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What’s on TV Thursday: ‘Better Things’ and ‘Riviera’


Pamela Adlon, left, and Mikey Madison in “Better Things.”

Jessica Brooks/FX

In Season 2 of “Better Things,” Pamela Adlon puts a humorous twist on the pressures of being a single working mother. And Julia Stiles stars in a crime drama set along the French Riviera.

What’s on TV

BETTER THINGS 10 p.m. on FX. Pamela Adlon’s comedy returns with more mother-daughter shouting matches and awkward conversations. Ms. Adlon, who directed this season’s episodes and created the series with the actor and comic Louis C.K., plays Sam Fox, a single mother and actor raising three daughters in Los Angeles while caring for her British mother (Celia Imrie), who lives across the street. Sam is often exhausted and desperate for a chance to relax, but her tightknit bond with her children keeps her going. The takeaway is that “things can be hard and O.K. at the same time,” Margaret Lyons wrote in The New York Times. “There’s beauty and humor and specialness in that battle, and no one’s better at giving voice to that than ‘Better Things.’”

KEVYN AUCOIN BEAUTY AND THE BEAST IN ME 9 p.m. on Logo. With an impressive roster of clients including Cher and Tina Turner, Kevyn Aucoin, a pioneering celebrity makeup artist, was beloved by many stars of the ’80s and ’90s. But Aucoin, who died in 2002, also had a difficult childhood that troubled him well into his fame. This new documentary chronicles his struggles and achievements using backstage videos he recorded over the years and interviews with Andie MacDowell, Gwyneth Paltrow and other stars.


Cooking with cannabis in “Bong Appétit.”


BONG APPÉTIT 10:30 p.m. on Viceland. Former National Football League players join the host Abdullah Saeed for a cannabis-infused three-course meal, and explain how marijuana helps them stay fit and overcome sports injuries.

What’s Streaming

CITY OF GOD (2002) on Netflix. This Oscar-nominated drama by the Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles takes place in a slum outside Rio de Janeiro where boys vie for the chance to join armed gangs and lead a life of crime. Adapted from a semi-autobiographical novel by Paulo Lins, who grew up in the favelas, the film centers on Rocket (Alexandre Rodrigues), whose passion for photography becomes his gateway out of the violence. “To experience this devastating movie is a little like attending a children’s birthday party that goes wildly out of control,” Stephen Holden wrote in The Times. “You watch in helpless disbelief as the apple-cheeked revelers turn into little devils gleefully smashing everything in sight.”


Julia Stiles in “Riviera.”

Sky Atlantic

RIVIERA on Sundance Now. When a billionaire banker and philanthropist is killed in a yacht explosion, his second wife, Georgina (Julia Stiles), discovers that his fortune is based on a trail of lies, crime and murder. Set in the South of France, this Sky Atlantic 10-part series follows Georgina as she learns the conniving ways of her late husband (with the help of his first wife) to maintain her family’s luxurious lifestyle and stave off his enemies. Iwan Rheon (“Game of Thrones”), Lena Olin (“Chocolat”) and Adrian Lester (“Hustle”) round out the cast.

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