What’s on TV Thursday: ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’ and ‘Shaq Life’

What’s on TV Thursday: ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’ and ‘Shaq Life’


NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS (2020) Rent on Amazon, Fandango Now, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. A teenager goes on a subtly perilous journey to terminate her pregnancy in “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” the latest feature from the filmmaker Eliza Hittman. The movie follows Autumn (Sidney Flanigan), a 17-year-old who can’t get an abortion in her central Pennsylvania hometown without parental permission, which isn’t in the cards for her. So she takes a bus to New York, where she can have the procedure without permission. But the city presents its own host of challenges. Manohla Dargis called the movie a “low-key knockout” in her review for The Times. “Hittman is telling a story,” Dargis added, “but she’s also making a quietly fierce argument about female sovereignty.”

DOLITTLE (2020) Rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. This most recent reimagining of the children’s literature character Doctor Dolittle was a bit of a box-office dud, but young viewers stuck at home may be able to get an escapist thrill from it. “Dolittle” casts Robert Downey Jr. as the animal-whispering doctor, first dreamed up a century ago by Hugh Lofting. This reboot gives Dolittle a tragic back story, and has him in seclusion when the plot kicks off. His solitude doesn’t last: The doctor is soon called upon to aid Queen Victoria (Jessie Buckley), who has been poisoned by a substance whose cure — inconveniently or conveniently, depending on your appetite for swashbuckling — can only be retrieved by sailing to a distant, exotic land. Don’t expect to feel fully on board: In her review for The Times, Manohla Dargis called the movie “a dreary, overextended yawn.”

SHAQ LIFE 9 p.m. on TNT. “Look, I’m not one to be narrating TV shows,” Samuel L. Jackson says while narrating this TV show. “But when Shaq calls, I answer.” See Shaquille O’Neal sniff a scented candle, toss pizza dough, buy shoes, D.J. and more in this new reality series, which gives Shaq’s admirers a window into his remarkably busy life as a retired professional basketball player — and an opportunity to live vicariously through him. Sprinkled throughout are pieces of insight from Shaq, who in the first episode gives a young man advice on attending an eighth-grade dance. “Listen,” he says. “If the dance starts at 8, show up at 8:15.”

ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP (2019) 7:20 p.m. on Starz. Rotten flesh and nostalgia fly across the screen in “Zombieland: Double Tap,” the latecomer sequel to 2009’s “Zombieland.” Like the first movie, this violent comedy sees Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Abigail Breslin and Emma Stone butchering the undead in creative ways — this time with the help of Rosario Dawson, Luke Wilson, Zoey Deutch and other newcomers. “The whole movie is very 2009,” A.O. Scott wrote in his review for The Times, “which is amusing and puzzling and possibly kind of a relief, given what ‘very 2019’ might look like.”



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