What’s on TV Saturday: A Motown Documentary and ‘Mapplethorpe’

What’s on TV Saturday: A Motown Documentary and ‘Mapplethorpe’


HITSVILLE: THE MAKING OF MOTOWN 9 p.m. on Showtime. There seems to be something for every stripe of music fan on this network, which ventured into Rick Rubin’s creative haven on “Shangri-La” and charted the rise of the Wu-Tang Clan with “Of Mics and Men.” This documentary goes further back in history to explore a time of social unrest, when the music of Motown Records became influential in America in the 1960s. The focus is on the birth of the company in Detroit in 1958, as well as the many hits the label produced up through its move to Los Angeles in the 1970s, told through interviews with the company’s founder, Berry Gordy. The film features rare behind-the-scenes and performance footage and interviews with artists like Smokey Robinson, John Legend and Jamie Foxx.

ALL SUMMER LONG 9 p.m. on Hallmark. Working on a boat for the entire summer alongside your ex could be, for some, a nightmare scenario. That’s the premise of this film starring Autumn Reeser and Brennan Elliott as the former companions who must learn to get along as the new captain and chef of a vintage yacht. As the summer progresses, the two grow closer and begin to re-evaluate their feelings, because what’s more romantic than sailing on a yacht?

V.C. ANDREWS’ WEB OF DREAMS 8 p.m. on Lifetime. Whether you’ve gotten all the way through your summer reading list, or haven’t found the time to start, you can still get a taste of V.C. Andrews’s stories, which have been adapted for the screen on Lifetime. These made-for-TV movies chronicle the writer’s Casteel series, which focuses on the secrets, lust and betrayals of a troubled West Virginia family. The final installment, “Web of Dreams,” revisits the family’s origins and tells the story of a young woman named Leigh (played by Jennifer Laporte), who is abused by her stepfather. The story sets the stage for the cycle of abuse that Leigh’s daughter, Heaven, and her granddaughter, Annie, endure at the hands of men in the other books and Lifetime installments.

MAPPLETHORPE (2018) Stream on Hulu. After his stint as the 11th Doctor on “Doctor Who,” the English actor Matt Smith has taken on historical roles that have stretched from British royalty (Prince Philip in “The Crown”) to American depravity (Charles Manson in “Charlie Says”). In this fictionalized biopic, Smith taps into the life of Robert Mapplethorpe, the American photographer who died of AIDS in 1989, at age 42. The film, directed by Ondi Timoner, covers his friendship with Patti Smith, his sexual exploration, his relationship with Sam Wagstaff and, of course, his bold photography. The film covers a lot of ground, but in his New York Times review, Glenn Kenny wrote that it’s “most alive when it’s putting its subject’s pictures on the screen, which it does often.” He added that the film should have done so more, “because the movie is otherwise as timid as its subject was bold.”



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