“Baskets” Thurs, 10pm, FX. Jerry Seinfeld said his series was about nothing. “Baskets” is about small things: a smile, a kindness. Not that Baskets is uplifting. It’s beautifully depressing, with co-creator Louis C.K. tropes infused throughout. It’s also unlike anything on television, but thank FX for it. Ep 2 of season II, next Thurs, needs almost no set-up. The viewer quickly acclimates to the desperation of Chip Baskets (Zach Galifianakis), a rodeo clown who loves deeply although unrequitedly. Baskets wreaks of Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci” and Galifianakis’s performance channels Jackie Gleason’s under-appreciated lead in “Gigot,” the mute clown (1962). And then there’s Louie Anderson, whose portrayal of Chip’s distracted yet fiercely loyal mother is tremendous. – “Beaches,” Saturday, 9pm, Lifetime. The elephant in the room is why a remake of “Beaches,” the tear-fest film (1988) starring Bette Midlerand Barbara Hershey. Watching this film is pleasant enough; Nia Long is good and Idina Menzel has her moments, particularly when singing (although her “Wind Beneath My Wings” can’t compare to Midler’s). And props to Lifetime for keeping the water works largely in check. In fact, the film’s biggest fault is a lack of chemistry between leads Long and Menzel. Fortunately, child actors Grace Capeless and Gabriella Pizzolo have loads of it. In the end, the only answer to the remake question: ratings. — Seth Arenstein

The Daily


What About WarnerMedia-Discovery?

Don’t expect AT&T CEO John Stankey to give any details around AT&T’s view of WarnerMedia’s merger with Discovery until the deal’s construction is further along.

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