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Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand lead Apple TV Plus' The Tragedy Of Macbeth

Plus: 2 new Netflix shows, The Expanse and After Life end, a Ray Donovan movie, and a Discovery+ docuseries on the real-life crime that inspired Scream

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Image for article titled Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand lead Apple TV Plus' The Tragedy Of Macbeth
Photo: Apple TV+

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Friday, January 14, and Saturday, January 15. All times are Eastern.

Top picks

The Tragedy Of Macbeth (Apple TV+, Friday, 12:01 a.m.): “Frances McDormand produces the film with [director] Joel Coen and plays Lady Macbeth, while Denzel Washington fills the famous role of Lady Macbeth’s Husband. That’s really the adaptation’s biggest change, if far from unprecedented and not requiring a formal rewrite: Here, Lord and Lady Macbeth are an older couple whose chances at glory are quickly drying up. The power grab they cook up, setting the film’s tragedy into motion, plays as both urgent, because of their age, and oddly pragmatic, because Washington and McDormand are both experts at appearing reasonable.” Here’s the rest of Jesse Hassenger’s review of the film. Brendan Gleeson, Corey Hawkins, Moses Ingram, Kathryn Hunter also star.

Archive 81 (Netflix, Friday, 3:01 a.m.): “The eight-episode horror series uses a found-footage framework to dive into a chilling but connected tale set in different timelines. While it borrows aspects from various horror favorites like Rosemary’s Baby, The Shining, The Blair Witch Project, The Ring, immersive and riveting storytelling help Archive 81 from seeming like a boring rip-off.” Read the full review here.

Regular coverage

RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1, Friday, 8 p.m.)
Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:29 p.m.): West Side Story’s Ariana DeBose hosts SNL for the first time with musical guest Bleachers. The pop band replaces previously announced Roddy Rich.


Movie night

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania (Amazon Prime Video, Friday, 12:01 a.m.): “A well-known leading actor removing himself from a franchise in its fourth entry would usually be a sign of major downgrade—a signal that a movie series has lost its mojo. To animation fans, though, the departure of Adam Sandler from Hotel Transylvania: Transformania might be a blessing in disguise.” Here’s the full review of the film by Jesse Hassenger.

Ray Donovan: The Movie (Showtime, Friday, 9 p.m.): Following its abrupt ending in season seven, Ray Donovan returns as a one-off film to close the story. Directed by David Hollander, it follows a determined Ray (Liev Schreiber) as he tries to track down an on-the-run Mickey (Jon Voight) before he can cause any more damage


Kyle Fowle writes in his review: “Ray Donovan: The Movie doesn’t make much of a case for its own existence. This is perfunctory storytelling, a rather artless and dull 100 minutes that does nothing but check off a few predictable narrative boxes. When the show was canceled, seemingly out of nowhere after being a stubborn stalwart of knockoff prestige TV over at Showtime since 2013, you could say some of the story was left unresolved. But that would imply that the drawn-out feud between Ray and his father, Mickey, had any gas left in the tank.”

Wild cards

After Life (Netflix, Friday, 3:01 a.m.): Created by and starring Ricky Gervais, this dark comedy wraps up its run with season three. The show follows newspaper writer Tony Johnson, who is grief-stricken and struggles to move on after the death of his wife. He decides to spend his life punishing the world for her demise by saying and doing whatever he wants. Fortunately for him, his loved ones try to make him a better person. In the last season, Tony finally starts realizing that making other people feel good is what gives him hope.

The House (Netflix, Friday, 3:01 a.m.): “Netflix’s new anthology film features a screenplay by award-winning Irish playwright Enda Walsh, directed by a handful of contemporary animators who have been preserving and advancing stop-motion techniques, via their prize-winning shorts and commercials. A quasi-horror picture—more of a quietly arty creep-out than a full-on shocker—The House takes advantage of the inherent otherworldliness and timelessness of stop-motion, to tell three linked, untitled stories about people and creatures who get trapped in an elegantly furnished nexus between realities.” Noel Murray’s full review is here. The voice cast includes Helena Bonham Carter and Matthew Goode.

Scream: The True Story (Discovery+, Friday, 3:01 a.m.): While the world catches up with Sidney Prescott, Gale Weathers, Dewey Riley, and the new Ghostface in Scream, Discovery+ is looking at the real-life crime that inspired the original 1996 movie. The documentary unpacks the murder spree of serial killer Danny Rolling a.k.a. the Gainseville Ripper. Paranormal investigator Steve Shippy and psychic medium Cindy Kaza join forces to uncover Rolling’s claims that a demon made him kill.

The Expanse (Amazon Prime Video, Friday, 12:01 a.m., series finale): The epic sci-fi drama ends its six-season run with today’s episode. In his review of the final season, Zack Handlen writes: “The fact that The Expanse manages to reach a conclusion without completely embarrassing itself is cause for relief, and maybe even some backhanded praise. But while this review won’t spoil anything to come, it might be best to head into the sixth season with moderate expectations when it comes to the grand finale. Think less ‘grand’ and more ‘functional.’”