Here’s what’s worth watching, streaming and procrastinating with this weekend.
“The Deuce” (HBO, Sept. 10)
HBO nixed its last 1970s-set series, “Vinyl,” after just one season. But “The Deuce,” starring a delightfully slimy James Franco and a blonde-permed Maggie Gyllenhaal, will explore a very different aspect of the decade — porn. It’s been widely praised so far and was crafted by HBO veteran David Simon (“The Wire,” “Treme”); this isn’t a definitive gauge on the show’s quality (“Vinyl” was brought to you by Martin Scorsese), but we could all use some sepia-toned escapism this weekend.
“It” (in theaters Sept. 8)
You don’t have to wait until October to watch a ragtag group of children defend their 1980s town from a demonic, supernatural force; “It,” which has generally spooked and impressed audiences so far, has given Stephen King’s 1986 novel its first big-screen treatment (a TV miniseries aired in 1990.) The cast, crew and Warner Bros. have been hyping it since July 2016, promising a faithful adaptation of King’s work. This weekend, you can decide for yourself whether this is true, and if the film deserves its already-planned sequel.
“American Horror Story: Cult” (FX, Sept. 5)
Seven seasons in, most people have already decided whether they love or fear Ryan Murphy’s brazen FX series. But if the fantasy-seeped, salacious “horror” of the show hasn’t appealed to you in the past, this cycle might — it begins with the last presidential election night, and uses familiar players (Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, etc.) and clown-infused terror to delve into the aftermath of Trump’s victory. The first episode aired Wednesday, but you can catch up this weekend if you missed it.
“Fire Chasers” (Netflix, Sept. 8)
As firefighters work to contain the largest blaze Los Angeles has ever seen, consider this four-part Netflix documentary about last year’s wildfire season. “Fire Chasers” features startling footage of flames engulfing the California landscape, residents’ helplessness and interviews with firefighters and politicians. But the docuseries doesn’t just aim to showcase 2016’s prolonged wildfire season; it suggests that it was linked to climate change. Whether you agree or not, it’s worth a watch.
“Home Again” (in theaters Sept. 8)
I’m inclined to support Reese Witherspoon in whatever she does, whether it be a preppy, Southern-style clothing line, an Emmy-magnet HBO miniseries or even a by-the-numbers rom-com, which “Home Again” is likely to be. But that doesn’t mean the film, in which Witherspoon plays a divorced single mother with three young, male housemates will be a drag; there is joy to be found in well-acted but contrite chick flicks.