Tune In

Detroit’s Rashida Tlaib campaigns to become the first Muslim woman in Congress in 2018. She is one of the candidates featured on “POV,” airing at 8 p.m. Monday on PBS.

“POV” (8 p.m., PBS, TV-PG) will spend two nights on the docuseries “And She Could Be Next.” The film focuses on the political campaigns of six women of color during the contentious 2018 U.S. midterm elections. Hailing from the North and South, Stacey Abrams, Bushra Amiwala, Maria Elena Durazo, Veronica Escobar, Lucy McBath and Rashida Tlaib all challenge the status quo within their party and the expectation that women who aren’t white are supposed to serve and wait and dutifully turn up at the polls to support candidates who don’t necessarily represent them.

The film explores how the changing demographics of states and communities made these campaigns possible and how the prospect of the long-prevailing white and male politicians losing dominance has inspired backlash, resistance and paranoia.

  • A similar film, “Knock Down the House” streams on Netflix. It takes an intimate look at four women candidates Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush and Paula Jean Swearengin as they run for office during the 2018 campaign.

Both films put the emphasis on women trying to galvanize voters who feel they have been underrepresented for too long. And both documentaries show how the insurgent candidates surprise experts in politics and the media.

If these films document and celebrate candidates who no longer want to be the “woman behind the man” in office, the FX miniseries “Mrs. America,” streaming on Hulu, shows how conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly organized an army of women volunteers in the 1970s and 1980s to defy and defeat an Equal Rights Amendment that appeared to have the blessing of leaders of both parties and the establishment media.

Early on in the proceedings, Schlafly puts aside her own ambitions to run for Congress (and downplays her passion for criticizing nuclear disarmament treaties) to play the bread-baking behind-the-scenes kingmaker of the Reagan era.

These films coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, ratified on August 18, 1920, granting women the right to vote. PBS will air the “American Experience” documentary “The Vote” on July 6.

  • More homicide from the land of the umlaut! A murder mystery comes between two police officers who are also best friends in the new Nordic noir series “The Sommerdahl Murders,” streaming today on Acorn. This Danish series is based on a best-selling franchise created by Anna Grue. Not unlike the beloved Swedish “Wallander” mysteries, the stories here are as much about the untidy personal lives and tattered marital relations of the police as the grisly crimes the detectives try to solve.
  • As of my filing deadline, the TV listings for the 9 p.m. slot on the Food Network schedule remains uncertain. It’s not that anybody’s asleep at the switch, it’s that they’ve turned over their programming to the network’s Instagram account. They’ve asked viewers to vote on their favorite “Chopped” episode as part of a “Chopped Fan Faves” marathon to air on Monday nights. In a similar fashion, TBS’s “Celebrity Show-Off” depends on viewer votes on its YouTube channel.

All this leads this confused writer to wonder, is social media promoting network programming? Or is programming merely an excuse to boost the network’s social account(s)? Media-wise, who is the tail and who is the dog? Anybody want to bite?

Other highlights

  • Dwayne Johnson presides over “The Titan Games” (7 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
  • JoJo Fletcher glances back on “The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons Ever!” (7 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
  • Contestants cavort in an aquatic setting on “Cannonball” (9 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).

Cult choice

TCM puts the spotlight on the stop-motion animated effects of Ray Harryhausen. His efforts “star” in such shockers as “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad” (7 p.m., TV-G), “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers” (9 p.m., TV-G) and “Mysterious Island” (10:30 p.m., TV-G). Made in 1949, “Mighty Joe Young” (12:30 a.m., TV-G) was the first film to showcase Harryhausen’s work. The 1981 epic “Clash of the Titans” (2:30 a.m., TV-14) was the last.

Load comments