Smithsonian’s streaming platform offers a glimpse of ancient European castles and the wildlife now living in them. And the comedian Gary Owen gets personal in a new stand-up special.
WILD CASTLES on Smithsonian Earth. Abandoned European castles and their wildlife inhabitants take center stage in this five-part series. Once home to royalty, these historic structures have decayed over the centuries and now host an array of animals. This episode goes inside France’s ancient stone fortress of Carcassonne, which Unesco recognized as a World Heritage site 20 years ago. Dating back to 600 B.C., the medieval castle has become a sanctuary for a range of exotic birds.
SPIRIT RIDING FREE on Netflix. Lucky, an intrepid former city girl; Spirit, her wild mustang; and her two best friends, Pru and Abigail, return for more thrilling adventures across the wild West in this spinoff of the Oscar-nominated film “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.”
SECRETARY (2002) on iTunes, Amazon and Hulu. Fair warning: This offbeat romance isn’t exactly family-friendly. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Lee, a fainthearted young woman with a troubled past whose first job is a secretarial position under an overbearing lawyer, Edward (James Spader). After Lee makes one too many typos in a business letter, her punishment comes in the form of a spanking. But rather than report the issue, she is enticed by Edward’s response, leaving her purposely fumbling for his attention and questioning her stale relationship with a former high school classmate. “Lee may be shown crawling around the floor with an envelope in her teeth,” Stephen Holden wrote in The New York Times, “but the movie still insists on seeing her as a plucky heroine plotting her own sexual emancipation.”
What’s on TV
GARY OWEN: I GOT MY ASSOCIATES 9 p.m. on Showtime. The actor and writer Gary Owen, a former military police officer who earned the title “Funniest Serviceman in America” as a budding comic, shares anecdotes about strange celebrity sightings and his time in the military at the Stardome in Hoover, Ala. Mr. Owen also delves into more personal tales of his Midwestern roots clashing with those of his wife, whose father was a founding member of the Black Panthers. This one-hour special will be available to stream on Showtime On Demand Sept. 9.
THIRD RAIL WITH OZY 8:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). Is truth overrated? The journalist Malcolm Gladwell and the author Roxane Gay will discuss the matter on this new prime-time debate program, hosted by the Emmy-award winning journalist Carlos Watson.
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