Now See This Newsletter: A Family Mystery to Watch 'Before Dark'

1:22 PM 4/3/2020

by Daniel Fienberg

'Home Before Dark'
'Home Before Dark'
Courtesy of AppleTV+

Welcome to Now See This, THR chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg’s weekly viewer guide newsletter dedicated to cutting through the daunting clutter of the broadcast, cable and streaming TV landscape! Comments and suggestions welcome at daniel.fienberg@thr.com.

This is a web version of THR's Now You See This newsletter. To receive the newsletter by email each week, click here.

  • Remembering That Thing Adam Schlesinger Did

    Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic; The CW Television Network/Photofest

    Adam Schlesinger, one of the catchiest songwriters in the history of popular music and the Fountains of Wayne co-founder, died this week at the age of 52 from complications of the coronavirus. Perhaps this would be a good time to pay tribute to Schlesinger by watching The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which is available to stream on Netflix. Schlesinger won an Emmy last year for the song “Antidepressants Are So Not a Big Deal” and, in a just world, he’d have won a couple others for the clever, hook-y songs he wrote for the beloved musical dramedy.

  • A Dark Journey to the Past

    The Easthampton Star/Courtesy HBO; Courtesy of Netflix

    I didn’t have time to watch the entire five-episode docuseries Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children, but what I’ve seen of the HBO project is harrowing and astonishingly well-sourced. It premieres Sunday night and can be watched in tandem with the second season of Netflix’s Mindhunter, which I did review. David Fincher’s drama starring Jonathan Groff weaved the Atlanta child murders into its narrative in a smart and respectful way.

  • Get Ready to Say Good-Bye

    Courtesy of Networks

    Between now and the next newsletter, viewers will be saying farewell to CBS’ Hawaii Five-0, Pop’s Schitt’s Creek and ABC’s Modern Family. Maybe you don’t watch all three, maybe you didn’t love all three, but that’s nearly 570 episodes and countless Emmys (all for Modern Family, though the other two both received nominations) between them. As Death of a Salesman’s Linda Loman would say, “Attention must be paid!”

  • Mystery For Some of the Whole Family

    Courtesy of AppleTV+

    Apple TV+’s Home Before Dark occupies a strange demographic place: It may be a hair too dark for peers of the show’s 9-year-old journalistic protagonist (played by The Florida Project’s Brooklynn Prince), while grown-ups might shy away from what they think is a show for kids. But my review compared it to what would have happened if “Steven Spielberg had decided to follow up the blockbuster success of E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial with an adaptation of Harriet the Spy starring Drew Barrymore.” Oh, and check out the conversation with co-creator Dana Fox in this week’s TV’s Top 5 podcast.

  • Cooking Up Something New

    Photofest/PBS

    Congrats. You made bread. Heck, you even made sourdough, which is totally the Better Things of breads. But did you know that the entirety of Julia Child’s The French Chef is available for streaming if you’re a PBS member or subscribe to PBS Living on Amazon Prime? Select episodes are also available for free on the PBS streaming site. Raise your Instagram cooking game and replace that pumpernickel with a nice coq au vin!

  • And If That’s Not Enough…

    Focus Features

    We’ve put together a handy list of all the movies streaming early while theaters are closed, including Never Rarely Sometimes Always, which THR senior copy editor and film critic Sheri Linden says "takes the American abortion drama to places it has never gone before." Seriously, there’s no excuse to ever be bored again.

  • Some Homework

    HBO

    HBO’s Run premieres on April 12, and even though Phoebe Waller-Bridge is only an executive producer and guest star, it will be treated as her follow-up to Fleabag. You’ve seen Fleabag, of course, right? Why not watch Waller-Bridge’s earlier comedy, Crashing, which features Run creator Vicky Jones — director of the original Fleabag stage production — as script editor.

  • This Week's THR Staff Pick

    Jace Downs/IFC

    West Coast TV editor and TV's Top 5 podcast co-host Lesley Goldberg says, "As a diehard Dodger fan and someone who has idolized Vin Scully since I was a kid, I finally heeded Dan's suggestion to check out IFC's Brockmire. Naturally, he was right and it's the perfect show to binge. Hank Azaria's titular character says everything that Vin would never — and does so without any regard. It's laugh-out-loud funny, has inside jokes that die-hard baseball fans can enjoy (the Joe Buck episode!) and one-liners that I never want to forget ("Are you sure you're right-handed?!") It's a hilarious way to enjoy the sport at a time when players and fans alike are missing the crack of the bat and roar of the crowd."