New this week: Gaga, 1975 music, a last ‘Trip,’ ‘Stargirl’
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
— Lynn Shelton movies: The weekend brought the painful loss of Shelton, the 54-year-old filmmaker and a unique voice in indie cinema. If her movies aren’t familiar, they’re worth seeking out for their soft edges, light comic touch and freewheeling improvisation. She made the most natural, warm-hearted movies out of almost sitcom-like comedic plots. You might start with her 2012 film “Your Sister’ Sister” (for rent on Amazon, Apple), a romantic comedy of wild pivots with Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt and Mark Duplass. She often dug deeply into discomfort, particularly in her 2009 breakthrough, “Humpday” ( streaming on Tubi ). Duplass and Joshua Leonard star as two straight friends who, for a kind of ironic art project, pledge to have sex with each other. Her character studies were rich, maybe increasingly so, including 2018’s “ Outside In ” (streaming on Netflix), with Edie Falco as a high school teacher who helps a former student (Jay Duplass) get out of prison.
— “ The Trip to Greece ”: The fourth and final installment of one of cinema’s most humble but impression-filled franchises, “The Trip to Greece” is a last hurrah for Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. After trips to England’s Lake District, Italy and Spain, they and director Michael Winterbottom again hit the road for an odyssey of meals, jokes and occasional reflections on growing older, this time while on the path of Odysseus. Debuts Friday for rent on video-on-demand and digital platforms.
— Canceled Cannes: The Cannes Film Festival would have normally wrapped up this week and handed out its top prize, the Palme d’Or. It’s a mammoth absence in the movie year but you can still program your own festival of past Cannes hits. Recent prize-winners like Hirokazu Kore-eda’s beautifully tender “Shoplifters,” Bong Joon Ho’s diabolical “Parasite” and Celine Sciamma’s exquisite “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” are streaming on Hulu. The Criterion Channel is hosting a series of former Palme d’Or winners, including Abbas Kiarostami’s “Taste of Cherry” and Roberto Rossellini’s “Rome Open City.” And on Amazon Prime, you can soak up the Cannes sunshine with Hitchcock’s Cote d’Azur classic “To Catch a Thief,” with Cary Grant and Grace Kelly speeding along the French Riviera coastline.
— Film Writer Jake Coyle
The 1975: The 1975’s 22-track fourth studio album kicks off in strong form with a monologue from climate change activist Greta Thunberg. What follows is music, from raging rock to dreamy pop, that proves why this British band continues to reach new heights with each album release. “Notes on a Conditional Form,” out Friday, is the follow-up to the Grammy-nominated “A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships,” an album that won the foursome two BRIT Awards and two Ivor Novello Awards.
Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande: The Grammy-winning divas come together for a duet called “Rain on Me,” to be released Friday. The song is from Gaga’s new album “Chromatica,” which comes out May 29 and was originally planned for release in April but got pushed backed because of the coronavirus pandemic. “Rain on Me” is the second duet Grande has released this month following “Stuck With U,” her collaboration with Justin Bieber.
TOMORROW X TOGETHER: The K-pop band released a new EP on Monday and for the first time, it features a song co-written by all five of its members. SOOBIN, YEONJUN, BEOMGYU, TAEHYUN and HUENINGKAI co-wrote “Maze in the Mirror,” one of the six tracks from “The Dream Chapter: ETERNITY.” The EP is a mix of genres, including pop, hip-hop and alternative R&B.
— Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu
“ The Story of Soaps ”: The daytime serial gets both love and respect in ABC’s two-hour special airing at 9 p.m. EDT Tuesday. A long list of stars who had brief or enduring daytime runs are featured, including Alec Baldwin, John Stamos, Genie Francis and Susan Lucci, while experts and others add their voices to a dissection of the genre’s influence on TV and beyond. The special recounts how female series creators including Agnes Nixon (“All My Children”) became a dominant force in daytime TV and helped shaped modern television and culture.
— Most series have wrapped their current runs or will soon, including Fox’s “The Masked Singer,” which airs its season finale at 8 p.m. EDT Wednesday. But “ DC’s Stargirl,” debuting 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday on CW, is just getting started. Brec Bassinger (“School of Rock,” “The Goldbergs”) stars as high school sophomore Courtney Whitmore, aka Stargirl, who inspires an offbeat group to join the battle against villainy. Geoff Johns’ comic book writing career began with the creation of Stargirl, who is reimagined in the series along with the Justice Society of America, first of the superhero teams. The series is available Monday on the streamer service DC Universe.
— Escaping may sound good to homebound viewers, but probably not like this. “Celebrity Escape Room,” with Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow and Adam Scott, lets star-producer Stiller test his celebrity pals with the time-pressured challenge of unlocking a series of puzzle rooms. Hilarity is promised. The special airs at 8 p.m. EDT Thursday, followed by the sixth-annual “ Red Nose Day Special, ” airing at 9-11 p.m. EDT. The fundraiser will include Julia Roberts, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, Paul Rudd, Sam Smith and Steve Martin, among other actors and performers. Donations will go to buffer the impact of COVID-19 on youngsters living in poverty and the groups that aid them.
— Television Writer Lynn Elber
Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.