New this week: Will Smith, ‘Tick, Tick... Boom!’ and Adele
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
— Tennis anyone? In “King Richard,” Will Smith plays Richard Williams, father and tennis guru to Venus and Serena Williams. The film, directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, is an authorized dramatization (the Williams family was heavily involved) of the long-odds origin story of two of tennis’ greatest stars. “King Richard,” which Warner Bros. will release Friday in theaters and on HBO Max, is a portrait of their father coach as he steers them in their youth on the court and off. Often portrayed as a brash self-promoter, “King Richard” — featuring one of Smith’s most sensitive and acclaimed performances — captures Richard Williams as a trailblazing and inspiring parent whose vision for his daughters led them from Compton, California, to a global stage.
— In Robert Greene’s unconventional documentary “Procession,” Greene gathers a group of six now-adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse by Midwest priests. Seeking some sense of closure, they write, direct and perform their stories in a therapeutic exercise of filmmaking. Greene ultimately shares authorship of “Procession,” a collaborative effort of catharsis, with the film’s subjects. It debuts Friday on Netflix.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda makes his feature film directorial debut with “Tick, Tick... Boom!,” an adaptation of Jonathan Larson’s musical about writing a musical. Larson, played by Andrew Garfield, was the playwright of the Broadway smash “Rent.” But before that production made Larson a success, he struggled to get produced a futuristic rock musical called “Superbia.” Larson then turned that experience into an autobiographical show about the pressures of achieving something as an artist before he turned 30. In Miranda’s film, on Netflix on Friday, “Tick, Tick... Boom!” is an affectionate ode to Larson, musical theater and Broadway dreams.
— AP Film Writer Jake Coyle
— The wait is nearly over, world. Adele releases “30” on Friday, and we’re ready with the tissues. Since the “Rolling in the Deep” singer’s last album, “25,” Adele has gone through divorce and depression, and her albums have always captured specific times in her life. What’s clear is there is pent-up demand for her voice: The first single from the new collection, “Easy on Me,” became the artist’s fifth Hot 100 No. 1 and first since “Hello” ruled for 10 weeks in 2015-16. The song’s video has been seen over 152 million times and the holiday charts are hers for the taking.
— Robert Plant and Alison Krauss are hoping for a repeat. Fourteen years after their surprise hit with critics and fans, “Raising Sand,” the unlikely duo are back with another album of covers, “Raise the Roof,” out Friday from Rounder Records. It follows the blueprint of the first, including many of the same musicians and the producing smarts of T Bone Burnett. Something special happens when these singers tackle deep cuts from the likes of Merle Haggard, Allen Toussaint, The Everly Brothers, Anne Briggs, Geeshie Wiley, Bert Jansch and Betty Harris.
— Sting tackles a year of uneasy upheaval in “The Bridge,” a new album out Friday that showcases the bassist-songwriter’s chops. Press materials say “the new collection finds him ruminating on personal loss, separation, disruption, lockdown and extraordinary social and political turmoil.” Among the 10 tracks are “Rushing Water,” which finds him funky, and “If It’s Love,” which is unabashedly upbeat and Broadway-ish. Elsewhere, there are brooding characters and mists, cold gods and references to the Bible.
— AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy
— Carole Baskin is getting a second act on discovery+. In Netflix’s hit “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” she was the nemesis and would-be victim of Joe Exotic, who was sentenced to prison in 2020 after being convicted in a failed murder-for-hire plot targeting Baskin. In the two-part documentary “Carole Baskin’s Cage Fight,” debuting Saturday, the animal activist and her husband, Howard, investigate the treatment of big cats at what’s characterized by discovery+ as personal risk. “Tiger King” is roaring back as well, with season two out Wednesday on Netflix.
— A flash of nudity during the 2004 Super Bowl half-time show is the focus of “Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson,” a documentary debuting 10 p.m. EST Friday, on FX and Hulu. The moment that Justin Timberlake briefly exposed Jackson’s breast took a toll on her career and became a cultural and racial flashpoint, one reconstructed in the film and discussed by cultural critics, music industry insiders and members of the Jackson family. Part of “The New York Times Presents” series, the documentary takes its title from what was then labeled a “wardrobe malfunction.”
— Attention, fans of jazz and creatively daring artists: esperanza spalding, the Grammy-winning bassist and singer, performs Wayne Shorter’s “Gaia” in “Great Performances: San Francisco Symphony Reopening Night.” Jazz great Shorter intended the piece to showcase spalding, who’s joined by a trio of guest musicians. Also part of the evening with conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen: Silvestre Revueltas’ “Noche de Encantamiento” from his film score to “La Noche de los Mayas.” The PBS program airs Friday, Nov. 19 (check local listings), and is available at online and on the PBS Video app.
— AP Television Writer Lynn Elber
Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.