Home / Arts & Life / What’s on TV Sunday: ‘Story of a Girl’ and ‘Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White’

What’s on TV Sunday: ‘Story of a Girl’ and ‘Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White’


Ryann Shane and Kevin Bacon in “Story of a Girl.”

Bettina Strauss/Lifetime

Kyra Sedgwick makes her directorial debut opposite her husband, Kevin Bacon, and their daughter, Sosie. And Michael Phelps races (sort of) a great white during Discovery’s Shark Week.

What’s on TV

STORY OF A GIRL (2017) 8 p.m. on Lifetime. Kyra Sedgwick makes her directorial debut in this tale, adapted from the young adult novel by Sara Zarr, about Deanna (Ryann Shane), a 16-year-old battered by slut-shaming in the three years since a sex video she made with her brother’s best friend, Tommy (Tyler Johnston), went viral. Hoping to rectify her past and move beyond her father’s rage, she takes a job at a pizzeria owned by an outlier (Kevin Bacon, Ms. Sedgwick’s husband) with secrets of his own — and where, unknown to Deanna, Tommy now also works. Sosie Bacon, the couple’s daughter, plays the girlfriend of Deanna’s brother; their son, Travis, provided music for the film. Ms. Sedgwick “proves to have a sensitive touch as a first-time director,” Neil Genzlinger wrote in The New York Times, and Mr. Bacon “keeps his star power in check.” Ms. Sedgwick, he added, “has everything and everyone stay low-key, as befitting a nuanced story where, as in real life, there are no easy ways around the past, only a slow determination to move beyond it.”


Where’s that Phelps? A great white shark.

Discovery Channel, via Associated Press

PHELPS VS. SHARK: GREAT GOLD VS. GREAT WHITE 8 p.m. on Discovery. The American swimmer Michael Phelps may have won 23 Olympic gold medals, but the people behind Discovery’s Shark Week wanted to see how his performance would compare with that of a great white in a 100-meter race — if Mr. Phelps were, say, transported to shark-friendly, 55-degree waters off South Africa and outfitted with a monofin. (Never fear: He was also surrounded by 15 safety divers, and no one is saying how close Mr. Phelps got to an actual shark — or whether he actually did.) Mr. Phelps has estimated his fastest racing speed at 5 or 6 miles per hour; with the monofin, he topped out at close to 12. For a great white, it’s 25. But, really, who’s clocking?

BALLERS 10 p.m. on HBO. With a load of debt weighing him down as Season 3 begins, Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) tries to score some high-profile clients to line his pockets. But Mr. Anderson (Richard Schiff) would rather focus on the Las Vegas market by partnering with the casino magnate Wayne Hastings Jr. (Steve Guttenberg). Can we say expansion? And as if the idea of birthing a new team weren’t worrisome enough, Spencer finds himself distracted by whether or not he can father a child. In case.


Issa Rae

Justina Mintz/HBO

Season 2 of “INSECURE,” at 10:30, finds Issa (Issa Rae) trying to stay afloat after her breakup with Lawrence (Jay Ellis), who is doing a bit of drowning of his own as he adjusts to his new living situation. Molly (Yvonne Orji), meanwhile, is questioning her value at work. Brush up on Sunday when HBO, starting at 6 a.m., is offering free streaming of SEASON 1 on Watch.HBO.com and YouTube.com/HBO.

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