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This week’s TV: Beyond ‘Ted Lasso,’ a Nancy Mitford classic, and Robin Roberts chats

Andrew Scott and Lily James in "The Pursuit of Love," an Amazon adaptation of Nancy Mitford's 1945 novel.
Andrew Scott and Lily James in "The Pursuit of Love," an Amazon adaptation of Nancy Mitford's 1945 novel.Robert Viglasky/Amazon Prime Video

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 July 26-Aug. 1.

With “Ted Lasso” back, and as warm and endearing and positive as ever, many people are signing up for Apple TV+ again. As I always say, sign up for a streaming service for a month or two, watch what you want, cancel, and move on to do the same with another service — something many did when “Ted Lasso” became a word-of-mouth hit last year.

While you’re back in Apple TV+, there are a few shows to check out if you haven’t already. “Dickinson” is a semi-comic and at times surreal take on the young Emily Dickinson, mixing the mores and costumes of the mid-19th century with today’s youth-culture tropes. The result is oddly moving, with Hailee Steinfeld flawless as Emily and Jane Krakowski, as always, a kick as her mother.

“Schmigadoon!” is a six-episode musical comedy that both lampoons and embraces early Broadway classics like “Oklahoma!” and “The Music Man.” If you like musical theater, you’ll probably enjoy it. Cecily Strong’s Melissa and Keegan-Michael Key’s Josh get trapped in a town where everyone and everything is a musical cliché, and they can’t go home until they find “true love.” The show makes fun of the sexism and vapidity of the old shows while simultaneously delivering top-notch choreography and catchy schmaltz.


Keegan-Michael Key and Dove Cameron in a scene from "Schmigadoon!”
Keegan-Michael Key and Dove Cameron in a scene from "Schmigadoon!” Robert Falconer/Associated Press

“Little America” is a lovely eight-episode anthology series, with each half-hour zeroing in on one immigrant to tell an entirely discrete story about his or her experiences in America, in coming to America, or in having to adjust to America. Each episode seems to have the reach of a full-length movie.

What else? “Defending Jacob” is an entertaining if overly drawn-out thriller, with a strong lead performance by Michelle Dockery. “Visible: Out on Television” is a strong five-part docuseries about the changes in LGBTQ representation over the decades. And the slow-burn “For All Mankind” is an alternate history that gives a new spin to the early space race between the United States and the Soviet Union.



1. Nancy Mitford’s 1945 novel “The Pursuit of Love” gets a three-part adaptation Friday on Amazon. It’s about the friendship between cousins Linda and Fanny, and Linda’s unconventional decisions, and the eccentrics in their midst, including the blustery Uncle Matthew. The cast is strong, with Lily James, Emily Beecham, Andrew Scott, Dominic West, Dolly Wells, and Emily Mortimer, who also wrote and directed the miniseries. The soundtrack is unusual for a period drama, featuring the likes of Cat Power, Bryan Ferry, and Le Tigre.

2. The six-part docuseries “Watch the Sound With Mark Ronson” looks into the intersection of artistry and technology in music, with DJ and producer Mark Ronson as the host. He’ll talk to Paul McCartney, Questlove, Dave Grohl, and others about how sophisticated studio tools have influenced their work, and at the end of each episode, he will create a piece of original music using groundbreaking technology. It premieres Friday on Apple TV+.

Clockwise from left: Tig Notaro, Robin Roberts, Raven-Symoné, and Sheila E. in the Disney+ series "Turning the Tables with Robin Roberts."
Clockwise from left: Tig Notaro, Robin Roberts, Raven-Symoné, and Sheila E. in the Disney+ series "Turning the Tables with Robin Roberts." Richard Harbaugh/Disney+

3. In the four-episode talk show “Turning the Tables With Robin Roberts,” ABC’s Roberts talks to well-known women. In each episode, she will interview three at a time from a list that includes Debbie Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Melissa Etheridge, Betsey Johnson, Billie Jean King, Tig Notaro, and Raven-Symoné. Due Wednesday on Disney+, the show will also let the guests ask Roberts questions, as the title suggests.


4. PBS’s “American Masters” is currently in its 35th season. On Tuesday at 9 p.m. on GBH 2, it is featuring “Buddy Guy: The Blues Chase The Blues Away,” a documentary on the blues master. George “Buddy” Guy went from being a sharecropper in Louisiana to become one of the most influential guitarists of all time. The film includes original interviews with Guy as well as archival performances, including footage of him on stage with the Rolling Stones. There are old interviews with Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and Willie Dixon along with new ones with John Mayer, Carlos Santana, and Gary Clark Jr.

5. One of the most famous prison riots in history is captured in HBO Max’s “Betrayal at Attica,” due on Sunday. The hourlong documentary, timed for the riot’s 50th anniversary in September, chronicles the four-day uprising at the New York prison during which 43 people died. The story is told from the perspective of Elizabeth Fink, an attorney for Attica Brothers Legal Defense, and it reveals alleged new evidence that was covered up by the state of New York.


“Tattoo Redo” A bad tattoo walks in, a good one walks out. Netflix, Wednesday

“The Demi Lovato Show” Celebrity guests will chat in the 10-minute episodes originally made for Quibi. The Roku Channel, Friday


“Back on the Record With Bob Costas” In his new gig, the longtime host of NBC’s Olympics coverage chats with top athletes about key sports issues. HBO, Friday, 11 p.m.


“Ted Lasso” The word-of-mouth hit continues to charm in season two. Apple TV+

“The End” This British-Australian import is all about end-of-life issues, and it’s a comedy. Showtime

“Schmigadoon!” Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key star in an affectionate goof on old Broadway musicals. Apple TV+

“The White Lotus” Mike White’s six-episode comedy-drama follows guests at an exclusive Hawaiian resort. HBO

“Gossip Girl” Spotted: A reboot that didn’t need to be made. HBO Max

“The Beast Must Die” Cush Jumbo and Jared Harris star in this six-part British thriller about a mother avenging the death of her son. AMC, AMC+

“Physical” Rose Byrne’s dark and compelling series is set during the aerobics craze of the 1980s. Apple TV+

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.