What’s on TV This Week: ‘After Yang’ and the State of the Union
Between network, cable and streaming, the modern television landscape is a vast one. Here are some of the shows, specials and movies coming to TV this week, Feb. 28-March 6. Details and times are subject to change.
TRAYVON MARTIN: 10 YEARS LATER 8 p.m. on BET. Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old Black teenager in Florida, was shot and killed almost exactly 10 years ago by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain. Gayle King, the co-host of “CBS Mornings,” hosts this hourlong special, which commemorates Martin and looks at the activism that his death continues to help galvanize. The program includes interviews with Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, and other mothers whose children have been killed by the police or by gun violence.
MY BRILLIANT FRIEND 10 p.m. on HBO. The third season of the show, which centers on a friendship between two girls, Lenù and Lila, who come of age in mid-20th-century Naples, will debut on Monday night. It is adapted from the third of Elena Ferrante’s four Neopolitan books, “Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay,” and finds Lenù and Lila grappling with careers, marriage and, eventually, motherhood. This will be the final season for the actresses Margherita Mazzucco, 19, and Gaia Girace, 18: The fourth book in the series, “The Story of the Lost Child,” which would be the focus of a potential fourth season, revolves around the characters in middle age. “I have never read the final pages of the fourth book,” Mazzucco told The New York Times recently. “I don’t want to know how it ends.”
STATE OF THE UNION 9 p.m. on various networks (check local listings); streaming on Facebook, Twitter, WH.gov and YouTube. President Biden is set to deliver his State of the Union speech to Congress on Tuesday night. Biden will presumably speak to the progress that his administration has made since his first address to Congress last year — including the passage of the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and the nearly $1.9 trillion stimulus package — though he’ll have a lot more to cover. He’s likely to address Russia’s war on Ukraine, the selection of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as his nominee to the Supreme Court and the state of the coronavirus pandemic, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention loosen safety guidelines.
Inside the World of Elena Ferrante
The mysterious Italian writer has won international attention with her intimate representations of Neapolitan life, womanhood and friendship.
THE LARRY DAVID STORY 9 p.m. on HBO. What’s the difference between Larry David the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” character and Larry David the successful producer and performer? Based on a trailer for “The Larry David Story,” the answer is a dusting of facial hair and a touch of introspection. David reflects on his life and career in this two-part documentary, which covers his upbringing in Brooklyn, his beginnings in comedy, his success with “Seinfeld” (which he co-created) and his more recent work on “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” The documentary was directed by the comic and filmmaker Larry Charles, a staff writer on “Seinfeld” whose well-established rapport with David comes through in their conversations.
LA STRADA (1956) 6 p.m. on TCM. When the Oscar for best international feature is handed out at the Academy Awards ceremony next month, the winner will become part of a lineage that “La Strada” helped establish: This Federico Fellini classic was the first movie to win the best foreign-language film honor when that category became a competitive award at the Oscars in 1956. The movie raised the profiles of both Fellini and his wife and collaborator, Giulietta Masina, who plays a young woman who is sold to a traveling circus strongman (Anthony Quinn). “‘La Strada’ is often sentimental and not always convincing but the ending packs a wallop,” J. Hoberman wrote about the film last year in his “Rewind” column.
THE FRENCH DISPATCH (2021) 8 p.m. on HBO Signature. Wes Anderson drew inspiration from the old-school days of The New Yorker for this ornate anthology comedy, which follows a collection of eccentric magazine writers and their subjects — played by an ensemble that includes Bill Murray, Benicio Del Toro, Léa Seydoux, Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton — in a mid-20th-century French city. Typewriters clack. Cocktails disappear.
AFTER YANG (2022) 9 p.m. on Showtime. In his 2017 feature debut, “Columbus,” the filmmaker Kogonada used the modernist architecture of Columbus, Ind., to give a surreal, otherworldly undercurrent to a modest story about a close friendship. His new movie, “After Yang,” takes place solidly in the future: It centers on a mother (played by Jodie Turner-Smith), father (Colin Farrell) and young daughter (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja) whose humanoid robot, Yang (Justin H. Min), breaks down. The loss of Yang is essentially the loss of a family member, but it may be possible to repair him.
F9 (2021) 8 p.m. on HBO. If the “Fast and Furious” movies went all-electric, and the grunt of gasoline engines was muted, the series could still rely on Vin Diesel’s voice to fill out the low end of the sonic spectrum. The latest installment of the series introduced a new villain, played by John Cena, and brought back the familiar faces of Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron. The movie also saw the return of the director Justin Lin, a veteran of the franchise who had stepped away for several years. Lin makes the movie “feel scrappy and baroque at the same time,” A.O. Scott said in his review for The Times.
NBC NEWS PRIMETIME SPECIAL 9 p.m. on NBC. Lester Holt interviews the former Attorney General William P. Barr in this hourlong special. The two discuss Barr’s final days as Attorney General during the Trump administration, when he rebuked former President Donald J. Trump’s false claims of a stolen election by acknowledging that the Justice Department had found no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. The conversation also touches on policing in America, among other topics.