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What’s on TV Friday: ‘World’s Toughest Race’ and ‘Motherless Brooklyn’

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What’s on TV Friday: ‘World’s Toughest Race’ and ‘Motherless Brooklyn’

Television|What’s on TV Friday: ‘World’s Toughest Race’ and ‘Motherless Brooklyn’Bear Grylls hosts a new reality competition show on Amazon. And Edward Norton’s “Motherless Brooklyn” adaptation airs on HBO Signature.Bear Grylls in “ World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji.”Credit…Corey Rich/AmazonAug. 14, 2020What’s StreamingWORLD’S TOUGHEST RACE: ECO-CHALLENGE FIJI Stream on Amazon. You have to feel some sympathy for…

What’s on TV Friday: ‘World’s Toughest Race’ and ‘Motherless Brooklyn’

Television|What’s on TV Friday: ‘World’s Toughest Race’ and ‘Motherless Brooklyn’

Bear Grylls hosts a new reality competition show on Amazon. And Edward Norton’s “Motherless Brooklyn” adaptation airs on HBO Signature.

Credit…Corey Rich/Amazon

Gabe Cohn

WORLD’S TOUGHEST RACE: ECO-CHALLENGE FIJI Stream on Amazon. You have to feel some sympathy for the competitors featured in this adventure series: As an opening montage shows participants climbing, hiking and paddling through rugged terrain, the show’s host, Bear Grylls, explains that each day of the competition “will present a new array of relentless challenges designed to break them down physically, mentally and emotionally.” Soon after, Grylls offers an addendum: “All of them,” he says, “are going to suffer.” So it seems safe to say that the show — like the competition itself — is not for the faint of heart. It pits dozens of teams from many countries against each other in an 11-day race all over Fiji.

TEENAGE BOUNTY HUNTERS Stream on Netflix. It’s all in the title. This new comedy series follows Sterling (Maddie Phillips) and Blair (Anjelica Bette Fellini), teenage twins who go into business with a grown-up bounty hunter (Kadeem Hardison), whose line of work is nearly as perilous as the twins’ high school social lives.

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Credit…Glen Wilson/Warner Bros.

MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN (2019) 6:35 p.m. on HBO Signature. Edward Norton’s adaptation of “Motherless Brooklyn,” Jonathan Lethem’s detective novel, had been in the works since around the time of the book’s release in 1999 — but the movie wasn’t fully realized until two decades later. Given that long gestation period, it might not be surprising that Norton took significant liberties with Lethem’s story: While the main character remains a Brooklyn gumshoe named Lionel (played by Norton, who also directs), the film moves the plot from the 1990s to the 1950s, gathering a Murderer’s Row of famous actors (Alec Baldwin, Willem Dafoe, Bruce Willis and Leslie Mann among them) who surround Lionel. “Filmmakers don’t owe literary works their reverence, just their intelligence, and ‘Motherless Brooklyn’ is a very smart movie, bristling with ideas about history, politics, art and urban planning,” A.O. Scott wrote in his review for The New York Times. Alas, Scott added: “The high-mindedness of the movie, its showy conviction that its heart is in the right place, dulls some of its political insights.”

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Credit…Graham Bartholomew/Sony Pictures

BLOODSHOT (2020) 8 p.m. on Starz. Superman is faster than a speeding bullet; Ray Garrison, the superhero at the heart of “Bloodshot,” can catch a speeding bullet. Based on comics from the indie publisher Valiant Entertainment, “Bloodshot” casts Vin Diesel as Ray, an American soldier who gets killed in action, then is brought back to life by a sinister military tech company with his memories mostly wiped. Saying much about this revenge tale would be a spoiler risk, but suffice it to say that the story gives Diesel ample opportunity to flex his bad-guy-pulverizing muscles. In his review for The Times, Ben Kenigsberg wrote that Diesel “strikes the right balance of contemplation and meatheadedness,” though he also wrote that the director, David S.F. Wilson, “delivers action sequences with such choppy continuity that viewers may be as confused as Ray.”

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