Welcome to Screen Gab, the newsletter for everyone who might be getting a tiny, little bit antsy working from home.
This week, we urge you to catch up on HBO’s “Industry,” which revels in the high-risk, high-reward lives of traders at a London investment bank — and, despite the stratospheric stress levels, makes the late nights, petty squabbling and social climbing seem like fun. (Perhaps it’s being 25 that’s fun.)
That, plus a guest appearance by “Black Bird” villain Paul Walter Hauser, recommendations for what to stream this weekend, and more. And, as always, we want to know what you’re watching, so send your TV or streaming movie recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and location. Submissions should be no longer than 200 words and are subject to editing for length and clarity.
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Must-read stories you might have missed
‘Star Trek’ underutilized Nichelle Nichols. She was its heart and soul anyway: As Lt. Uhura, everything on the series ran through Nichols, who died Saturday at 89. With the role, she created a 50-year legacy and legions of fans.
How the Hillside Strangler case helped make L.A. the ‘serial killer capital of America’: Peacock’s fascinating new docuseries “The Hillside Strangler: Devil in Disguise” details a chilling case — and dark era — many Angelenos remember.
Melanie Lynskey opens up about the ‘shock’ of Hollywood sexism — and finding grace: At 18, “Yellowjackets” star Melanie Lynskey found the industry “demoralizing.” Since then, she says, playing women who claim space has helped her claim her own.
How Ursula and ‘The Little Mermaid’ changed Disney history — in more ways than one: Pat Carroll, who voiced Ursula in “The Little Mermaid,” died Saturday at 95. The role defined Disney’s queer canon — and helped launch a renaissance.
Recommendations from the film and TV experts at The Times
The beautiful and hilarious “Reservation Dogs” (Hulu) returned this week, with back-to-back episodes, as brilliant as ever, with its cultural specificity, magic realism, sense of place, impeccable performances and strangely heartbreaking comedy writing all in place. The first season created a world strong enough to survive the fact that the four young protagonists, once banded, are for the moment splintered. Elora Danan (Devery Jacobs) is heading to California, the last to stick to their plan, with bad girl Jackie (Elva Guerra) riding shotgun; they will encounter some odd soliloquizing white people on the way. Bear (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai), on the advice of his spirit guide (Dallas Goldtooth), is trying to act his age, while Willie Jack (Paulina Alexis) and Cheese (Lane Factor) attempt to reverse the curse Willie Jack cast on Jackie at the end of Season 1, and which appears to be blowing back on them all. But perhaps the greatest joy of these first episodes comes from the rivalry of elder recurring players Gary Farmer, as Uncle Brownie, and Wes Studi, as Bucky, who work out old business in a sideways fashion, ending in a nice tribute to Tom Petty. —Robert Lloyd
“Metal Lords” thrashes with goodness. The Netflix movie takes the familiar framework of high school outsiders banding together for competition (did anyone say “Battle of the Bands”?) and makes something fresh, original and fun. It enjoys specific musical knowledge, especially of heavy metal — er, “post-death metal” — and that genuine love lifts it. Most of all, you fall in love with its three leads, weirdos all, and I mean that as a glowing endorsement. The three young actors (Adrian Greensmith, Isis Hainsworth and Jaeden Martell) imbue these teens with just the right f— you energy to make you feel their edges without wanting to walk away from them. Despite their I-don’t-care cool, they need this, and you sense it. Their performances and detailed direction by Peter Sollett (“Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist”) and smart, funny script by D.B. Weiss (“Game of Thrones”) make “Metal Lords” a head-banging double kick of cinematic joy. —Michael Ordoña
Everything you need to know about the film or TV series everyone’s talking about
Here’s an idea for replacement therapy: Switch out the bad stress of your own workplace drama for the good stress of HBO’s “Industry.” Creators Konrad Kay and Mickey Down, themselves veterans of London’s cutthroat financial sector, have crafted a trading floor knife fight of hot, young, ambitious strivers at once aspirational — you heard hot, young and financial sector, right? — and anxiety making. Led by a thrillingly assured Myha’la Herrold (“Bodies Bodies Bodies”), the series began, in the waning months of 2020, as a warped love letter to office culture; it has returned for Season 2 more like a burn book, with money to make, a ladder to climb and an ax to grind. To describe it is to lean on comparisons — put together the dissoluteness of “Euphoria,” the cynicism of “Succession,” and the wry wink of “Gossip Girl” and you might have it cornered — but it throbs with a poker game tension uniquely its own. And if you still aren’t sold, check out Monday’s delectable nail biter: Either you’ll want to binge the whole thing or you don’t have the stomach for it. —Matt Brennan
A weekly chat with actors, writers, directors and more about what they’re working on — and what they’re watching
Paul Walter Hauser has played gormless sidekicks, like Tonya Harding’s bodyguard Shawn Eckhardt, a co-conspirator in the attack on Nancy Kerrigan, in 2017’s “I, Tonya.” He’s played wronged heroes, like the security guard falsely accused of planning the 1996 Olympic Park bombing in Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell.” But in “Black Bird,” which concludes its six-episode run Friday on Apple TV+, he manages to capture malevolence itself, in the form of suspected serial killer Larry Hall. Hauser stopped by Screen Gab to talk about the series, developed by Dennis Lehane from the 2010 book “In With the Devil,” the prison movie genre, and what he’s watching. —Matt Brennan
What have you watched recently that you are recommending to everyone you know?
What’s your go-to “comfort watch,” the movie or TV show you go back to again and again?
My comfort watching includes “All Elite Wrestling,” “Saturday Night Live” clips on YouTube and hangout movies like “Diner” (VOD, multiple platforms) or “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (Peacock).
The prison movie/TV series is a venerable genre — and one that has embraced a wide variety of topics and tones, from “The Great Escape” to “Orange Is the New Black.” What’s one of your favorites, and why?
I think the collaboration of Stephen King and Frank Darabont on “The Green Mile” (Tubi) and “The Shawshank Redemption” (HBO Max); those are the ones to beat. They have such rich characters and the themes are soulful and proudly anthemic.
“Black Bird” is based on a real case. What kind of research/preparation did you do to play Larry Hall?
I did next to no research. There was no footage provided. I found like 10 or 20 seconds of audio for Larry. My prep is mostly attributed to Lehane’s brilliant writing. My process includes a lot of predetermined physicality, mental multitasking and small, prewritten ad libs.
Listings coordinator Matt Cooper highlights the TV shows and streaming movies to keep an eye on
Fri., Aug. 5
“Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation” (Disney+): Darth Vader and company are tanned, rested and ready in this new animated special.
“Luck” (Apple TV+): A perpetually unlucky young woman sees her fortunes change in this 2022 animated fantasy.
“The Outlaws” (Prime Video): Our unusual suspects return in a second season of this British caper comedy. Christopher Walken co-stars.
“Prey” (Hulu): A Comanche warrior (“Legion’s” Amber Midthunder) has a close encounter of the worst kind in this 2022 entry in the “Predator” franchise.
“Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie” (Netflix): They’re coming out of their shells in this animated 2022 entry in the “TMNT” franchise.
“The Sandman” (Netflix): He’s dreamy in this dark fantasy drama based on Neil Gaiman’s beloved graphic novels. Tom Sturridge stars.
“Stowaway” (AMC+): It’s “Die Hard” on a yacht in this 2022 action thriller starring “Batwoman’s” Ruby Rose.
“They/Them” (Peacock): It’s “Friday the 13th” at a gay conversion camp in this satirical 2022 slasher flick. Kevin Bacon co-stars.
“Thirteen Lives” (Prime Video): Divers attempt to rescue members of a Thai youth soccer team trapped in a flooded cave in Ron Howard’s star-studded 2022 docu-thriller.
“Campfire Sessions” (CMT, 10 p.m.): Country music’s Old Dominion does the pickin’ and grinnin’ in this new episode.
Sat., Aug. 6
“Pro Football Hall of Fame” (ESPN, 9 a.m.): Meet the latest class of inductees in this new special.
“Africa’s Wild Year” (BBC America, 8 p.m.): You’ll bless the rains just like all creatures do in this new nature series.
“Love in the Limelight” (Hallmark, 8 p.m.): A woman hooks up with a former boy band member in this new TV movie.
“A Dangerous Affair” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.): A Pilates instructor finds herself overextended in this new thriller.
“Family or Fiancé” (OWN, 10 p.m.): The relationship-themed reality series serves up a third season.
Sun., Aug. 7
“37th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards” (BET, 8 p.m.): They’re making a joyful noise in this new special.
“My Life as a Rolling Stone” (Epix, 9 p.m.): Mick Jagger is the first of four members of the British rock band profiled in this new docuseries.
“Menendez Brothers: Misjudged?” (Investigation Discovery, 9 p.m.): This new special reopens the case of the two siblings convicted for the 1989 murders of their wealthy parents.
Mon., Aug. 8
“Darby and Joan” (Acorn TV): Bryan Brown and Greta Scacchi drive around in a van solving mysteries in this Aussie comedy drama.
“Running Wild With Bear Grylls” (National Geographic, 9 p.m.): Ashton Kutcher is next up on the survival show.
“Hollywood Priest: The Story of Father ‘Bud’ Kieser” (KOCE, 10 p.m.): The clergyman behind the acclaimed 1960-85 anthology series “Insight” is remembered in this 2021 documentary.
“POV” (KOCE, 10 p.m.): The 2021 documentary “President” tracks a political upstart’s uphill campaign to become Zimbabwe’s next leader.
Tue., Aug. 9
“America Outdoors With Baratunde Thurston” (KOCE, 9 p.m.): Minnesota is the destination in the season finale.
“Tales” (BET, 9 p.m): This anthology series inspired by classic hip-hop lyrics drops its third season.
“Password” (NBC, 10 p.m.; also Wed.): They’ll keep you guessing in a star-studded prime time reboot of the classic game show. “Nope’s” Keke Palmer hosts.
“Big Bad Budget Battle” (Food Network, 10 p.m.): Amateur cooks have to stretch that dollar in this new competition. Ree Drummond hosts.
“Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the Detroit Lions” (HBO, 10 p.m.): The sports docuseries kicks off its 17th season.
Wed., Aug. 10
“I Am Groot” (Disney+): Everyone’s favorite sapling from the MCU takes center stage in a series of shorts.
“Locke & Key” (Netflix): The kid-friendly fantasy drama returns with its third and final season.
“So You Think You Can Dance” (Fox, 9 p.m.): The winner is announced in the season finale. Cat Deeley hosts.
Thu., Aug. 11
“The Ms. Pat Show” (BET+): This sitcom starring comic Patricia “Ms. Pat” Williams launches its sophomore season.
“Stay on Board: The Leo Baker Story” (Netflix): The pro skateboarder opens up about his journey as a trans man in this new sports doc.
“Why Not Us: Southern Dance” (ESPN+): Southern University’s Dancing Dolls put their best feet forward in a new season of this docuseries.
“MLB at Field of Dreams” (Fox, 4 p.m.): The Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds meet in Iowa at the annual contest inspired by the 1989 sports drama.
“Bump” (the CW, 8 and 8:30 p.m.): An Aussie high schooler finds herself with a bun in the oven in this imported comedy-drama.
“Great Chocolate Showdown” (the CW, 9 p.m.): Amateur bakers get their just desserts in this new competition.
“Alone: Frozen” (History, 9 p.m.): Contestants freeze their butts off in this new entry in the outdoor survival franchise.
“It’s CompliPlated” (Food Network, 10 p.m.): Contestants try to please a panel of picky eaters in this new culinary competition.