Jensen Ackles joins the subversive superhero thriller The Boys in Season 3 as Soldier Boy, the first Superhero. American Masters salutes the Public Theater’s late impresario, Joe Papp, on the 60th anniversary of Free Shakespeare in the Park. Turner Classic Movies names Judy Garland its “Star of the Month” on the 100th anniversary of her birth. P-Valley’s Mississippi strip club opens its doors on a second season before moving to its regular Sunday time period.
Jensen Ackles reunites with Supernatural creator Eric Kripke as he joins the ensemble cast of the bloodily subversive action series about a group of vigilantes determined to take down The Seven, the world’s most corrupt and abusive band of superheroes. Ackles is the legendary Soldier Boy, an original Superhero forged from the fires of World War II, who may be the only one powerful enough to take down the dreaded Homelander (Anthony Starr). After all of those years battling demons as Dean Winchester, our money’s on Ackles.
Joe Papp in Five Acts
American Masters pays homage to one of the most influential figures in 20th-century New York theater, whose legacy lives on at the Public Theater and its popular Free Shakespeare in the Park series, now in its 60th summer season. “He wanted theater to be as public as the library was,” explains James Earl Jones, one of the many stars who took advantage of Joe Papp’s progressive, egalitarian approach to the classics. Clashing with urban giants like Robert Moses to achieve his dream of free theater in Central Park, using hits like A Chorus Line to bankroll his eclectic vision, Papp is a towering personality, remembered by stars including Kevin Kline (who recites Shakespearean verse to open each act), Mandy Patinkin, Christopher Walken and Meryl Streep, seen in tantalizing clips from her early Park appearances (including The Taming of the Shrew opposite Raul Julia). A must for theater lovers.
The pandemic doesn’t quiet the drama at the Mississippi Delta’s liveliest strip club, The Pynk, in Season 2 of Katori Hall’s acclaimed adaptation of her provocative theater piece. As Uncle Clifford (Nicco Annan) wrangles with new owner Autumn Night (Elarica Johnson) for authority, they take the acts to an unconventional place to stay afloat during the pandemic. And as always, there’s new blood to keep things interesting in the locker room.
Guy’s All-American Road Trip
Guy Fieri packs up his family (wife Lori and sons Hunter and Ryder) for an RV road trip from Northern California to Oregon and Washington, with episodes airing through June 24. First stop: a cow and chicken farm, then a jet-boat excursion on the Rogue River. Yes, they will stop for hearty meals.
Inside Friday TV:
- Judy Garland: Star of the Month (starts at 1 pm/12c, Turner Classic Movies): A child star turned movie-musical sensation and concert superstar, Judy Garland’s tragically short and turbulent life—dying at 47 of an overdose in 1969—is the stuff of show-business legend, and TCM will showcase her films on Fridays through June on the occasion of what would have been her 100th birthday on June 10. The festival starts with early appearances in 1936’s Pigskin Parade (1 pm/12c) and Broadway Melody of 1938 (3 pm/2c), where her rendition of “You Made Me Love You” to Clark Gable’s photo put her on the path to stardom. Prime time is dominated by her youthful “Let’s put on a show” musicals with Mickey Rooney, including 1939’s Babes in Arms (8/7c) and Babes on Broodway (10/9c). Her greatest hits are yet to come.
- 20/20 (9/8c, ABC): John Quiñones conducts a prison interview with Laura Day, convicted of first-degree capital murder in the 2012 Texas drowning death of her 6-year-old stepson.
- Dateline NBC (10/9c, NBC): Andrea Canning reports on the 2015 disappearance and death in Virginia of 18-year-old Anjelica “AJ” Hadsell, and the investigation which led to the conviction in February of her stepfather.
- CNN Special Report: Missing Madeleine McCann (10/9c, CNN): Randi Kaye updates the 15-year investigation into the disappearance of 3-year-old Madeleine McCann from a resort apartment in Portugal in 2007, described as the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history. Kaye visits the family’s hometown in the U.K. and interviews a German prosecutor who has named the first formal suspect, a convicted rapist and child abuser.
On the Stream:
- Physical (streaming on Apple TV+): The White Lotus breakout star Murray Bartlett joins the 1980s-set dark comedy about the aerobics craze as Vinnie Green, a fitness instructor and weight-loss guru who gains notoriety as a late-night informercial pioneer. Sounds like our heroine, Sheila (Rose Byrne), has some stiff competition in marketing her first fitness video. A busy Friday on the Apple streamer includes the finale of the trippy thriller Shining Girls and new episodes of The Essex Serpent, Tehran and the bilingual mystery Now & Then.
- Fire Island (streaming on Hulu): Pride and Prejudice inspired the rom-com complications in a proudly diverse movie set in the gay enclave of the Pines, starring comic Joel Kim Booster and Saturday Night Live’s Bowen Yang.
- Trixie Motel (streaming on discovery+): While a new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars continues on Paramount+, Season 3 winner Trixie Mattel takes center stage in a reality series where she and partner David Silver overhaul a rundown mid-century motel in Palm Springs with the help of famous friends. Expect drop-ins from the likes of Lisa Vanderpump, Nicole Byer, Zooey Deschanel, Leslie Jordan, Iggy Azalea, Belinda Carlisle and Property Brother Jonathan Scott.
- Interceptor (streaming on Netflix): Chris Hemsworth executive-produces an action film starring his wife Elsa Pataky as Captain JJ Collins, who finds herself defending a nuclear missile interceptor base in the Pacific against an attack by a corrupt former U.S. military intelligence officer.
- Floor Is Lava (streaming on Netflix): The second season of the higher-temp Wipeout knockoff adds a slippery volcano to its daunting obstacle course.
- Hollywood Stargirl (streaming on Disney+): America’s Got Talent winner Grace VanderWaal returns to the role of sweet-voiced sweetheart Stargirl Caraway, who follows her mom (Judy Greer) from Arizona to L.A. for more uplifting, tuneful adventures.