On a busy day for streaming, an “adult” animated action comedy reimagines vintage Elvis as a shoot-first secret agent. The futuristic drama Extrapolations imagines the world decades further into a global climate crisis. The Deuce’s Dominique Fishback is a super-fan gone over the edge in Hulu’s creepy Swarm. Bono and The Edge show David Letterman the town—Dublin—in a hybrid concert/documentary special.
What’s all that blood doing on Elvis Presley’s blue suede shoes? All in a day’s work for the King, reimagined as a shoot-first secret agent, with Matthew McConaughey’s velvety drawl giving voice to Elvis in a berserk “adult” animated action-comedy. Agent Elvis spoofs the espionage genre with gory ultraviolence befitting a graphic novel and crude humor typified by his psychotic chimp sidekick, Scatter. Devotees might dig seeing their idol as an off-kilter James Bond, but the best jokes involve his long-running feud with his nemesis: Broadway-styled crooner Robert Goulet. Co-creator Priscilla Presley provides her own voice, seen as a 1960s’ sex-kitten version of his soulmate, with Johnny Knoxville and Niecy Nash as his entourage, and Kaitlin Olson and Don Cheadle as the spymasters recruiting Elvis to save the world, regardless of body count. (See the full review.)
“If God made humans in His image, why do they suck?” A teenager approaching her bat mitzvah in a flooding Miami circa 2047 poses a question that works as subtext to Scott Z. Burns’ provocative and sprawling drama about the increasingly dire effects of global change in the decades ahead, with stories spanning 2046 to 2070. Launching with three episodes, Extrapolations features a very starry cast, including Meryl Streep in the second episode, her voice used in haunting ways to bring home a story about the extinction of species. Daveed Diggs (Hamilton, Snowpiercer) is a rabbi trying to keep his synagogue from going underwater, and in the opener, Matthew Rhys (Perry Mason) is a venal developer who sees an opportunity with glaciers melting in the Arctic. Beyond the unavoidable preachiness, there are elements of satire, science-fiction and allegory in this ambitious and surprisingly absorbing series.
Dominique Fishback (The Deuce) is riveting in a surreal seven-part thriller from Atlanta’s Donald Glover and Janine Nabers about the dangers of obsessive fandom. She plays Dre, #1 member of “the Swarm,” a fan base for a fictional superstar. She’s so devoted she’ll literally take down anyone who disses Ni’Jah online or in person. Dre’s odyssey into murderous madness, reminiscent of Polanski’s Repulsion, starts slowly but takes creative risks and leaps to its startling conclusion.
Power Book II: Ghost
The hit crime-drama franchise opens the third season of the first spinoff with “Ghost” scion Tariq (Michael Rainey Jr.) starting a new semester at Stansfield, determined to leave his late father’s drug empire behind. Fate, naturally, has other plans. Elsewhere, Monet (Mary J. Blige) is equally motivated to avenge and solve the murder of her son Zeke.
The hard-luck caterers in this inspired comedy comeback turn to mushrooms (courtesy of Jennifer Garner’s Evie) to get through their latest gig, a pre-concert luau for Sting fans who won a radio-promotion contest. Cynical Roman (Martin Starr), who normally shuns drugs, is especially sensitive to the weird vibes at this shindig, but maybe he’s onto something. Guest stars include Saturday Night Live veteran Bobby Moynihan and Scrubs’ Judy Reyes.
INSIDE FRIDAY TV:
- Bono & The Edge: A Sort of Homecoming, with Dave Letterman (streaming on Disney+): Imagine being introduced to Dublin for the first time by two of Ireland’s most famous exports, Bono and The Edge. David Letterman considers this a career pinnacle as he joins the musicians for a tour of Dublin and some lively conversation, captured by director Morgan Neville in a documentary that also features footage from an intimate concert of stripped-down U2 classics at the Ambassador Cinema building.
- NCAA Basketball Tournaments: First-round men’s action continues, with games through the day and night starting at 12:15/ET on CBS, 12:40 pm/ET on truTV, 1:30 pm/ET on TBS and 4 pm/ET on TNT. Women’s games begin at 11:30 am/ET on ESPN2, noon/ET on ESPN, 2:30 pm/ET on ESPNEWS and 3 pm/ET on ESPNU. For full schedules, go to ncaa.com.
- RuPaul’s Drag Race (8/7c, MTV): This year’s “Rusical” musical is “Wigloose,” set in a town where drag has been outlawed. (This isn’t the fantasy it might have seemed when it was filmed.) Country star Orville Peck is guest judge.
- True Crime Watch: On Dateline NBC (9/8), reporter Andrea Canning heads to Memphis to revisit the 2010 murder of former NBA star Lorenzen Wright. ABC’s 20/20 (9/8c) reports on a North Dakota love triangle that ended with arson and murder. Oxygen True Crime opens a new season of The Real Murders of Atlanta (9/8c) with the investigation into the execution murder of a local West End hero right in front of his home.
- Great Performances at the Met: The Hours (9/8c, PBS): Famed soprano Renée Fleming returns to the Met for a contemporary opera from composer Kevin Puts and librettist Greg Pierce based on Michael Cunningham’s novel inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. Tony-winning Broadway star Kelli O’Hara and Joyce DiDonato also star.
- The Exhibit: Finding the Next Great Artist (10/9c, MTV): In the most personal commission to date, the artists look within to create a piece reflecting on their life during the pandemic.
ON THE STREAM:
- See how it all ends in the season finales of the bizarre Servant on Apple TV+ and the fantastical Carnival Row on Prime Video.
- Boston Strangler (streaming on Hulu): A fact-based docudrama stars Keira Knightley and The Gilded Age’s Carrie Coon as 1960s-era newspaper reporters who battle workplace sexism to break the story of a notorious serial killer who claimed 13 victims.
- Daisy Jones and the Six (streaming on Prime Video): Tension within the band threatens its future even as their popularity soars and the Aurora tour begins.
- Dance 100 (streaming on Netflix): This street-dance competition could be titled So You Think You Can Choreograph, as eight seasoned dancers try their hand at staging group performances, with the dancers themselves acting as judges. Ally Love hosts.
- Monster Factory (streaming on Apple TV+): A six-part docuseries goes inside a renowned New Jersey wrestling school, where new recruits learn how hard it will be to make it to the big time.
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