Worth Watching: Black Comedy Revolution, ‘Flash’ Finale, ‘Home Improvement’ Stars Reunite
A two-night docuseries charts the history of Black comedians as they boldly pushed boundaries from the civil rights movement to today. The Flash faces more challenges in the Season 8 finale. Tim Allen reunites with his Home Improvement co-star Richard Karn to explore the history and future of tools in History’s More Power. Niecy Nash and Giancarlo Esposito are parents of a rising musical star in the Netflix movie Beauty.
Kevin Hart is among the executive producers of a vivid two-night pop-culture survey (concluding Thursday) which over four hours traces the bold history of Black comedians who pushed boundaries to make their voices heard, using humor to expose the prejudices and challenges of their times. With copious archival clips and interviews with historians and top comics of today, Revolution charts the evolution from civil-rights era pioneers Redd Foxx, Moms Mabley and Dick Gregory to superstars including Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Whoopi Goldberg and Chris Rock, the impact of shows like In Living Color and Def Comedy Jam and more recent breakout talent from Key & Peele and Issa Rae to Tiffany Haddish.
Maybe Barry (Grant Gustin) needs to slow down after a turbulent season when he raced all year to find a cure for wife Iris’ (Candice Patton) time sickness, then mourned the loss of villain turned ally Frost (Danielle Panabaker). Reeling from the latest setback, the Flash is going to need the rest of the team to rally around him more than ever in the Season 8 cliffhanger.
As Tim Taylor and long-suffering sidekick Al Borland on Home Improvement’s show-within-a-show Tool Time, Tim Allen and Richard Karn made quite the comedy duo. They’re not joking now, as they reunite to host a new series—with woodworking YouTube star April Wilkerson assisting—that explores the history and evolution of tools. Each 30-minute episode takes a basic tool (blades, magnets, lasers) and breaks down its past, present and future. Along the way, they test drive big machines in the field and welcome skilled makers into Tim’s shop for “Tim’s Maker Challenge,” where they’re tasked to add more power to everyday tools.
Lena Waithe (Queen & Slim) wrote this modern fable about a gifted young Black singer named Beauty (Gracie Marie Bradley), who’s on the cusp of stardom after being discovered by a music exec (Sharon Stone) with a lucrative contract. Her parents (Niecy Nash and Giancarlo Esposito) aren’t so sure Beauty is ready to withstand the beastly pitfalls that come with celebrity. Neither is her girlfriend.
Also on the Stream:
- Baymax! (streaming on Disney+): A spinoff of the Big Hero 6 franchise follows the friendly healthcare companion robot (voiced by Scott Adsit) on a series of animated adventures.
- All Star Shore (streaming on Paramount+): Reality stars don’t go away, they just move on to new opportunities for overexposure. Which explains this latest spectacle, in which alums from Jersey Shore (and other Shore-based series), Love Is Blind, RuPaul’s Drag Race and Bachelor in Paradise gather at a shore house in the Canary Islands to play a series of party games.
- Pirate Gold of Adak Island (streaming on Netflix): The mayor of the Alaskan isle sends a team of treasure hunters to search for an estimated $365 million of buried gold pirate booty. One complication: the island harbors unexploded bombs that date back to WWII.
- The Upshaws (streaming on Netflix): The working-class family sitcom set in Indianapolis returns for a second season, with mechanic Bennie (Mike Epps) doing his best to provide for his family, including wife Regina (Kim Fields) and her sarcastic sister Lucretia (Wanda Sykes).