New this week: Taylor Swift, ‘Maleficent,’ Marshall special

David Bowie

By The Associated Press undefined

This week comes an encouragement to go way back to watch a great movie — all the way to 1926. Buster Keaton’s “The General” is considered ahead-of-its-time and it counts Quentin Tarantino as a fan.
There’s also a five-episode PBS series on Asian Americans airing between Monday and Tuesday. It’s a sweeping look at Asian Americans’ impact on society, politics and pop culture from the mid-19th century through 9/11.
A giant of TV is celebrated Tuesday when the late Garry Marshall — creator of such feel-good comedies as “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley” and “Mork & Mindy” — gets his own special on ABC. Another artist who we recently lost, David Bowie, will be heard again when a new live album is released Friday. And there’s a Taylor Swift concert on TV, too.
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.

“The General” and “The Great Buster”: Saturday night, make a date with TCM to watch Brad Bird’s latest “Essential,” Buster Keaton’s “The General,” a silent stunner from 1926 set around the Civil War. It wasn’t very well-received when it came out, but has in the past century been reevaluated by some of the best for the ahead-of-its-time dark comedy and amazing set-pieces. And if you hang around afterwards, TCM is also showing Peter Bogdanovich’s terrific documentary “The Great Buster,” where you can watch Quentin Tarantino talk about why “The General” is a great action movie too.
“Teen Spirit “: While we wait for Elle Fanning’s new Catherine the Great series, why not catch up with the underseen charmer “Teen Spirit,” available on Kanopy on Tuesday. It’s the stylish directorial debut of “The Handmaids Tale” actor Max Minghella (who is also the son of the late Anthony Minghella) about a small-town teen who gets a shot at pop stardom with a local singing competition. All you need is a public library card or university ID to access Kanopy films for free.
“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”: Or perhaps you’d like a more family-friendly Fanning. If so, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” comes to Disney Plus Friday. It’s far from great, but there are some worthwhile elements to be had in this sequel. And AP Film Writer Jake Coyle wrote that it’s Fanning’s performance (“a welcome dash of naturalism”) that saves the film from a worse fate.
— Film Writer Lindsey Bahr

“Taylor Swift City of Lover Concert”: Taylor Swift is performing on Sunday and her opening act is “American Idol.” Immediately following the season finale of “Idol,” ABC will air the one-hour concert special “Taylor Swift City of Lover Concert” at 10 p.m. EDT. It was filmed last September at L’Olympia Theater in Paris and features Swift performing songs from her latest album “Lover,” as well as special to behind-the-scenes moments.
David Bowie: The icon David Bowie died in 2016 but his voice lives on. The 12-track live album “LIVEANDWELL.COM” — available Friday — is the first in a series of three Bowie live releases from the ’90s coming to streaming services in the next few months. Four of the songs were taken from a 1997 concert at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall. Other songs were recorded in Amsterdam, Rio de Janeiro and at the Phoenix festival in the U.K.
Sara Evans: Top-notch country singer Sara Evans takes on 13 cover songs spanning six decades on her new album out Friday. “Copy That” includes Evans copying songs from Hank Williams, John Mayer, Carole King, the Bee Gees, the Pretenders, Chicago and others. Old Crow Medicine Show and Little Big Town’s Phillip Sweet guest appear on the album, but they aren’t the only ones — Evans’ daughters, Olivia and Audrey, also lend their vocals to the songs.
— Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu

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Daniel Dae Kim (“Lost,” “Hawaii Five-0”) and Tamlyn Tomita (“Star Trek: Picard”) narrate “Asian Americans,” PBS’ five-part documentary series that takes an expansive look at the ethnic group’s influence on the nation even as its members faced — and face — prejudice. Among those interviewed are Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Viet Thanh Nguyen, U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth and actor Randall Park. The docuseries arrives amid reports of physical and verbal attacks on Asian Americans following the spread of coronavirus from China. “Asian Americans” airs Monday and Tuesday (check local listings for time, station).
Garry Marshall and his legacy of crowd-pleasing TV shows and movies is saluted in an ABC special airing 8-10 p.m. EDT Tuesday. “The Happy Days of Garry Marshall” gathers friends, family and stars to reminisce about the writer-producer-actor, who died in 2016 at age 81. Among the boldface names: Richard Gere, Julia Roberts and Hector Elizondo from “Pretty Woman”; Julie Andrews, Anne Hathaway and Chris Pine, “The Princess Diaries,” and cast members from “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley” and “Mork & Mindy.”
“Sherlock” sidekick Martin Freeman is the lead sleuth this time around in ” A Confession,” debuting Tuesday on the BritBox streaming service. Freeman, who played Dr. Watson to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Holmes, stars in the six-part series as a British police detective investigating the disappearance of a 22-year-old woman. Believing the victim may be alive and held captive, the detective begins an urgent search that brings him up against the limits of police protocol, and maybe beyond. Imelda Staunton (“Harry Potter”) and Siobhan Finneran (“Downton Abbey”) co-star.
— Television Writer Lynn Elber

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