smart dialogue and sensual possibility. Then the ending playfully tears up the canvas. — Scott Tobias

Stream “Cane River” on the Criterion Channel.

Stream “Losing Ground” on the Criterion Channel.


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