En español | It’s a week of destination TV, as Oprah commands Sunday night with her exclusive interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, and when Grey’s Anatomy returns later in the week with tantalizing appearances of Doctor McDreamy. Want more? Eddie Murphy’s back in a laugh-out-loud sequel to Coming to America. Stock up on extra popcorn ... and pass the remote!
Don’t miss this week’s battle royal
Oprah with Meghan and Harry (CBS, March 7, 8 p.m. ET)
The queen of media lands the big interview this Sunday: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, who accuse “the Firm” (as they call Queen Elizabeth and clan) of being cold and nasty — like they were to Harry’s mother, Princess Diana. Or is the Duchess of Sussex the nasty one, accused of staff abuse and splitting the family in a battle royal? See if Oprah gets to the bottom of it.
Watch it: Oprah with Meghan and Harry, on CBS
Don’t miss this: Who topped AARP’s Movies for Grownups Awards in the TV category? We think you’ll love our winners ... read all about them, right here: Complete List of AARP’s Movies for Grownups Winners
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, March 11, 9 p.m. ET)
Last seen suffering hallucinations of her late husband, Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), thanks to COVID-19 complications, Ellen Pompeo’s Dr. Meredith Grey is back when the show returns for the second half of the 17th season. It’s a crossover episode with ABC’s Station 19 (March 11, 8 p.m. ET), where Dr. Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) and his sister Carina (Stefania Spampinato) hunt a suspected sex trafficker after two apparent teen victims wound up at Meredith’s hospital. Grey’s Anatomy fans are guaranteed at least two more McDreamy sightings this season — he’s a hallucination, but you can’t have everything.
Watch it: Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy at 8 and 9 p.m. ET on ABC
Welcome to your best laugh of the week
Coming 2 America (Amazon Prime)
Happily married Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy, 59, who also plays multiple supporting characters) ascends the Zamundan throne after the death of King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones, 90). The rules of succession demand a male heir. So Akeem and wingman Semmi (Arsenio Hall, 65) go back to Queens — and the illegitimate son (Jermaine Fowler) he unwittingly left behind. The cast is so delicious — charismatic Wesley Snipes (58) as the evil general from Nextdoria, brassy baby mama Leslie Jones (53) and funky Tracy Morgan (52) as the lad’s uncle, to name a few, plus musical guests John Legend, Gladys Knight (76) and Salt-N-Pepa. —Thelma M. Adams (T.M.A.)
Watch it: Coming 2 America, on Amazon Prime Video
DON’T MISS THIS: Eddie Murphy’s 10 Best Movies, Ranked
Love Law & Order? Have we got a list for you!
If you’ve been part of Law & Order nation since Jerry Orbach was shaking his head at corpses on the mean streets of New York in the 1990s, we know you’ve followed the spin-offs — six, with a seventh on the way in April — and have watched some of them become blockbusters. But which ones are the best of the best? Our critics have ranked all seven Law & Order iterations, plus offered up the very best episode from each series to watch right now. It’s a dream come true. Check it out here: What’s the Best Law & Order Series of All Time?
SVU fans, have we got news for you
Stabler is back. Ten years after he left Law & Order: Special Victims Unit to star in very un-SVU shows like True Blood and Pose, Christopher Meloni — as his popular character, NYPD detective Elliot Stabler — has put his badge back on. On April 1, Meloni (and Stabler) will return in NBC’s newest Law & Order series, Law & Order: Organized Crime. Meloni, who turns 60 the day after the show launches, sat down with AARP to talk about what it’s like bringing back this memorable character.
Read it here: Christopher Meloni Is Back in SVU Spin-Off
There's a bunch of great stuff on Netflix!
And you wouldn’t be wrong to think that. While you’ve been getting The Queen’s Gambit and Bridgerton under control, our critics have been poring over this month’s new batch of films and series for a short list of what you’ll want to catch. Open your calendar to mark the dates and films, right here: The 13 Best Things Coming to Netflix in March
The best thing on Netflix this week is out of this world (and so is its star)
What do AARP and George Clooney have in common? Our biggest cinematic honor, it turns out. The 59-year-old actor and director will receive AARP Movies for Grownups’ annual Career Achievement Award, at the Movies for Grownups Awards, broadcast for the fourth consecutive year by Great Performances on PBS. Read all about it here: George Clooney: Movies for Grownups Career Achievement Honoree
And don’t miss his recent Netflix directorial/acting film
The Midnight Sky, PG-13
As the star of this existential drama about a dying scientist racing to prevent a group of astronauts (David Oyelowo, Demián Bichir, Felicity Jones and Kyle Chandler) from returning to Earth after an apocalypse that destroyed civilization, George Clooney acts beautifully. He directs many space-calamity scenes on a par with the seven-time Oscar-winning Gravity (where he played an astronaut), as well as a cross-country Arctic trek that’s often as gripping as ones in The Revenant (which The Midnight Sky’s writer also wrote). But the plot has fuzzy logic, and the characters are a bit sketchy. Still, there’s about an hour’s worth of epic, ambitious, thoughtful, deeply heartfelt story in there. Clooney remains one of our most promising up-and-coming directors.
Watch it: In select theaters and on Netflix
Who’s a Wheel watcher?
If you’re anything like us, you cut your Q&A teeth on America’s great quiz and game shows, all the way from To Tell the Truth and What’s My Line? to The $10,000 Pyramid and the newly rebooted Supermarket Sweep. Our critics risk Double Jeopardy by not only naming the best game shows in TV history but ranking them all the way to No. 1. Do our answers match yours? Survey says!: The Best Game Shows in TV History, Ranked
Here are the 10 shows you can stream and be as hip as your grandkids
We might be the land of TV for grownups here, but that doesn’t mean we don’t keep our eye on what younger viewers are loving — especially when those shows are worth the time and attention of the AARP crew. In fact, our critics rounded up 10 terrific series that millennials and younger are watching, which means you’ll have a whole new bunch of stuff to talk about with your young coworkers or grandkids. Check out the whole list (and take 20 years off your TV-watching age), here: 10 TV Shows You Should Watch So You Can Talk About Them With Your Grandkids
Calling All Friends Fans ...
Could we be any happier that HBO Max is running all 10 seasons of Friends? And can you believe that the entire cast is now age 50-plus? In honor of one of TV’s best ensemble casts ever joining the AARP cohort, we’ve gone down the trivia rabbit hole and emerged with a brand-new TV for Grownups quiz: How Well Do You Know These “Friends”? We’ve got trivia about the real cast members as well as their characters. Have fun testing your recall, and challenge your fellow fans.
Take the quiz here: How Well Do You Really Know These “Friends”?
AARP Talks With …
Get behind the scenes of the biggest shows on TV right now with our brand-new interview with ABC reporter Bob Woodruff, 58, who joins up with his son for a new travel show on Disney+; plus Killing Eve’s Sandra Oh, Mrs. America’s Margo Martindale, Making the Cut’s Tim Gunn, and Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi.
Also Catch Up With ...
The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Singer Andra Day channels Holiday’s haunting voice and haunted soul in Lee Daniels’ film about the jazz genius and Federal Bureau of Narcotics chief Harry Anslinger’s relentless quest to destroy her. Why the obsession? Not merely because Holiday had a drug addiction — the anti-lynching song “Strange Fruit” threatened to become the mournful anthem of a movement. “She kicked off the civil rights movement by defying the government to sing a song about Black people being lynched,” says director Daniels, the first Black Oscar nominee for both best picture and director (for Precious). —Lisa Kennedy
Watch it: The United States vs. Billie Holiday, on Hulu
Murder Among the Mormons
Brilliant Mormon indie director Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) made a fascinating documentary about the man who may be America’s greatest forger of historical documents, which fooled the FBI, the church’s top authorities — and his best friends, some of whom wound up blown to bloody bits. As one says, “The only way to keep a secret between two people is to kill one of them.”
Watch it: Murder Among the Mormons, on Netflix
RELATED: Protect yourself and loved ones with AARP’s Fraud Watch Network
If you liked Frances McDormand in Fargo, you’ll love her as Fern, a prickly sixtyish widow who loses her job in Empire, Nevada, and hits the road in an RV, picking up work wherever she can: drugstores, restaurants, grim Amazon warehouses. Some of the folks she meets on the road are real people telling their own stories. A fiction film, it’s inspired by a nonfiction book. But it also plays like an epic myth, set in spectacular landscapes John Ford movies made famous. Fern is living proof that not all who wander are lost.
Watch it: Nomadland, in theaters and on Hulu
Allen v. Farrow
Documentary titans Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering present the horrifying case against Woody Allen in a four-part blockbuster starring his daughter Dylan, ex-wife Mia Farrow, son Ronan Farrow, family friend Carly Simon, prosecutor Frank Maco and many others who support Dylan’s accusation that Allen sexually assaulted her when she was 7. There could be a counter-documentary starring Allen, his wife Soon-Yi Previn and Mia’s estranged son Moses, who accuses her of abuse and defends Allen. But until they make one, this documentary will dominate Allen’s public image.
Watch it: Allen v. Farrow, on HBO
I Care a Lot
Evil legal guardian Marla (Gone Girl’s Rosamund Pike) is delighted to meet Jennifer (Woody Allen’s Oscar-magnet actress Dianne Wiest), because the elderly lady has no close relatives and oodles of cash — the perfect person to defraud and rob. But surprise! Jennifer also has a Russian gangster friend (Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage) who’s a match for Marla.
Watch it: I Care a Lot, on Netflix
RELATED: Protect yourself and loved ones with AARP’s Fraud Watch Network: Scam, Fraud Alerts
A dramatization of the astounding real case of Ross Ulbricht, aka Dread Pirate Roberts, the tech whiz kid who invented the online site Silk Road, where anyone could buy drugs, weapons and poison as easily as a toothbrush on Amazon, only you had to pay with bitcoin, not cash. Ulbricht made over $1 million a day and now spends life in prison. Not a sensationally great movie, but what a story!
Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy
(CNN, Sundays, 9 p.m. ET)
Who needs a real trip to Italy? It’s more fun to tag along with The Hunger Games star and eloquent gourmand Stanley Tucci as he returns to the land of his forebears, noshing and sipping his way through six cities and their signature dishes — from Naples tomatoes to Milanese pizzoccheri.
Watch it: Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, on CNN
GET BEHIND THE SCENES: Tucci talks with AARP about his touching new film Supernova, which follows a couple (played by Tucci and his longtime real-life pal Colin Firth) on a last sentimental journey to England’s picturesque Lake District, the land of Romantic poetry, as Tucci’s character copes with early-stage Alzheimer’s. Read it here: Stanley Tucci Explores the Landscape of Love and Early Dementia
(CBS, Sundays, 8 p.m. ET)
More macho than Edward Woodward in the original 1980s show and cooler than Denzel Washington in the movie versions, Queen Latifah takes on their old role as an ex-CIA agent who goes rogue in a good way, defying authorities and standing up for the downtrodden. Is she tough? She stages a prison break on a motorcycle!
Move over, The Queen’s Gambit and Bridgerton — Netflix’s new unexpected No. 1 hit is Lupin, whose 70 million viewers will exceed those other addictive must-see series. The dazzling Omar Sy plays a thief and master of disguise whose crimes avenge his father’s false imprisonment and death at the hands of a monstrous plutocrat, society’s puppet master and orchestrator of a massive conspiracy against the downtrodden, especially the hero’s family. His exploits keep you guessing, while the spectacular French locations keep you wishing you could go there. The ideal show for COVID escapist viewing.
Watch it: Lupin, on Netflix
All Creatures Great and Small
(PBS, Sundays, 9 p.m. ET)
Want to escape America in 2021? Flee to comforting 1930s Yorkshire, as a newcomer veterinarian (Nicholas Ralph) copes with small-village folkways, lovable dogs, difficult cow pregnancies, an irritable boss (Mr. Selfridge’s Samuel West) and eccentric animal owners like Mrs. Pumphrey (the late Diana Rigg in her last role), who just might pamper her Pekingese puppy Tricki Woo to death. It’s an all-new version of the classic book, just republished in a 50th-anniversary edition.
Watch it: All Creatures Great and Small, on PBS
Sam Pollard’s devastating documentary concerns the FBI’s surveillance of, and obsession with, the civil rights leader, from 1963 to his 1968 assassination. Prolific Emmy winner Pollard (who has chronicled Zora Neale Hurston, Sammy Davis Jr. and August Wilson) weaves rich black-and-white archival footage with the shrewd insights of political experts and historians.
One Night in Miami, R
Oscar- and Emmy-winning powerhouse actress Regina King, 49, directs a talky screen adaptation of Kemp Powers’ 2013 play, which imagines a fictional February 1964 night in Miami. Boxer Cassius Clay (Eli Goree), activist Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), athlete Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) and crooner Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) gather, party and discuss what it meant, and what the obligations were, to be a successful Black man in ’60s America.
Watch it: One Night in Miami, on Amazon Prime
(NBC, Thursdays, 8 p.m. ET)
Ted Danson is great in Tina Fey’s new sitcom about a businessman, Neil Bremer, who comes out of retirement to find himself the mayor of Los Angeles, with an irritable liberal, Arpi Meskimen (Holly Hunter), as his deputy mayor. “I am 10 years younger than you, but I’m perceived as a kooky old woman and you’re still a sexually viable man,” Meskimen complains to Bremer. “Thank you!” he says. “Like underwear bought in a drugstore, you’re not going to last two months,” she predicts. Though it’s not quite as good as 30 Rock, the stars’ repartee has a familiar ring, and their show will likely last longer.
Watch it: Mr. Mayor, on NBC
Call Your Mother
(ABC, Wednesdays, 9:30 p.m. ET)
In her new sitcom showing off her comedy chops, The Closer star Kyra Sedgwick plays an empty-nester mom who moves thousands of miles to get back into her kids’ lives.
Watch it: Call Your Mother, on ABC
RELATED: Kyra Sedgwick tells AARP how she dealt with her own empty nest, shares the quarantine baking project she’s obsessed with and explains how Call Your Mother can help us all get through pandemic times: Read more here.
Wouldn’t it be great if Downton Abbey had the wickedness of Gossip Girl? That’s what you get from this escapist romantic period fantasy, the first Netflix series from Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal), the super-producer who shocked Hollywood by defecting from ABC to the streaming service in a historic $100 million deal. It’s like Jane Austen with a feminist spin and a multiracial cast like Hamilton — and like Hamilton, Bridgerton’s Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) may have had Black ancestry. The queen likes to meddle in the social season and loathes her rival: viper-tongued gossip columnist Lady Whistledown (Julie Andrews, who advises ambitious girls to learn “the art of the swoon, managing to faint with nary a petticoat out of place”). It’s all sumptuous, very 1811 and 2021, and altogether swoonworthy.
Watch it: Bridgerton, on Netflix
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Viola Davis and, in his last role, the late Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther) star in Pulitzer Prize-winner August Wilson’s illustrious tale of Ma Rainey, the 1920s Mother of the Blues. It’s hard to say which actor scores the more towering performance. It’s like a duet between geniuses — or, since they’re fighting bitterly over how Ma should record her music, old-dirty-blues-tent-show style or hepcat modern jazz style — an acting duel. Both win, as do all of us.
RELATED: Viola Davis tells AARP about Ma Rainey, August Wilson, aging, her big break, and what happens when you get everything you always wanted. Read it here: Viola Davis Finds a Powerful Voice
(Showtime, Sundays, 10 p.m. ET)
Bryan Cranston, who played a good-hearted teacher forced to go criminal to save his family on Breaking Bad, plays a New Orleans judge scheming to help his son escape a hit-and-run accident charge in a high-stakes cat-and-mouse game with the law.
Watch it: Your Honor, on Showtime
RELATED: Cranston talks with AARP about his two good bad-guy roles and his real-life near-recovery from COVID-19: Bryan Cranston Is Back to Challenge Our Loyalties in Your Honor
The Life Ahead, PG-13
At 86, Sophia Loren is back! In her terrific new tearjerker, directed by her son Edoardo Ponti, she heartwarmingly plays a former prostitute, Holocaust survivor and caretaker for streetwalkers’ children. She looks after an orphaned African street kid (Ibrahima Gueye), grudgingly at first, and develops a deep bond with him.
Watch it: The Life Ahead, on Netflix
RELATED: Sophia Loren tells AARP about her comeback and her six life lessons
The Trial of the Chicago 7, R
An utterly wonderful, vivid dramatization of the trial of Chicago’s 1968 demonstrators, with bravura performances by Frank Langella as Judge Julius Hoffman, Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman, Michael Keaton as Ramsey Clark and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Bobby Seale.
Watch it: The Trial of the Chicago 7, on Netflix
RELATED: Frank Langella tells AARP about The Trial of the Chicago 7, his string of history-based hits and the best time of his life — his 80s — here: All Rise for Frank Langella
Netflix’s Black Lives Matter Collection
Netflix unveils a useful, intelligently curated menu of 48 or so top titles including When They See Us, Moonlight, Malcolm X and the current must-see, Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods (which could win star Delroy Lindo the Oscar he’s deserved for some time, and maybe the Emmy, too).
Watch it: On Netflix
Tim Appelo covers entertainment and is the film and TV critic for AARP. Previously, he was the entertainment editor at Amazon, video critic at Entertainment Weekly, and a critic and writer for The Hollywood Reporter, People, MTV, The Village Voice and LA Weekly.