Canines bring couples together in Freevee’s Puppy Love and Hallmark’s The More Love Grows. Peanuts’ introverted Marcie takes the spotlight in a Snoopy Presents animated special. OWN celebrates a half-century history of Essence magazine and its influence on Black culture. The infamous “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match provides the backdrop for an empowering episode of ’70s comedy Minx.
The “awwws” are deafening in a romcom starring two of TV’s more adorable stars, The Flash’s Grant Gustin and Pretty Little Liars’ Lucy Hale, as singles brought together by their amorous pooches. He’s anxiety-ridden Max, she’s free spirit Nicole, and while their first date is a bust, their dogs get along so famously a litter is on its way. As the prospect looms of co-parenting new pups, so does the time-honored maxim of “opposites attract.”
The More Love Grows
Not to be outdone, Hallmark offers up SEAL Team’s Rachel Boston (a channel favorite) as newly single Helen, who finds friendship with a stray dog after her husband dumps her. She might also find love in the form of a kindly and handsome veterinarian (The Watchful Eye’s Warren Christie).
Snoopy Presents: One-of-a-Kind Marcie
Best known as the wallflower who insists on calling Peppermint Patty “sir,” Peanuts’ perpetual sidekick Marcie gets the star role in an animated special joining Apple’s charming library of Snoopy-related programming. She’s used to being taken for granted, acting as Patty’s golf caddie and solving her friends’ problems behind the scenes. But when she’s unexpectedly elected class president, Marcie may need to lean on her friends to learn how to handle the spotlight she has shunned for so long.
Time of Essence
A five-part docuseries, each episode devoted to a different decade, celebrates the 50-year history of Essence magazine and how the groundbreaking publication reflected and influenced Black culture. Oprah Winfrey leads a celebrity gallery of famous fans interviewed in the series, joined by the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Vanessa Williams, Halle Berry, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Taraji P. Henson, Beverly Johnson, and Motown’s Suzanne de Passe. The first chapter covers the turbulent 1970s, when the magazine was launched amid a culture war with Black women seeking more representation in media and politics. It was the right magazine at the right time.
The infamous 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs provides the literal and metaphorical backdrop for another spirited episode of the period comedy about a trend-setting erotic women’s magazine. While the Minx office settles in for a raucous watch party, with chauvinists getting their comeuppance in a variety of outrageous ways, editor Joyce (Ophelia Lovibond) is off to Las Vegas with her dispirited publisher Doug (Jake Johnson) to sell the magazine’s international rights. While there, she participates in a panel taking on a condescending boys’ club of peers. Community’s Gillian Jacobs guest-stars as Joyce’s frenemy from New York, launching a rival mag, Gal. Is there room for two in the marketplace?
INSIDE FRIDAY TV:
- Secret Celebrity Renovation (8/7c, CBS): Network sitcom star Beth Behrs (2 Broke Girls, The Neighborhood) gives back to the college bestie who always knew she’d make it by working with the team to make over her California home. It’s also a trip down memory lane when Behrs takes host Nischelle Turner to visit the UCLA Department of Theatre, where it all started.
- Family Law (8/7c, The CW): When the sibling lawyers take on the case of a 40-year-old client still living in his parents’ basement, they each take stock of their own family dependencies.
- Men in Kilts (9:30/8:30c, Starz): It’s not quite the Highland Fling, but Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish get into the spirit of the Maori culture during their New Zealand trip by learning ceremonial dances and fighting techniques.
ON THE STREAM:
- Harlan Coben’s Shelter (streaming on Prime Video): Jaden Michael is high-school hero Mickey Bolitar in a series adaptation of Coben’s book series, depicting his move to New Jersey after his father’s death and getting all Hardy Boy when another new student mysteriously disappears.
- LEGO Disney Princess: The Castle Quest (streaming on Disney+): Everything will be awesome if LEGO versions of classic Disney princesses—Ariel (Jodi Benson), Moana (Auli’i Cravalho), Rapunzel (Mandy Moore), Tiana (Anika Noni Rose), and Snow White (Katie Von Till)—can stop the dastardly Gaston from taking over their kingdoms.
- Chris Fleming: Hell (streaming on Peacock): The YouTube performance artist (Gayle) delivers an absurdist stand-up set dissecting performance anxiety through sketches and bizarre musical interludes.
- Every Body (streaming on Peacock): The documentary feature profiling three members of the intersex community makes its streaming debut.
- Honest Renovations (streaming on The Roku Channel): Jessica Alba and her BFF Lizzy Mathis help overwhelmed growing families renovate their cluttered, chaotic nests.
- The Monkey King (streaming on Netflix): Silicon Valley’s Jimmy O. Yang is the voice of the cocky title hero, taking on scores of demons and a Dragon King (SNL’s Bowen Yang) in a comedic animated action film for family audiences.