From the compelling backstory of how “Tetris” became a cultural juggernaut to a return to “Riverdale,” here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music and video game platforms this week.
NEW MOVIES TO STREAM
— Romantic comedy fans would do well to make an evening around “Rye Lane,” a Sundance Film Festival breakout that arrives on Hulu on Friday. The 80-minute charmer follows 20-somethings Dom (“Industry’s” David Jonsson), sensitive and a little uptight, and Yas (Vivian Oparah), a lively free spirit, on one eventful day in South London. When they meet, they are strangers who are reeling from bad breakups and appear to be polar opposites. The feature debut of director Raine Allen-Miller and writers Tom Melia and Nathan Byron, “Rye Lane” has garnered comparisons to Richard Curtis in his heyday and had critics singing about Jonsson and Oparah’s terrific chemistry its freshness.
— “Tetris,” a new film coming to Apple TV+ on Friday, explores the wild origin story of how one of the most popular video games of all time reached the world from its Soviet beginnings. Taron Egerton, sporting a Ted Lasso mustache, plays Henk Rogers, the American who secured the rights to distribute it globally from the Soviets and, specifically, Alexey Pajitnov, the Russian computer engineer who created the addictive block puzzle. Directed by Jon S. Baird, the film takes quite a few liberties with the truth to create suspenseful, comedic, Cold War-era thriller.
— With over $2.3 billion grossed at the box office, there’s a good chance you (and everyone you know) has already seen “Avatar: The Way of Water,” James Cameron’s 13-years-in-the-making, $350 million, 3-hour-long spectacle that won over critics and audiences alike, despite over a decade of jokes about its cultural irrelevance. Now after months of playing in theaters only, you can finally bring Pandora to your living room. Starting Tuesday, it’ll be available to purchase digitally (its Disney+ release date has yet to be announced). The film left this critic (a self-proclaimed “Avatar” agnostic) dazzled and floating on a blockbuster high. But a big question remains: Will it have the same impact on the small screen?
NEW MUSIC TO STREAM
— When Joni Mitchell was celebrated with the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the event was by invitation only. Now PBS is inviting you to watch a recording of that night from earlier this month. It airs Friday and features James Taylor, Brandi Carlile, Annie Lennox, Herbie Hancock, Cyndi Lauper, Marcus Mumford, Graham Nash, Diana Krall, Lucius and Angelique Kidjo. Mitchell will sing George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.”
— Chlöe — the elder half of Chloe x Halle — is releasing her solo debut, “In Pieces," on Friday. The 14-track album has features by Chris Brown (on ”How Does It Feel"), Missy Elliott (on “Told Ya”) and Future (on “Cheatback”). The cover art depicts Chlöe holding a colorful, crystalline version of her heart. “I hope this project brings healing to those who listen, as it’s been completely therapeutic for me,” she wrote on social media. In the single, “Pray It Away” she sings “I lost my halo/My halo is gone.”
— AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy
NEW TELEVISION TO STREAM
— A new docuseries on Fuse tackles issues surrounding women in sports including mental health, gender, race, social stigmas, and body image. “Like A Girl” is hosted by former college basketball player and designer Bejia Velez. Female athletes featured include Paralympic swimmer Anastasia Pagonis, beach volleyball player April Ross, who is a three-time Olympic medalist, and a skateboarder from Jersey City, New Jersey named Jennifer Soto. “Like a Girl” debuts Wednesday on Fuse.
— “Riverdale” returns for its final season Wednesday on the CW. Season seven begins with Archie, Veronica, Betty, Jughead and the rest of the gang transported back to the age of sock hops, swing skirts, cardigan sweaters and milkshakes in 1955. Jughead is the only one who remembers where they came from and works to convince his friends that they need to get back to their former lives. Like the previous “Riverdale” seasons, the last episodes will also feature a murder mystery.
— “The Big Door Prize” is a new series on Apple TV+ that’s a blend of sci-fi, comedy and heart. A mysterious machine that can reveal people’s true purpose in life appears in a local drug store and turns a small-town upside down. Some view the machine’s revelations as a push in the right direction and freedom to live out fantasies. Others feel defensive or let down by what the machine says. The series stars Chris O’Dowd (“Bridesmaids”) in a charming and delightfully silly role — but each episode also focuses on a different character’s reaction to their personal prediction by the machine. The show is based on the novel by M.O. Walsh and debuts Wednesday.
— Alicia Rancilio
NEW GAMES TO PLAY
— Major League Baseball is always looking for ways to reach a younger audience. Which may explain why Jazz Chisholm Jr. — an appealing yet unproven young outfielder for the Miami Marlins — is on the cover of MLB The Show 23. On the other hand, the most intriguing new feature of the annual baseball sim may be more appealing to old-timers: a mode celebrating heroes of the Negro Leagues like Satchel Paige and Buck O’Neil. The just-concluded World Baseball Classic tournament is also part of this year’s lineup. As usual, Sony’s San Diego Studio has spent the offseason tinkering with game mechanics and graphics, most dramatically by giving you the ability to scan your own face onto a player. The Show 23 steps up to the plate Tuesday on PlayStation 5/4, Xbox X/S/One and Nintendo Switch.
Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.
The Associated Press