Are we entering an era of the nice-guy comedy? The second season of “Ted Lasso” arrives on
TV+ Friday, and already fans are clamoring for the comedy series about an American football coach hired to coach soccer in the U.K. The series has grown so popular that even real coaches want to be more like Jason Sudeikis’s Ted Lasso, a guy who doesn’t know much about the sport but has a talent for getting the best out of his players.
The series picked up 20 Emmy nominations last week, a record for a comedy in its first season. Its success so far also follows last year’s comedy favorite, “Schitt’s Creek,” another sitcom known for its earnestness, that swept all of the comedy categories at last year’s award ceremony.
Here’s what else is streaming this week, including the Olympics:
How to Stream: The Olympics
(Peacock, NBC Sports)
NBC Universal’s Peacock streaming service was counting on the 2020 Summer Olympics as marquee content for its launch last summer. With the games delayed to this year, Peacock is streaming some of the Olympics’ high-profile events, and is sending Amber Ruffin, one of its new late-night stars, to contribute to the coverage.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
What shows and movies have you been streaming lately? Join the conversation below.
Peacock’s live coverage includes men’s and women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s track and field, and every USA men’s basketball game. All of the coverage is available to stream free, except for men’s basketball, which requires users to subscribe to the premium tier (free for some cable subscribers). Other Olympics coverage is available on various NBC sites, apps and channels, including NBCOlympics.com, which begins live coverage of the opening ceremonies at 6:55 a.m. ET on Friday.
Comedian Amber Ruffin, the host of Peacock’s “The Amber Ruffin Show”—nominated for an Emmy last week for outstanding writing for a variety series—is in Tokyo for the games providing analysis and commentary for the streamer.
“Families weren’t allowed this year,” she says, “and I’m hoping to fill that gap a little bit by making sure every participant knows that they are an adorable baby doing a good job.”
New Release: ‘Ultra City Smiths’
“Ultra City Smiths,” a comedy/crime noir that features stop-motion animated dolls, stars Jimmi Simpson and Da’Vine Joy Randolph as a pair of police detectives investigating the disappearance of one of the city’s bigshots. Other voices include those of Kristen Bell, John C. Reilly, Dax Shepard and Debra Winger. It is narrated by Tom Waits, who opens the series by informing viewers: “No one’s dreams come true in Ultra City.”
The series, which premieres Thursday on AMC+, was created by Steve Conrad, known for live-action series such as
Prime Video’s “Patriot” and Epix’s “Perpetual Grace, LTD.” But Mr. Conrad says when he explored a ‘70s noir-style aesthetic for a different project several years ago, he and his cinematographer determined that not being able to shoot on film and capture light in New York the way they would like made it impossible to get the right look. So, to capture the mood for “Ultra City,” he used stop-motion animated dolls inspired by the baby dolls that producer Jeff Dieter was buying at flea markets and transforming into adults.
“There was something about middle-aged paunch on a baby doll or male-pattern baldness on a baby doll or bad hair on a baby doll,” he says, “that really drew out what that burden might feel like for a grown-up to have to carry those things around.”
New Release: ‘Sexy Beasts’
In the first episode of “Sexy Beasts,” a new dating show that premieres Wednesday on Netflix, three men in masks compete for a young woman decked out as a demon. As she eliminates a gentleman after each round, the ousted man reveals his face and she is given a chance to express remorse for her decision.
The elimination dating show, narrated by Rob Delaney, is the latest Netflix show that tries to put personality and wit before looks. Next week, for example, “Love Is Blind: After the Altar”—a companion series to “Love Is Blind”—premieres on Netflix. Unlike “Love Is Blind,” “Sexy Beasts” doesn’t expect couples to tear off their masks and spend the rest of their lives together. Creator Simon Welton says he is satisfied if folks at home enjoy spending 20 minutes watching a few singles have fun going on dates in masks.
“Everyone loves that spark when you first meet somebody and you’re like, ‘Ooh, there’s something really interesting about that person,’ ” he says. “That spark is really important. So, that’s the core of it. But, marriage? Marriage is a little bit more serious.”
New Release: ‘Turner & Hooch’
“Turner & Hooch,” the 1989 buddy comedy about an uptight cop and the slobbery dog who barges into his life, might be remembered as a popular Tom Hanks movie, if not one of his most critically lauded. It has a 52% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where its page includes a pull quote from the Buffalo News that reads: “Hanks’ taste in picking movie projects continues to be abominable.”
Mr. Hanks isn’t in the new Disney+ series “Turner & Hooch.” His character, Scott Turner, has just died as the series begins. The new story revolves around his son, Scott Turner, Jr., (Josh Peck) an uptight U.S. marshal, who begins looking into one of his dad’s old cases. The series begins much the same way as the movie: A young Mr. Turner has a dog drop into his lap (his dad’s), he reaches for help from a young woman who works with animals, and quickly leans on Hooch around the office.
Back on board for the series in a supporting role is Reginald VelJohnson, a fixture of the ‘80s and ‘90s for playing cops in movies like “Die Hard” and the sitcom “Family Matters.” In the more than three decades between “Turner and Hooch” the movie and the series, his character, David Sutton, has risen from detective to mayor and acts, he says, “as a father figure to the family” after the death of the elder Turner.
“It was a part of my legacy,” Mr. VelJohnson says of the movie. “I wanted to re-create the role because I enjoy doing it so much.”
Copyright ©2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8