New this week: ‘The Starling’, Diddy and Billy Bob Thornton | Way of life


Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press entertainment reporters on what’s coming to TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.


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– The best way to remember Norm Macdonald, who passed away last week at the age of 61, is probably to surf YouTube for late night clips and “Saturday Night Live”, search Twitter for trivia and to read some of the many beautiful tributes written about the comedian. But while the films made up a smaller portion of Macdonald’s output, his straightforward, straightforward comedy could be all the more distinct on the big screen. If his singular rhythm stood out on “SNL”, it was totally out of place in studio comedies. His first film was Adam Sandler’s “Billy Madison” (available for digital purchase), the first in a long series starring Sandler. Macdonald mostly sat by the pool and played a drunkard; as Sandler recounted, Macdonald fell asleep in their first scene together. “Dirty Work” (1999), currently airing on HBO Max, was one of Macdonald’s few leading roles. The Bob Saget-directed film, released on the heels of Macdonald’s infamous “SNL” release, suggests a cinematic journey that never unfolded for Macdonald. For some, it’s a cult classic.

– Writer-director Theodore Melfi and Melissa McCarthy reunited in 2014 in “St. Vincent”, in which she played the role of the single mother next door to Bill Murray. This was a first clue of McCarthy’s talent as a dramatic actor, several years before his big performance in “Can You Forgive Me?” In Melfi’s “The Starling,” which debuts on Netflix Friday, the two reunite with McCarthy with half a couple, Lilly and Jack (Chris O’Dowd) ruined by grief over the death of their baby. Lilly becomes obsessed with battling an annoying starling that nests in her garden, which becomes an unlikely cure for her. Critics of the Toronto International Film Festival have suggested this Melfi-McCarthy collaboration is not as successful.

– AP Writer Jake Coyle


– William Shatner continues where no man has gone before, this time with his new spoken word album “Bill”, released Friday. Like the star’s other “Star Trek” albums, there are undoubtedly choppy, accented words to the music and lyrics that explore aging, fame, and the very nature of existence. He veers to the edge of the camp then walks away. Shatner also brought famous friends: “Clouds of Guilt” with Joe Jonas, “Made in the Shade” with Joe Walsh and “So Far From the Moon” with Brad Paisley.

– Alternative rockers X Ambassadors will release their third studio album, “The Beautiful Liar” on Friday. This time, brothers Sam Nelson Harris and Casey Harris have created a concept album that pays homage to radio dramas and books on tape they listened to as children. It tells the story of a blind teenage girl discovering her long-dormant superpowers and punctuates a variety of musical styles – from the wacky and catchy “Adrenaline” to the ballad “Okay” – with a series of interludes.

– Diddy has new music coming out on Friday, the album called “Off the Grid Vol. 1”. This is Diddy’s first release since his 2015 “MMM” mixtape, which featured artists such as Travis Scott, Future, Lil ‘Kim, Big Sean, Ty Dolla $ ign and Wiz Khalifa. The rapper hasn’t released a full album since “Last Train to Paris” in 2010. Diddy – whose name changed from Puffy to Puff Daddy to P. Diddy, to Diddy then to P. Diddy – changed his second first name in “Love” and announced the album with the slogan “Welcome to the Love Era!”

– AP Entertainment writer Mark Kennedy


– The Fox Business Network series “How America Works,” which begins at 8 p.m. EDT Monday, is one of a list of new programs the network says will celebrate “American industry and ingenuity.” Narrated by Mike Rowe, the hour-long “How America Works” will focus on those who work around the clock to keep the country’s infrastructure in order. Other new series include “American Gold: The Legend of Bear Gulch” (8 p.m. EDT Wednesday), about a family’s mining business in Montana, and “The Pursuit! With John Rich ”(9 p.m. EDT Wednesday) with the country music star interviewing fellow musicians, celebrities and entrepreneurs.

– “Goliath” and lawyer Billy McBride’s struggles are coming to an end. The Amazon series, starring Billy Bob Thornton in the title role, saw McBride chasing a buyout that ended in tragedy and undermined his career, his psyche and his health. In the final season, he returns to his law firm roots and, along with his legal partner Patty (Nina Arianda), takes on the opioid industry. The eight-episode conclusion will be released Friday, with Bruce Dern, Jena Malone and JK Simmons on board for the final chapter.

– It’s not the usual for Broadway or the Tony Awards. The ceremony, which has long aired on CBS, will instead air on the network’s corporate brother, streaming service Paramount +, at 7 p.m. EDT Sunday. Audra McDonald will host the event honoring the best of the 2019-2020 season truncated by the pandemic. CBS keeps control with “The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back,” airing at 9 p.m. EDT Sunday with host Leslie Odom Jr. The special promises a celebration of live theater with “Broadway show superstars,” songs nominated shows and the presentation of three Tony Awards.

– AP television writer Lynn Elber

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