Music is in the air, with Apple’s launch of the giddy movie-musical spoof Schmigadoon! and a more serious study of contemporary music in Hulu’s McCartney 3-2-1 and PBS’ Icon: Music Through the Lens about rock photography. Fantasy/horror fans reach the end of the road in the finales of Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy and Apple’s adaptation of Stephen King’s Lisey’s Story. Netflix profiles tennis star Naomi Osaka in a three-part docuseries. Another potential hit movie has a day-and-date streaming premiere with Space Jam: New Legacy on HBO Max and in theaters.
For some, stumbling into a world that acts like an old-fashioned movie musical would be a dream. For others, a nightmare. In this giddy spoof, Saturday Night Live’s Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key play a couple on the outs who are trapped in a magically tuneful land, where the slyly subversive lyrics smartly deconstruct the classics, until they can discover (or rediscover) true love. The supporting cast is a Broadway who’s-who, including Tony winners Alan Cumming (the mayor), Kristin Chenoweth (the town scold) and Moulin Rouge!’s Aaron Tveit (a Carousel-worthy bad-boy carnival barker). It’s so much fun you’ll wish all six episodes were available for bingeing. The first two drop Friday, with the rest premiering on a weekly basis. (See the full review.)
We love Paul, yeah-yeah-yeah. The legendary Beatle sits and discusses his career, music and influences with renowned producer Rick Rubin, who uses master tapes from Abbey Road Studios to help guide this deep-dive interview over six episodes. The revelations and insights will delight any Beatles fan and those who followed Sir Paul McCartney through his career with Wings and solo recordings.
Would rock stars be as iconic if not for the photographs and album and magazine covers that illuminated their fame? This fascinating six-part history of rock photography looks at these images through the eyes of the photographers themselves, as well as musicians including Ziggy Marley, Alice Cooper, Julian Lennon, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and more. The opening episode, “On Camera,” explores how a frozen moment in time can define a musician’s persona for posterity.
In a short time, tennis champion Naomi Osaka has become one of sports’ most visible, popular, well-paid and outspoken stars. She makes news even when she chooses not to play, as she did recently when she withdrew from the French Open for mental-health reasons and declined to appear at Wimbledon. A three-part docuseries follows Osaka over two high-profile years, including her social activism during last year’s U.S. Open, a visit to Haiti to explore her roots and the impact of her mentor Kobe Bryant’s tragic death. The special also depicts her demanding training and travel schedule, and the pressures of public life that led to this year’s professional pause.
LeBron James inherits Michael Jordan’s mantle as the basketball icon worthy of mixing it up with Bugs Bunny and the rest of his Looney Tunes Squad in a sequel to the 1996 hit comedy. Animation and sports action collide in a crowd-pleaser that will be available to stream for a limited time while also showing on the big screen in movie theaters.
In the conclusion to the horror trilogy based on R.L. Stine’s books, the teens realize the only way they can end Shadyside’s curse is by going back to the beginning. Which means flashing back some 350 years to the origins of Sarah Fier’s bloody curse.
More horror and fantasy:
- Lisey’s Story (streaming on Apple TV+): In the finale penned by Stephen King from his own novel, Lisey (Julianne Moore) confronts her dangerous nemesis Dooley (Dane DeHaan) and discovers one last fantastical gift from her late husband, Scott (Clive Owen).
- SurrealEstate (10/9c, Syfy): Would a monster under the bed be a deal-breaker for closing on a haunted house? A tongue-in-cheek horror series stars Wynonna Earp’s Tim Rozon as realtor Luke Roman, who leads a team of ghost-chasing associates they tackle supernatural forces almost as dangerous to their listings as termites.
Inside Friday TV:
- Shark Week: The watery franchise travels far and wide in a variety of specials, including Ninja Sharks: Mutants Rising (8/7c, Discovery), seeking deadly predators off the coasts of Alaska, New York and North Carolina; Monster Sharks of Andros Island (9/8c), heading to the Bahamas after the report of a half-octopus, half-shark creature (didn’t we see Sharktopus already on Syfy?); and Mystery of the Black Demon Shark (10/9c) chasing decades of rumors about a legendary 50-foot shark in the waters of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.
- My Lottery Dream Home: David’s Dream Home (9/8c, HGTV): After years of playing host to lucky lottery winners, David Bromstad is now looking for his own deluxe crash pad in the Orlando area.
- Dateline NBC (10/9c, NBC): Crime never sleeps for this newsmagazine, as Natalie Morales reports on the search for the killer who targeted a Chicago nightclub owner.
- Central Park (streaming on Apple TV+): A particularly lovely episode of the animated musical comedy looks back at the legend of “The Shadow,” a notorious jewel thief who targeted the Brandingham hotel more than 50 years ago. Henry Winkler and Tony winner Gavin Creel are among the guest performers, and busker/narrator Birdie (Josh Gad) is featured in a tender wordless montage with strings, about the importance of being noticed. Series star (and Emmy nominee for Hamilton) Daveed Diggs wrote the “Shadow” song.
- Making the Cut (streaming on Amazon Prime Video): Hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn return for a second season of the fashion competition, with 10 contenders from five countries testing their skills in design as well as managing a brand. The winner, announced during an epic runway show on Aug. 6, gets $1 million to invest in a business and a mentorship with Amazon Fashion.
- The Sisters of ’96: The 1996 USA Women’s Olympic Soccer Team (streaming on Peacock): The Tokyo Games’ opening ceremony is just a week away, and as part of the countdown, the 1996 gold-medal U.S. Women’s soccer team’s championship match is shown in full for the first time, streamed in its entirely. This hourlong special reunites members of the team to watch the match together for the first time.
- Behind the Attraction (streaming on Disney+): Paget Brewster narrates a 10-part series lifting the curtain at Disney’s theme parks to reveal how attractions from the Haunted Mansion and Star Wars: Galaxy Edge to Jungle Cruise—the inspiration for an upcoming movie—were brought to life and maintained by Imagineering magic.