Hulu begins streaming “PEN15,” a comedy about 13-year-old girls with a title meant to appeal to the “wit” of adolescent boys.
Actresses Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle are both 31 but insist on playing adolescent versions of themselves in a comedy about middle school, featuring a cast of real tweens.
Both affect the kind of zany gal-friendship vibe from “Broad City.” But the middle school situations and jokes have an obvious, shooting-fish-in-a-barrel quality that’s more smug than satirical.
The choice to surround themselves with real minors while making contrived jokes about sex, porn and masturbation is more than a little creepy.
- Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson return for a four-episode second season of their comedy showcase “Two Dope Queens” (10 p.m., HBO, TV-MA), based on their NPR podcast.
Williams and Robinson chat about their clothes, hair, accessories and shopping habits like two old friends. Their rapport and repartee are comfortable to a fault. They amuse each other as if little else matters.
- Of all the media trends that I’d like to club to death with a ball-peen hammer, the habit of recycling old TV and movie franchises tops the list. We’re told that Hollywood loves remakes because it’s easier to market a familiar franchise.
Often our Entertainment Overlords churn out projects based on shows and movies from a far-gone era. In 2015, director Guy Ritchie regurgitated “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” (7:30 p.m., BBC America, TV-14), starring Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer. You have to be at least approaching 60 to have watched the original James Bond-inspired TV series, which aired around the same time as “Mission: Impossible.” That concept was rebooted way back in the 1990s and has since become more associated with Tom Cruise than Peter Graves. We are as far away in time (23 years) from the original 1996 “Mission: Impossible” as it was from the TV show that wrapped up in 1973.
In contrast, “U.N.C.L.E.” had been sitting on a shelf for 50 years when the film debuted to modest audiences, barely recouping its budget.
In contrast, the 2016 spy comedy “Central Intelligence” (8 p.m., TNT, TV-14) was a summer hit, grossing in excess of $200 million and more than four times its budget. The stars, Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson, pretty much explained the film’s appeal. Critics considered its script and story its weakest element. But nobody said it wasn’t “original” or accused it of being based on an old show from 1966.
So tell me how and why remakes make sense?
- While we’re on the subject of remakes, Netflix launches season three of “One Day at a Time.”
- ABC unspools “Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown” (7 p.m., TV-G), followed by “A Charlie Brown Valentine.”
- A hypochondriac tycoon’s eccentric health obsession could help a dying Jane on “Blindspot” (7 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
- Two contestants approach the finish line on the season finale of “Hell’s Kitchen” (7 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
- Red’s absence allows time for research on “The Blacklist” (8 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
- “20/20” (8 p.m., ABC) recalls a killer who tried to frame her daughter for the murder of her two husbands.
- Rebecca has Paula’s back on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (8 p.m., CW, TV-14).
- “Live From Lincoln Center” (8 p.m., PBS, TV-14) presents the stage drama “Pipeline” by Dominique Morisseau about a teacher and mother trying to save her son from an education system that seems to prepare young men for little but a path or “pipeline” to prison.
- Danny butts heads with Jamie on “Blue Bloods” (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
A repressed woman (Bette Davis) finds help from her therapist (Claude Rains) and love from a married man (Paul Henreid) in the 1942 melodrama “Now Voyager” (7 p.m., TCM), an unabashed celebration of shared cigarettes.
Stuck inside on “Big Brother Celebrity Edition” (7 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... A visitor comes between Crystal and Blake on “Dynasty” (7 p.m., CW, TV-14) ... “Dateline” (9 p.m., NBC).
Liam Neeson is booked on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jimmy Fallon welcomes Rebel Wilson, Willie Geist, Nathan Macintosh and Erykah Badu on “The Tonight Show” (10:35 p.m., NBC) ... Dr. Phil McGraw, Sam Elliott and Flipp Dinero appear on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (10:35 p.m., ABC, r) ... Ellie Kemper, Claire McCaskill, Young the Giant and Venzella Joy visit “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (11:35 p.m., NBC, r).