Watching: What to Watch This Weekend

Art, apes and an earnest family drama.

Author Headshot

By Margaret Lyons

Television Critic

Dear Watchers,

NBC announced this week that “Superstore” will end after its sixth and current season. It has 11 episodes to go.

Have a good weekend. Stay safe.

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This weekend I have … an hour, and I like art

Keith Haring.The Haring Foundation, via PBS

‘American Masters: Keith Haring: Street Art Boy’

When to watch: Friday at 9 p.m., on PBS. (Check local listings.)

This brief biography almost feels like a table of contents for what could be a dozen other episodes. It covers not only the artist Keith Haring but also street art of the 1970s and ’80s, rad parties, the evolution of one intersection as a microcosm for gentrification in New York City, recreational drug use and the role of public art. In one archival clip, a woman with short gray hair questions Haring about a chalk drawing on a subway platform. “Who are you doing it for?” she asks. “Um, for everybody, I guess,” Haring replies, and a little smile spreads across the woman’s face.

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… an hour, and I like cuddling

Leigh Leigh, top, and Rebecca in a scene from “Baby Chimp Rescue.”BBC America

‘Baby Chimp Rescue’

When to watch: Saturday at 8 p.m., on BBC America.

Every show about nonhuman primates includes a lot of impish snuggling, but this three-part series about a sanctuary facility in Liberia is on another plane thanks to 21 affectionate baby apes who all want to be held, groomed and in on the action. Cuteness abounds, and depending on how many toddlers are in your orbit, so does familiarity: Why, what better to hang on and then fling myself from than this here doorknob? If you’re more of a rescue dog person than a rescue chimp person, fear not, there are dogs on this show, too.

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… a few hours, and I’m earnest

Alexander Elliot, left, and Rohan Campbell in the new adaptation of “The Hardy Boys.”Brooke Palmer/Hulu

‘The Hardy Boys’

When to watch: Now, on Hulu.

Don’t be fooled by the hazy visuals, retro aesthetic and moody lighting — this isn’t really part of the “Riverdale” darkly horny teen soap genre. It’s a lot more wholesome, in a good way. Think “Everwood” crossed with “Stranger Things”: It’s the 1980s, some spooky stuff is afoot, and the Hardy boys (Alexander Elliot and Rohan Campbell) have moved back to the small town where their recently deceased mother grew up. While 13 episodes is a few too many, the show has a fun, confident energy. If you liked “Locke & Key,” watch this.

Your newly available movies

Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan in “Ammonite.”Neon

The prestige movie season picks up steam with “Ammonite,” starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, and “Mank,” the director David Fincher’s salty treatment of the writing of “Citizen Kane.” But our critics found documentaries about the mayor of Ramallah (“Mayor”) and about the Wuhan coronavirus lockdown (“76 Days”) equally compelling.

Some independent films are available via “virtual cinemas,” which share the rental fees between distributors and theaters. Unless otherwise noted, other titles can generally be rented on the usual platforms, including Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu and YouTube. — Scott Tobias

‘76 Days’ (A Critic’s Pick, via virtual cinema)

Though the movie reckons with suffering, it’s also a workplace documentary about doctors and nurses doing their utmost to help, clad in full-body suits playfully decorated with doodles and writing. — Nicolas Rapold (Read the full review here.)

‘Ammonite’ (A Critic’s Pick)

The movie needs [Kate] Winslet and [Saoirse] Ronan’s skills, their ability to semaphore more with sliding glances and tiny gestures than many actors manage with pages of dialogue. — Jeannette Catsoulis (Read the full review here.)

‘Freaky’

Written by [Christopher] Landon and Michael Kennedy, this genre-straddler gives throwaway characters inventively messy ends and its two leads the freedom to experiment. As the swappers settle into their new forms, [Vince] Vaughn and [Kathryn Newton] prove remarkably effective at selling the benefits of their alternate packaging. — Jeannette Catsoulis (Read the full review here.)

‘Godmothered’ (Disney+ only)

Now streaming on Disney+, the film recalls the studio’s once-upon-a-time hit, “Enchanted,” although here, the conceit loses much of its charm. — Natalia Winkelman (Read the full review here.)

‘Mank’ (A Critic’s Pick; Netflix only)

Many of the delights of “Mank” are verbal — the deliciously literate script is by Jack Fincher, the director’s father. Mank flings bons mots and brickbats with mischievous relish, and there are a handful of smart people around who can return his volleys with proper screwball topspin. — A.O. Scott (Read the full review here.)

‘Mayor’ (A Critic’s Pick, via Film Movement virtual cinema)

A disarming subject, [Musa] Hadid comes across as a cleareyed, forthright leader. But “Mayor” also stands out because [David] Osit has thought it through in cinematic terms: He knows when to dwell on a striking image (such as Hadid examining a painting of Jerusalem on his global travels) and when to let a counterintuitive soundtrack selection play through. — Ben Kenigsberg (Read the full review here.)

Also newly available:

EXTRA-CREDIT READING

Stage to screen: Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m.

How does a great play or musical turn into an extraordinary movie? When — and why — does Hollywood look to Broadway for inspiration? Explore how theater becomes film with Viola Davis, her “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” colleagues and the creative team behind the feel-good musical “The Prom.” RSVP to attend.

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