New this week: ‘Zola,’ ‘Ted Lasso,’ Leon Bridges’ 3rd album
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
— It’s the last day on Earth in Los Angeles and Zoe Lister-Jones’ Eliza is spending it wandering the streets on foot with her younger self (Cailee Spaeny) in the surprisingly sweet apocalyptic comedy “How It Ends.” Although technically a pandemic film — Lister-Jones and her husband, Daryl Wein, filmed it during early lockdown with a murderer’s row of their talented friends in cameo roles (Olivia Wilde, Lamorne Morris, Fred Armisen, Colin Hanks, Helen Hunt, Nick Kroll, and many more) — “How It Ends,” out Tuesday on video on demand, is more than just a gimmick and worth the chance.
— “Zola,” the based-on-a-viral-twitter-thread saga about a couple of strippers on a road trip to Florida, will be available on VOD Friday. The film from director Janicza Bravo is a trippy and surreal journey through a seedy, neon-lit world of strip clubs, racial tensions and sex workers that A’Ziah King (Taylour Paige) finds herself unwittingly wrapped up in after forging an ill-fated connection with Stefani (Riley Keough). “Zola” is, without a doubt, one of the wildest movies of the year.
— Author Jojo Moyes knows good romance and the latest novel of hers to be adapted is “The Last Letter From Your Lover,” coming to Netflix on Friday. Felicity Jones stars as a journalist who uncovers some love letters in the archives revealing an affair in the 1960s between a socialite (Shailene Woodley) and a financial journalist (Callum Turner) who is writing about her husband (Joe Alwyn). Augustine Frizzell directs this generation-spanning love story with glimpses to the past and a search for how their love story ended.
— AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr
— Master singer-songwriter Jackson Browne is releasing a new album on Friday, “Downhill From Everywhere,” his first in six years. The opening song, “Still Looking For Something,” is a sun-kissed ode to restless freedom, while the first single, “My Cleveland Heart,” is a playful imagining of getting a new artificial heart: “They’re made to take a bashin’/ And never lose their passion.” The title track is one of the best political songs he’s ever written, period. Unrushed, melancholic, worldly and subline, this is a timeless rock album designed to be played this summer racing across a shimmering blacktop with the top down.
— Leon Bridges channels modern R&B-soul on the new album “Gold-Diggers Sound,” out Friday. The songs were inspired by Gold Diggers, a bar, hotel and recording studio off Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles. The singles released so far — the insecure, heart-wrenching “Why Don’t You Touch Me,” the hypnotic, slinky “Motorbike” and the powerfully political “Sweeter” — indicate a restless artist reaching and attaining a new set of wings. In a statement, he calls it his “most sensual and confident album to date, and I cannot wait to unleash it.”
— AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy
— PBS’ “In Their Own Words” returns to examine the lives and influence of “intriguing figures in recent history” through interviews, archival footage and, as the title has it, what the subjects themselves have said. The new specials begin Tuesday with “Pope Francis,” the first pontiff from the Americas. Rock ‘n’ roll legend Chuck Berry’s life and music are examined in the July 27 episode, which includes a Keith Richards interview. In “Diana, Princess of Wales,” airing Aug. 8, John Travolta and biographer Andrew Morton are among those heard from. (Check local PBS station listings for air times.)
— Here’s the score on “Ted Lasso”: The Apple TV+ series earned 20 nominations for September’s Emmy Awards, including for best comedy and acting nods for star and producer Jason Sudeikis and six of his castmates. If you missed the much-admired freshman season, there’s time to binge on its clever, sweet-natured humor before season two debuts Friday. Changes are ahead for the British soccer team saddled with a chipper American football coach: Veteran champ Roy Kent (the nominated Brett Goldstein) is retired, and a sports psychologist (Sarah Niles) arrives, presumably to the rescue.
— The Tokyo Olympics begin Friday with, as usual, the opening ceremony (live on NBC at 6:55 to 11 a.m. EDT, with an edited version at 7:30 p.m. to midnight EDT). Medals are the goal for U.S. competitors including Simone Biles and Gabby Thomas, and in new Olympic sports including surfing. But the pandemic-affected games will also be strikingly different, with most events held in near-empty venues under the shadow of COVID-19. The armchair audience can chose from thousands of hours of coverage on NBC Universal platforms including NBC, USA and Peacock through the games’ Aug. 8 conclusion. Daily listings are available at NBC’s Olympic site.
— AP Television Writer Lynn Elber
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