No matter how much free time you have this weekend, we have TV recommendations for you. Come back every week for new suggestions on what to watch.
This Weekend I Have … an Hour, and I Like Biographies
When to watch: Now, on HBO Go and HBO Now.
Just when it seems as if you’ve watched everything, here’s a Brazilian series (in Portuguese and French, with English subtitles) about the aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont (played by João Pedro Zappa), complete with balloon high jinks. At moments, the mini-series feels like dreamy steampunk thanks to sputtering machinery and fussy mustaches — and Santos-Dumont’s own interest in Jules Verne — but it’s more of a romantically composed period piece. If you like airships, gloves, 1890s Paris or heroes who maybe haven’t gotten their due in the United States, watch this.
… Two and a Half Hours, and I Like Banter
‘Great Performances: Much Ado About Nothing’
When to watch: Friday, at 9 p.m., on PBS. (Check local listings.)
Sometimes Shakespeare adaptations set in the modern day are all corny eyebrow-waggles and hip thrusts, and you feel as if you’re an eighth-grader being forced to politely endure. Mercifully, this recent “Much Ado About Nothing,” filmed this summer at Shakespeare in the Park and featuring an all-black cast, feels fresh and fleshed-out, quick but not hurried. Danielle Brooks is the highlight as the snappy and savvy Beatrice, smarter than everyone’s shenanigans but not immune to the draw of romance.
… Three Hours, and I Like Pebbly Beaches
‘Back to Life’
When to watch: Sunday at 10 p.m., on Showtime.
This gentle British import finishes its six-episode first season this weekend, with two half-hour episodes airing Sunday night. But the show works best in a marathon viewing session, so fire up the On Demand or your streaming device and watch all six in a row. Daisy Haggard , who is also the show’s creator, stars as Miri, a woman who was convicted of a serious crime many years ago and now, having been released from prison, is trying to build her life back in her small hometown. This isn’t a misery-mystery show, even though there are a lot of sweaters and cold beaches and people gravely considering dark secrets. Instead, it’s a light dramedy, thanks largely to Haggard’s warm and inviting performance.
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