What’s on TV
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD (2018) 8 p.m. on HBO; stream on HBO platforms. We’ve come a long way since J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” hit the big screen. That movie spawned seven sequels and a spinoff franchise that began with “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” in 2016. “The Crimes of Grindelwald” is the second in that series and the prequel to the Potter films. Our resident “magizoologist,” Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), sets out to stop the menacing wizard Grindelwald (Johnny Depp in true Depp form) from disrupting the peace between magical and nonmagical beings and sparking a movement of pure-blood wizard domination. (The metaphors are hard to miss.) While the film upholds Rowling’s limitless creativity — the scenes are rich with detail and stunning visuals — she packs it with so many characters and subplots that you may be left searching for a single thread to hold onto.
CLIQUE Stream on Hulu. Critics have called this psychological thriller Britain’s version of “Gossip Girl.” (It’s an appropriate comparison, considering “Clique” was created by Jess Brittain, the writer behind the British teen drama series “Skins.”) The first season of the show centers on rich and — we soon learn — dangerous alpha girls at a Scottish university who come between a pair of childhood best friends, Holly (Synnove Karlsen) and Georgia (Aisling Franciosi). The second season, now available to stream on Hulu, comes with a gender switch and more of a political tone: The intimidating clique is a pack of attractive libertarian boys who go head-to-head with progressive classmates on campus.
NEVER GROW OLD (2019) Stream on Amazon. This dark western plays like a morality tale, blurring the line between good and evil through the goings-on in an American frontier town called Garlow. Set in the late 1800s, the film follows Patrick Tate (Emile Hirsch), an Irish undertaker whose job had been steady until a local preacher banned liquor in the town. Suddenly, bodies stopped piling up. That changes when an outlaw, Dutch Albert (John Cusack), strolls into Garlow and unleashes a wave of violence and corruption. Patrick is left contemplating whether to carry on with his work with his head down, or to muster the courage to stand up to Cusack’s villain.
CHIEF OF STAFF Stream on Netflix. Fans of “The West Wing” and “House of Cards” may want to give this South Korean drama series a try. The show centers on Jang Tae-jun (Lee Jung-jae), a former police officer and an aide to a lawmaker in the National Assembly. He works wonders for his boss but also has ambitions of his own. As he tries to climb the political ladder, Jang strikes up a secret relationship with a lawyer who works for a rival faction of his party.
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