Home / Arts & Life / What’s on TV Friday: ‘Marvel’s the Defenders’ and White Supremacists

What’s on TV Friday: ‘Marvel’s the Defenders’ and White Supremacists


From left, Krysten Ritter, Finn Jones, Charlie Cox and Mike Colter in “Marvel’s The Defenders.”


Netflix brings some familiar superheroes together for a singular purpose in its latest Marvel series. And two news programs investigate white supremacists in the United States.

What’s Streaming

MARVEL’S THE DEFENDERS on Netflix. The franchise combines the main characters of four previous Netflix series — Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones) — into a super crime-fighting team. But Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez, the show’s creators, are “not just juggling personalities and plot points,” Mike Hale wrote in The New York Times. “They’re trying to mesh four different tones, styles, rhythms, color palettes, music philosophies and acting styles.” And they do an impressive job about half the time. With the superheroes needing equal screen time and a reason to come together, “there’s a lot of getting-to-know-you and here’s-what-we’re-doing talk in the early episodes, and not a lot of action or emotion.” And it would help if the show had a better villain. But “The Defenders” perks up whenever Ms. Ritter is on screen, Mr. Hale added, and “comes alive when Scott Glenn shows up as the no-nonsense sensei, Stick.”


Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning in “Somewhere.”

Merrick Morton/Focus Features

LOST IN TRANSLATION (2003) on iTunes and Amazon. An American movie star (Bill Murray), cashing in on his celebrity in Japan, meets a young woman (Scarlett Johansson) who has been temporarily deserted by her husband (Giovanni Ribisi) in this comic melodrama from Sofia Coppola. As they escape the confines of the Tokyo Hyatt, something like love ensues. Mr. Murray “supplies the kind of performance that seems so fully realized and effortless that it can easily be mistaken for not acting at all,” Elvis Mitchell wrote in The Times. Continue the hotel hopping with Ms. Coppola’s “SOMEWHERE” (2010), also on iTunes and Amazon, about Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff), a movie star in a mind-numbing purgatory at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood — he drinks, has anonymous sex, burns rubber in his Ferrari — who finds something to live for after his ex-wife leaves their 11-year-old (Elle Fanning) in his care. Shot in lovely tones of Southern California haze, it’s “like reading a poem,” A. O. Scott wrote in The Times.

What’s on TV


Sienna Miller in “The Girl.”

Justin Polkey/HBO

THE BIRDS (1963) 8 p.m. on TCM. Watch this Hitchcock classic starring Tippi Hedren as a socialite besieged by winged assassins. Then get the sordid back story by streaming “THE GIRL” (2012), on HBO, with Toby Jones as an obsessed Hitchcock and Sienna Miller as his leading lady.

FRACTURED AMERICA: EXTREMISM IN THE STREETS 10 p.m. on ABC. “20/20” has followed white nationalist and supremacist groups as they have become better organized and begun to commit acts of bigotry more openly. This report on the violence in Charlottesville, Va., includes interviews with Richard B. Spencer and Matthew Heimbach, leaders of two far-right movements. Pair it with “CHARLOTTESVILLE: RACE AND TERROR,” on YouTube, a 22-minute documentary from “Vice News Tonight.”

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