New this Week: ‘This Is Us,’ RuPaul album, ‘The Tender Bar’

January 3, 2022 GMT
This combination of photos shows promotional art for "This Is Us," premiering Jan. 4 on NBC, left, and "The Tender Bar," a film streaming Jan. 7 on Amazon. (NBC/Amazon via AP)
This combination of photos shows promotional art for "This Is Us," premiering Jan. 4 on NBC, left, and "The Tender Bar," a film streaming Jan. 7 on Amazon. (NBC/Amazon via AP)

Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.


— Ben Affleck has another winning turn in “The Tender Bar,” the George Clooney-directed adaptation of J.R. Moehringer’s memoir about growing up on Long Island that starts streaming on Amazon Prime Video on Friday. Tye Sheridan plays the author, who in the absence of his father, starts to look to his uncle Charlie (Affleck) to fill that void. In his review for The Associated Press, Mark Kennedy wrote that “’The Tender Bar’ is a gentle, oddly crafted but loving look at men, fueled by a soundtrack of classics like Paul Simon’s ‘50 Ways to Leave Your Lover’ and Steely Dan’s ‘Do It Again.’ It’s a valentine to guys who step up.”


— If you’ve already made it through Season 2 of “Emily in Paris” and all your romantic comedy mainstays on Netflix, why not change things up a little bit with an Italian spin on the genre, “Four to Dinner,” coming to the streamer on Wednesday? Four single friends try different pairing combinations in this new flick starring Matteo Martari, Matilde Gioli, Giuseppe Maggio, Ilenia Pastorelli, Luís Filipe Eusébio and Elmano Sancho.

— Or for something completely different, the Criterion Channel has a series of documentaries from Lee Grant (yes, the actor Lee Grant) available starting on Monday. In 1986’s “Down and Out in America,” which won an Oscar, she focuses on poverty in the 1980s. In “What Sex Am I,” from 1985, she looks at the transgender experience. And in “A Father … A Son … Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” she focuses in on the lives of Kirk and Michael Douglas.

— AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr


— RuPaul is an all around entertainer with a flourishing VH1 reality competition series “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and a longtime music career that includes the classic song “Supermodel (You Better Work).” Now, the drag queen titan will take another musical step further with the performer’s 14th studio album “Mamaru,” out Friday. It’s led by the single “Blame It On the Edit,” which appears to explore the editing process of the “Drag Race” series.


The Wombats pushed the release of their forthcoming album “Fix Yourself, Not the World,” but the English rock band will give a sneak peak of the album a week early in an intimate tour. The band will kick off the tour in Kingston Upon Thames in the United Kingdom on Thursday. The band will make seven other stops before ending the tour in Brighton on Jan. 12 — two days before the release of their fifth album. Catch them later in America in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., New York and Boston.

— AP Entertainment Writer Jonathan Landrum Jr.


— The stage is set for the sixth and final season of NBC’s “This Is Us.” Pearson family matriarch Rebecca (Mandy Moore) is in the grip of dementia; the wedding of Kevin and Madison (Justin Hartley, Caitlin Thompson) is off; the marriage of Kate and Toby (Chrissy Metz, Chris Sullivan) is toast, and Randall (Sterling K. Brown), the most likely Pearson sibling to succeed, seems poised to fulfill his destiny. There are younger generations to be accounted for, including scene-stealers Asante Blackk and Lyric Ross as Malik and Deja. The series returns Tuesday (9 p.m. EST) for the 18-episode last chapter.

— A father-daughter relationship is the beating heart of CBS’ “Good Sam,” debuting 10 p.m. EST Wednesday. A health crisis takes brilliant but testy heart surgeon Dr. Rob “Griff” Griffith (Jason Isaacs) out of commission as a hospital’s chief of surgery. His equally gifted but overshadowed offspring, Dr. Sam Griffiths (Sophia Bush) steps in and proves a natural, which her recovered dad resents. There are lighter moments between their clashes in the series from producers Katie Wech and Jennie Snyder Urman, who worked together on “Jane the Virgin.”

— A wrenching chapter in U.S. civil rights history is the focus of two ABC programs. “Women of the Movement” dramatizes Mamie Till-Mobley’s crusade for justice for her 14-year-old son Emmett’s 1955 racially motivated Mississippi killing. The limited series, starring 2021 Tony Award-winner Adrienne Warren as Till-Mobley, will air from 8-10 p.m. EST on three consecutive Thursdays starting this week. It’s paired with “Let the World See,” an ABC News docuseries that includes a detailed account of Till-Mobley’s effort to bring her son’s body home to Chicago and hold an open-casket funeral to expose the brutality of his death. The three-episode “Let the World See” will follow “Women of the Movement” each Thursday at 10:01 p.m. EST.

— AP TV Writer Lynn Elber


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