This Week on TV Saturday, April 17, 2021

Cristin Milioti is the bright star of “Made for Love,” delivering the right mix of physical silliness and female strength.

Cristin Milioti is the bright star of “Made for Love,” playing a wife escaping from the tech husband who put her a monitoring chip in her brain. Photo courtesy of HBO.

Whether one’s talking about Pre-crisis Streaming, Crisis Streaming, or Post-Crisis Streaming habits, On-Demand Viewing remains the preferred routine for audiences to watch favorite events, movies, and series. From Gen Z viewers to Boomers, few consumers want to watch favorite programs via the constraints of top-of-the-hour network schedules. On-demand entertainment and media platforms make everything from adult animation to DIY home improvement series accessible to the largest audiences possible. Binge if you want, and if your schedule allows it. The appeal of -on-demand viewing is binging on your terms. I’m currently watching “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” on HBO Max like a six-part mini-series. I’m treating “Justice League” as a must-see appointment TV. I’m just choosing the best appointment date and time for me.

What I’m Watching:

The Serpent (Netflix)

Actor Tahar Rahim has been thrilling art-house audiences worldwide since his breakout role in filmmaker Jacques Audiard’s 2011 crime drama “A Prophet.” It’s satisfying seeing Rahim reach sizable stateside audiences via the Netflix limited series “The Serpent,” the real-life story of Charles Sobhraj, a murderer and thief targeting travelers in 1970s Asia. Rahim balances charm and style with cruelty and murderous behavior as Sobhraj. “The Serpent,” from co-directors Hans Herbots and Tom Shankland, delivers colorful ’70s design and fashion. The collaboration of cinematographers Si Bell, Anton Mertens, and Seppe Van Grieken results in a mini-series as beautiful as a fashion shoot. Jenna Coleman (Victoria) adds a chilly, not-to-be-trusted touch as Sobhraj’s stylish partner-in-crime Marie-Andrée. Past the period clothes and exotic locales, Rahim anchors each eye-catching scene with a searing performance. He’s the cold, cruel heart breathing life to the “The Serpent.”

The limited series “The Serpent” airs on Netflix.

Made for Love (HBO Max)

Author Alissa Nutting co-creates with writer Patrick Somerville and showrunner Christina Lee on the limited series adaptation of her near-future, surreal romance “Made for Love.” Tech billionaire Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen) secretly implants a monitoring device in the brain of his wife Hazel (Cristin Milioti). Byron’s goal of long-lasting marriage takes a wild turn when Hazel escapes from their luxury compound and seeks a divorce with the help of her eccentric father (Ray Romano).

Leads Cristin Milioti and Billy Magnussen boost their bizarre romance with themes of women empowerment and surveillance tech wrapped around tech silliness familiar to movie fans of Woody Allen’s “Sleeper” and Susan Seidelman’s “Making Mr. Right.”

Magnussen is pitch-perfect as the smug tech titan looking to create his version of a Stepford Wife. Milioti is the bright star of “Modern Love,” delivering the right mix of physical silliness and female strength.

The limited series “Made for Lovet” airs on HBO Max.

What I’m Excited to Watch:

Godfather of Harlem Season Two (Epix)

The always-compelling Forest Whitaker reprises his role as Harlem gangster Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson in the second season of the 1960s-set crime drama “Godfather of Harlem.” Co-writers Chris Brancato and Paul Eckstein pick up the storytelling from the season one finale. While hiding from the Italian mob, Bumpy looks to take control of the French Connection heroin trade. Giancarlo Esposito returns as Congressman Adam Clayton-Powell. Vincent D’Onofrio is back as Vincent’ Chin’ Gigante, Bumpy’s chief adversary.

“Godfather of Harlem” returns for a second season on April 18, 2021, on Epix.

Remembrance: Actress Helen McCrory passes at 52

Read Damian Lewis’ beautiful eulogy of Helen McCrory, English stage and screen actress, and his longtime wife, who passed at 52 to cancer. Consider Lewis’s remembrance a call to action to experience some of McCrory’s incredible performances. Watch McCrory as crime family matriarch Polly Gray in “Peaky Blinders” or the Showtime horror series “Penny Dreadful.” Send a thank you to the heavens for her exceptional talent and work.

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