Here’s a curated collection by The Associated Press entertainment journalists of what’s coming to television, streaming services and music platforms this week.
— One of the year’s standout documentaries, Margaret Brown’s “Descendant” takes a wide lens to the discovery of the Clotilda, the last known ship to bring African captives to the southern United States for enslavement. As Brown put it, the discovery of the ship, sunk near Mobile, Alabama, after she brought 100 Africans back in the mid-19th century, decades after the international slave trade was outlawed, is “just the tip of the iceberg.” . Speaking with many of Clotilda’s descendants and others in the community around Africatown, where many of them settled, Brown thoughtfully explores past and present, heritage and community. Opening Friday, October 21 on Netflix and in select theaters, the film won an award at the Sundance Film Festival.
— In Rodrigo Garcia’s “Raymond & Ray” on Apple TV+ on Friday, October 21, Ethan Hawke and Ewan McGregor play half-brothers reunited for their father’s funeral. Written and directed by García (“Nine Lives,” “Albert Nobbs”), and produced by Alfonso Cuarón, the film mixes catharsis and comedy as the two reflect on the damage caused by the abusive father.
— With the approach of Halloween, a flood of horror movies is hitting most streaming services. A series currently airing on the Criterion Channel has a different feel, with 11 films chosen by Ari Aster, the director of some of the most nightmare-inducing films of recent years: “Hereditary” and “Midsommar.” In “Adventures in Moviegoing” with Aster, the director chooses films that have shaped his life, from Kenji Mizoguchi’s “Sansho the Bailiff” to Lucrecia Martel’s “The Headless Horseman.”
— Stay up until midnight on Friday, October 21 to check out Taylor Swift’s latest album, appropriately named “Midnights.” The standard edition album will have 13 tracks, telling “the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life,” the singer-songwriter posted online. It’s been nearly two years since Swift’s last studio album, “Evermore.” The new album has a well-known main collaboration: “Snow on the Beach” with Lana Del Rey. Other titles are “Karma”, “Anti-Hero” and “You’re In Your Own, Kid”. The only other clues to what the album sounds like are photo posts with producer Jack Antonoff and a glass of white wine.
— That soft sound you hear signals the return of Babyface. On “Girls Night Out,” the 12-time Grammy winner has collaborated with next-generation R&B/hip-hop stars like Ari Lennox, Doechii and Queen Naija. The project’s first two singles, “Keeps On Fallin'” featuring Ella Mai, plus a video starring Tiffany Haddish and Kendrick Sampson, and “Seamless” featuring Kehlani, are alluring and elusive R&B gems. The album, due out Friday, October 21, reminds Babyface of another project she’s done that explored stories of her collaborators. “The process reminded me of when I did ‘Waiting to Exhale’ and I’m excited for the world to hear it.”
— If you think a-ha is only known for “Take On Me”, take this: The band’s 11th studio album, “True North”, out Friday 21st October, sees Norwegian stars perform and record with the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra. , creating a feature film in the process that weaves together the songs and recurring vignettes in which the actors portray life in the North. “’True North’ is an a-ha letter, from the arctic circle, a poem from the far north of Norway set to new music,” says keyboardist Magne Furuholmen. The single “I’m In” is a glorious slow anthem.
— The cover image, and later the title, of the new Arctic Monkeys album comes from a photo taken by drummer Matt Helders. It’s a strangely grim shot of a car alone in a parking lot. “When I first saw it, I had a feeling it should be the next album cover,” says singer Alex Turner. “The Car,” out Friday, October 21, is the band’s seventh studio album and features 10 new songs written by Turner. Singles include the lush breakup song “There’d Better Be a Mirrorball” and “Body Paint,” which sounds almost like a rock opera with David Bowie-esque flourishes.
— “Doc Martin” is saying a proper and extended goodbye on Acorn TV. The 10th and final season of the British sitcom revolving around a cantankerous country doctor (Martin Clunes) begins Monday with two new episodes, followed by one weekly until its penultimate episode on November 28. On December 26, the documentary “Doc Martin — A Celebration” will pay tribute to the series, followed by its finale on December 29. The big question: Does Doc review his decision to give up his practice at Portwenn? Eileen Atkins returns as Doc’s intimidating Aunt Ruth, with Lesley Nicol and Rupert Graves among the guest stars.
— The purported goal of the “Documentary Now!” of IFC is to honor innovators in the genre. His real mission, of course, is to make us laugh, and he’s got the usual impressive names for the six-episode season that begins Wednesday. Helen Mirren returns as host, with guest stars including Cate Blanchett, Harriet Walter, Jonathan Pryce, Nicholas Braun and legendary pop singer Tom Jones. The two-part season opener, written by John Mulaney, stars Alexander Skarsgård as a German filmmaker who fights against nature and more to make his masterpiece, as in “Burden of Dreams,” which details Werner’s search for Herzog to make “Fitzcarraldo” from 1982. The series is also available on AMC+.
— Young viewers are in luck this week. “Ghostwriter” returns Friday, October 21 on Apple TV+, with new stars Princess Mapp, Nour Assaf, and Daire McLeod. As the friends try to solve an ongoing ghostly mystery, they find themselves in the company of characters inspired by “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” “Charlotte’s Web” and other stories. There’s a promising newcomer with Netflix’s four-part animated series “Oni: Thunder God’s Tale,” which also premieres on Friday, October 21 and features Momona Tamada, Craig Robinson, and George Takei in the voice cast. In a world of “eccentric gods and monsters” inspired by Japanese mythology, the untested Onari is determined to protect her village from the enemy called “Oni”.
— AP television writer Lynn Elber
Catch up on AP entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.