HomeTelevisionSummer of ’69 on ‘The Wonder Years,’ ‘Full Monty’ Revisited,

Summer of ’69 on ‘The Wonder Years,’ ‘Full Monty’ Revisited,


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ABC’s Peabody-winning reimagining of The Wonder Years returns for a long-delayed second season, set in the summer of 1969. A new comedy-drama catches up with the blue-collar heroes of the 1997 British hit The Full Monty a quarter-century later. An Oscar-nominated documentary short captures a father asking his daughter the same questions on her birthday from age 2 to 18. A sequel to the nature documentary Our Planet focuses on animal migrations around the world.

Saycon Sengbloh, Laura Kariuki, Patti Labelle, Elisha Williams, and Dulé Hill pose for a Williams family for 'The Wonder Years' - Season 2

ABC/Matt Miller

The Wonder Years

Inexplicably kept off ABC’s prime-time lineup through the regular season, the charming Peabody-winning coming-of-age comedy returns for a summer run, reintroducing viewers to the Williams family, as the classic Wonder Years (1988-93) is reimagined into the story of a Black family in 1960s Alabama seen through the eyes of teenage Dean (Elisha “EJ” Williams). As the series picks up, we’re in the summer of 1969 and Dean has followed his “cool” musician dad Bill (Dulé Hill) to New York City where Bill is pitching songs to Marvin Gaye and paying scant attention to the historic moon landing. They’re both feeling like outsiders, which makes them fitting neighbors to Lonnie (guest star Tituss Burgess), who performs in drag under the name “Sybil Disobedience.” Back home, Dean’s mom Lillian (Saycon Sengbloh) is surprised by a visit from her recklessly good-time sister Jackie (Phoebe Robinson), who gives Dean some advice about his awkward love triangle upon the guys’ return home. It’s good to have these folks back on TV.

Talitha Wing and Robert Carlyle in 'The Full Monty'

FX/Hulu

The Full Monty

Life goes on, some 26 years later, for the shaggy-dog working-class heroes of 1997’s feel-good hit movie from the U.K. An eight-part dramedy from FX revisits the Full Monty characters in their left-behind burg of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, led once again by the charismatic Robert Carlyle as Gaz, who once upon a time urged his buddies to join him in an infamous strip routine. They mostly keep their shirts on and their heads down in this sequel, where the tone is set in the first episode by Gaz’s rebellious teenage daughter Destiny (Talitha Wing, a find) who inadvertently kidnaps a dog that won the Britain’s Got Talent contest, setting off a chain of amusing but heart-rending consequences. The entire season is available for binge-watching, but I’d take it slow. Sheffield is a tough place to visit. You wouldn’t want to live there.

How Do You Measure A Year

HBO

How Do You Measure a Year?

A sweet curtain-raiser for Father’s Day, this Oscar-nominated documentary short (at 30 minutes) is an intimate and often enchanting trip through time, as filmmaker Jay Rosenblatt trains his camera on his delightful daughter Ella, peppering her with questions (“What are dreams?” “What is power” “What are you most afraid of?”) on every birthday. He started the project when she turned 2 and made it an annual tradition through her 18th year. We watch Ella grow in startling spurts from a playful toddler into a lovely young woman anxiously embarking on her own life away from family.

'Our Planet ll'

Netflix

Our Planet II

Once again, Sir David Attenborough is our guide through the marvels of nature. In a four-part sequel to the 2019 docuseries, Our Planet turns its focus to migration and how the movement of billions of animals at any given time can change the balance of nature around the globe. The photography, as always, is stunning.

Brian Tyree Henry in 'Class of 09'

Hulu

Class of ’09

In the penultimate episode of the chilling FBI-meets-Artificial Intelligence drama, we see the benefits of AI sifting through data to locate a serial killer and pursue white-collar crooks in the present-day (2025) storyline. Tayo (Brian Tyree Henry) advocates for the new “system,” but in the future of 2034, after the AI weaponizes itself against anyone who questions it, Tayo’s attempts to shut it off could ruin his career. In the 2009 storyline, the Quantico trainees submit to their final test and learn where they’re being assigned, not always a happy discovery.

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne in 'Platonic'

Apple TV+

Platonic

My new guilty pleasure is this midlife buddy comedy starring Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen as married-with-children Sylvia and newly divorced man-child Will, who’ve rekindled their friendship after many years. More shock waves ensue from their disparate lifestyles when Sylvia prepares to re-enter the legal workforce while Will badgers her to become more friendly with his free-spirit girlfriend Peyton (Emily Kimball), a professional babysitter who’s looking forward to celebrating her 26th birthday.

INSIDE WEDNESDAY TV:

  • Small Town Potential (9/8c, HGTV): Designer and real-estate agent Davina Thomasula teams with her life partner and contractor Kristin Leitheuser to help make people’s dreams of small-town life in New York’s lush Hudson Valley a reality. They start by renovating an 1800s-era farmhouse, then transform an attic into an art studio.
  • Save My Skin (9/8c, TLC): U.K. dermatologist Dr. Emma Craythorne is back for a fourth season of helping patients with extreme skin conditions—including Emily, who has psoriasis over her entire body.
  • Temptation Island (9/8c, USA, simulcast on E!): Four new couples—including, for the first time, an engaged pair—test their commitment in the paradise of Kona, Hawaii, where they’re tempted to stray with 16 hot singles. Followed by the series premiere of The Big D (10/9c), originally developed for TBS, in which six divorced couples head to Costa Rica to either rekindle their romance or find new love in the tropics. The Bachelorette’s JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers host.
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (10/9c, FXX): If all goes well, South Philly’s infamous dive bar Paddy’s Pub will be featured on Bar Rescue. But when do things ever go well for these bozos? They begin to think they’re cursed, and not just because of Mac’s (Rob McElhenney) creepy monkey’s paw.
  • Superstar (10/9c, ABC): A new installment of the celebrity docuseries explores the life and legacy of R&B breakout Aaliyah, whose life was cut short at 22 by a plane crash in the Bahamas.

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