Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Army Of The Dead is here with Dave Bautista, a heist, and a zombie tiger

Dave Bautista, Omari Hardwick, Tig Notaro, Samantha Win, Colin Jones, Matthias Schweighöfer, Raúl Castillo Jr., and Ana de la Reguera in Army Of The Dead
Dave Bautista, Omari Hardwick, Tig Notaro, Samantha Win, Colin Jones, Matthias Schweighöfer, Raúl Castillo Jr., and Ana de la Reguera in Army Of The Dead
Photo: Clay Enos/Netflix

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Friday, May 21, and Saturday, May 22. All times are Eastern.

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Top picks

Army Of The Dead (Netflix, Friday, 3:01 a.m.): “In a way, this B-movie on an A budget gets closer to the values of George Romero, the godfather of zombie cinema, than Zack Snyder’s actual, hyper-adrenalized remake of Romero’s masterpiece… And if these aren’t the deepest heroes, they’re still starring in a Netflix zombie flick about veterans left to rot by their country and with scenes set within an abusive internment camp in the desert. That the film doesn’t belabor or over-stress its political conscience is vintage Romero, in the best sense.” Read the rest of A.A. Dowd’s review of Army Of The Dead. The cast includes Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Ana de la Reguera, Tig Notaro, Omari Hardwick, Garret Dillahunt, Nora Arnezeder, Matthias Schweighöfer, Raúl Castillo, Hiroyuki Sanada.

Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. (Hulu, Friday, 12:01 a.m.): “If anything, M.O.D.O.K. is more in line with the absurdist character-based humor of something like American Dad! or Rick And Morty, where instead of being a bunch of nonsense where nothing matters, it’s a bunch of nonsense that takes itself seriously. Some of the Marvel stuff is used to set up jokes that comic fans will appreciate more than others (famously annoying villain Arcade shows up and shouts, ‘I hope you like being confused!’ while laying out his needlessly complicated evil scheme, which is perfect), but that comes more from the show emphasizing a playful take on what these iconic characters are like more than just trying to score points with the nerds.” Read Sam Barsanti’s review of this animated stop-motion comedy here. The star-studded voice cast includes Patton Oswalt, Aimee Garcia, Melissa Fumero, Ben Schwartz, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Jon Daly.

Regular coverage

Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Disney+, Friday, 12:01 a.m.)
Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:29 p.m.): SNL wraps up its 46th season with first-time host Anya Taylor-Joy and musical guest Lil Nas X. Dennis Perkins will recap the episode.

Wild cards

1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything (Apple TV+, Friday, 12:01 a.m.): Fans of music, history, or just the human condition in general are advised to check out Apple+’s new engrossing docuseries 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything. Director Asif Kapadia (Amy) eschews the usual talking heads interviews for aural content laid over a multitude of fascinating footage, outlining the painful end of the optimistic flower power era and rise of rock music as both a welcome escape and a vital protest for a new generation. If anything, Kapadia almost tries to cram too much into the series’ eight episodes, leading to a pinball-like sensation of jarring topical shifts. In episode one, for example, we start out by learning that Chrissie Hynde was a student at Kent State during the 1970 shootings, move to the making of Marvin Gaye’s landmark album What’s Going On, view unsettling sights from Vietnam, and are reminded that John Lennon was under investigation by the FBI as a radical (the footage of Lennon in the studio making Imagine is vault-worthy). It’s a lot to process, but 1971 is still well-worth the effort, documenting the single calendar year that saw David Bowie morph into Ziggy Stardust, the Rolling Stones create their epic Exile On Main Street, Aretha Franklin release Live At Fillmore West, and Jesus Christ Superstar reach the top of the charts, to name just a few milestones. [Gwen Ihnat]

Solos (Amazon Prime Video, Friday, 12:01 a.m.): David Weil returns to Prime Video after Hunters with this sci-fi drama anthology that explores the depths of human connection through the lens of eight characters. Season one’s cast lineup includes Anne Hathaway, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Uzo Aduba, Constance Wu, Anthony Mackie, Dan Stevens, and Nicole Beharie. Keep an eye out for Danette Chavez’s review on the site today.

P!nk: All I Know So Far (Amazon Prime Video, Friday, 12:01 a.m.): Michael Gracey’s documentary follows singer P!nk on her 2018-2019 Beautiful Trauma World Tour. It features a mix of footage from the road, exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews, and other personal material as she balances being a performer with her role as a mother, wife, and leader. Our own review from Alex McLevy says the film is “somehow both a little messy and entirely formulaic, taking a paint-by-numbers approach that never delivers anything that wouldn’t be included in a promotional video.” But hey, P!nk!

The Me You Can’t See (Apple TV+, Friday, 12:01 a.m.): It’s the Prince Harry x Oprah Winfrey collab we’ve been waiting for. The docuseries features Winfrey and the Duke of Sussex discussing their mental health journeys and talking to high-profile celebrity guests like Glenn Close, Lady Gaga, and the NBA’s DeMar DeRozan.

Trying (Apple TV+, Friday, 12:01 a.m., season premiere): The second season of this British comedy arrives and continues to follow Jason (Rafe Spall) and Nikki’s (Esther Smith) adventures as they try to become parents. The show also stars Imelda Staunton, Cush Jumbo, Ophelia Lovibond, and Sian Brooke.