Your TV GPS, Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert’s look at the week ahead in television, appears every Monday morning on BostonGlobe.com. Today’s column covers June 28-July 4.
PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER
I’ve written a bit about the saga surrounding the PBS “Masterpiece” series “Sanditon.”
Long story short, PBS aired a season-long adaptation of the unfinished Jane Austen novel in 2020. The story line — written for the screen by Andrew Davies — ended in a very un-Austenian way, which made many viewers unhappy. But they assumed the trademark happily-ever-after would arrive in season two.
However, the series had been canceled by ITV in the United Kingdom, and there would be no season two. Fans of the show here and across the pond made their disappointment loud and clear, and, wonder of wonders, it was finally renewed in May — for two seasons. PBS has teamed with the streamer BritBox to produce the new episodes.
So that happy ending is on the way? Not exactly. The romantic lead from season one, Theo James, has said that while Rose Williams will be back as Charlotte, he will not return as Sidney. “Although I relished playing Sidney, for me, I’ve always maintained that his journey concluded as I wanted it to,” he said in a statement. “The broken fairy-tale like ending between Charlotte and Sidney is different, unique and so interesting to me . . .”
That’s not stopping the lovers of the series from celebration. I just learned that they are hosting Sandicon22, a fandom conference in London that will last for three days in mid-March, at the Kimpton Fitzroy London Hotel. Those who attend also can opt into a weeklong tour of various relevant sites. See all the details at sandicon.org. A related podcast about Sandicon22 will be released on June 29.
So it’s a happily ever after of sorts.
WHAT I’M WATCHING THIS WEEK
1. Remember “Schoolhouse Rock”? “We the People,” produced by Barack and Michelle Obama and Kenya Barris, is a kind of newer version. It’s a series of educational animated shorts about the basic rights of American citizenship. Each short is set to original songs performed by artists such as Janelle Monáe, H.E.R., Adam Lambert, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Andra Day. It premieres Sunday on Netflix.
2. Showtime has a feature-length documentary about Dick Gregory, the comedian and activist who died in 2017. Called “The One and Only Dick Gregory,” it looks back at his career as a self-described “agitator,” and it features interviews with Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Kevin Hart (an executive producer on the film), Wanda Sykes, W. Kamau Bell, and others. There’s a lot of archival footage of Gregory’s early career onstage, and there are interviews with him shortly before his death.
3. “Dragging the Classics: The Brady Bunch” may be the crossover event we’ve all been waiting for. Members of the casts of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “The Brady Bunch” are joining forces to recreate the episode called “Will the Real Jan Brady Please Stand Up?” That’s the one where Jan wears a black wig because she thinks she’s being shunned at school over her blond hair. The cast will feature Barry Williams, Christopher Knight, Mike Lookinland, Eve Plumb, and Susan Olsen from the “Bunch” and Bianca Del Rio, Shea Couleé, Kylie Sonique Love, Kandy Muse, Nina West, and BenDeLaCreme from the “Race.” It’s available Wednesday on Paramount+.
4. There are fireworks this year, on Sunday at 8 on NBC’s “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular.” The live two-hour show will include the fireworks display along the NYC skyline as well as performances by Black Pumas, Coldplay, OneRepublic, Reba McEntire, and more.
5. In “Martha Gets Down and Dirty,” icon and ex-con Martha Stewart shares her gardening secrets. The eight-episode series, due Thursday on Discovery+, features Stewart prepping her farm for the summer season, and giving advice (virtually) to famous friends including Kim Kardashian West, Seth Meyers, Tiffany Haddish, Al Roker, Ellen Pompeo, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton, Brooke Shields, Alyson Hannigan, and Tamron Hall.
“The Legend of the Underground” A documentary about the challenges of being LGBTQ in Nigeria. HBO, Tuesday, 9 p.m.
“Tom and Jerry in New York” The cartoon characters are back in this new series, cat-and-mousing their way through the city. HBO Max, Thursday
“Roswell: The Final Verdict” A miniseries on the 74th anniversary of the famous extraterrestrial incident. Discovery+, Friday
“Physical” Rose Byrne’s dark and compelling series is set during the aerobics craze of the 1980s. Apple TV+
“Us” A bittersweet two-part “Masterpiece” about a middle-aged couple traveling in Europe while on the brink of divorce. GBH 2
“Feel Good” The second and final season is textured, funny, and fitted with a clear theme: trauma and recovery from it. Netflix
“Kevin Can F**k Himself” A inventive satire about sitcoms and sexism starring a charming Annie Murphy. AMC, AMC+
“We Are Lady Parts” An entertaining British comedy about the members of an all-female Muslim punk band. Peacock
“Starstruck” A rom-com about the relationship between Rose Matafeo’s London twentysomething and a movie star. HBO Max
“Lisey’s Story” A plodding Stephen King adaptation starring Julianne Moore and Clive Owen. Apple TV+