DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

GARY EDGERTON

ROGER CATLIN

KIM AKASS

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
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TUESDAY
NOVEMBER 12
2019

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

Disney+, 3:00 a.m. ET

STREAMING NETWORK LAUNCH: This changes things. Big time, and immediately. Changes in TV history tend to arrive incrementally, but Disney+ arrives today, hitting the TV landscape like a giant asteroid. It’s less a day-one dip into the waters than an all-out naval assault. The original series premiering today on Disney+ are impressive, and many will be detailed in separate listings below. But the backlog, the existing offerings available to stream immediately for $7 a month (or $70 if you prepay for a year), include such animated Disney classics as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi. Other movies, like Mary Poppins and The Incredible Journey, are here too, as are most of the Star Wars films, and various Muppet movies, and Toy Story and other Pixar films, and many of the Marvel movies, and all episodes of The Simpsons. For my review of the new programs on Disney+, and to sample them, listen to my review today on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Or to see me talk about Disney+ more spontaneously, take another look at yesterday’s edition of TVWW’s Best TV Tomorrow. In both places, it’s the TV event of the day.
 
  
 
 

Disney+, 3:00 a.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: These short Pixar treats are only three minutes long, but they’re delightful and addictive. They star the spunky spork from Toy Story 4, and address such questions as today’s premiere query, “What is money?” The one I adore, “What is a friend?,” arrives Friday – and when I road-tested it in previews with my granddaughter, Reina, we ended up making a running joke of imitating the name of Forky’s new best friend: “Whaaaat? Nooooo!”
 
  
 
 

Disney+, 3:00 a.m. ET

MOVIE PREMIERE: Do we need a “live-action” version of this classic Disney animated film? Well, no. But this new remake actually is kind of charming. I miss the Siamese cats singing “We are Siamese if you please…” (they still sing, but a different, new song), but Lady and the Tramp still share a great plate of spaghetti and meatballs (Mmmmm, meatballs!). And the old hound dog, voiced by Sam Elliott, couldn’t be more perfectly cast.
 
  
 
 

Disney+, 3:00 a.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: This documentary series is the one show, of all the new offerings on Disney+, that made me cry – because it’s so inspirational. The premise sounds so corporate, but it’s all heart: the folks at Marvel comics identify young people who are making a difference in the world or overcoming personal difficulties, and awards them by making them the hero of a limited-edition Marvel comic. “Sensational Jordan” is the title of the premiere episode – and young Jordan, who turns her disability into a glitter-spouting fashion statement, amid other kinds of statements, is indeed sensational.
 
  
 
 

Disney+, 3:00 a.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: Here’s another nonfiction series from Disney+ that pleasantly surprised me. The affable Jeff Goldblum sets out to explore one topic per episode, diving into the world of obscenely expensive sneakers or superbly satisfying ice cream (Mmmmm, ice cream!). Goldblum asks good questions, and wears his emotions on his sleeves. He’s a bit like a modern Charles Kuralt on the road, with even more hugging.
 
  
 
 

Disney+, 3:00 a.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: Oh, I love this nonfiction series, too. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the Disney empire, beginning with the initial plans for, and launch of, his Disneyland theme park. The “home movie” footage is fabulous, and the imagination of the “imagineers” is all but unimaginable.
 
  
 
 

Disney+, 3:00 a.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: I haven’t seen this yet – but as the newest entry in the Star Wars saga, available exclusively on Disney+, it doesn’t need me to steer it your way. It’s created and written by Jon Favreau, and stars Pedro Pascal.
 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

  
   Visit our TV We're Watching page for these and other shows on our DVRs right now...



Bojack Horseman
Netflix
Streaming 

Catherine the Great
HBO
Mondays
9 PM ET 

The Circus
Showtime
Sundays
8 PM ET   

The Cry
Sundance
Wednesdays
11 PM ET 
 

Evil
CBS
Thursdays
10 PM ET   

The Good Place
NBC
Thursdays
9 PM ET  

Modern Love
Streaming
Amazon Prime

Mr. Robot
USA
Sundays
10 PM ET 

Real Time with Bill Maher
HBO
Fridays
10 PM ET 

Watchmen
HBO
Sundays
9 PM ET
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

And Our Friends Are All Aboard– On the week and month that Abbey Roadis re-released on its golden anniversary, it doesn't seem that improper to go from golden to yellow — and to Ringo Starr's recent visit to NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, where the host, the guest, and the Roots all grabbed classroom instruments and dove into a very animated version of "Yellow Submarine." My grandkids can sing along. You should, too. – David Bianculli

 
 

BUT WAIT... THERE'S MORE!


FRESH AIR FAVES

Audio of Bianculli's favorite 'Fresh Air' reports, and the stories behind them...


FAVES FROM
"THE MORGUE"

Bianculli's favorite newspaper articles, and the stories behind them...


EXTRAS & FEEDBACK

Share your favorite TV in-jokes and first TV loves...
 
 
 
Good News TVWW readers: Television Finales: From Howdy Doody to Girls, the new collection edited by Douglas Howard and TVWW’s David Bianculli, is now on sale. More than ever, series finales have become cultural touchstones that feed watercooler fodder and tweet storms. TV Finales brings together seventy chapters, each focusing on a separate show, including reliable milestones such as The Fugitive and M*A*S*H through cutting-edge favorites like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Breaking Bad. Writers include today’s leading TV critics, along with many TVWW contributors. "The last word on TV endings." (Matt Zoller Seitz, New York Magazine)
 
 
Television today is better than ever, and David’s book, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific explores it all and how we got here. (Now on sale for $12). David maps the evolution of the classic TV genres – the sitcom, the crime show, doctor dramas, the Western – and many others. "The Platinum Age is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era... interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Matt Groening, Larry David, and Amy Schumer are high points. Bianculli has written a highly readable history." –The Washington Post
 
 
 

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