What’s on TV Sunday: ‘SMILF’ and ‘Cash Cab’

What’s on TV Sunday: ‘SMILF’ and ‘Cash Cab’


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Frankie Shaw as a single mother in “SMILF.”

Credit
Claire Folger/Showtime

Watch Frankie Shaw, newly nominated for a Golden Globe, in “SMILF.” Brooke Shields and two “Curb Your Enthusiasm” stars come to “Cash Cab.”

What’s On TV

SMILF 10 p.m. on Showtime. This week, Frankie Shaw earned a surprise Golden Globe nomination for her starring role in “SMILF,” in which she plays a struggling actress raising a toddler in Boston. The show takes on motherhood, sex, money troubles and mental illness with a startling honesty. “What carries ‘SMILF’ early on is Ms. Shaw’s voice, which, despite the serious undertones, is feisty and high-spirited,” James Poniewozik wrote in his review in The New York Times. This week, Bridgette (Ms. Shaw) spends a day searching for her towed car, alongside her son and her best friend.

THE POLAR EXPRESS (2004) 12:20 p.m. on Freeform. Five years before “Avatar,” “The Polar Express” arrived in IMAX theaters, showing Santa’s frosty home in Digital 3-D. But the movie’s moody, wintry landscapes still pop in two dimensions, as does a stirring performance by the 9-year-old Tinashe (a full decade before “2 On”). The story follows a boy who boards a mysterious train heading north; Tom Hanks voices the conductor, Santa and several other roles.

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Carmen Ejogo in “The Girlfriend Experience.”

Credit
Starz

THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE 9 p.m. on Starz. The second season of “The Girlfriend Experience” is really two shows in one: Each week features two unrelated back-to-back story lines about high-end prostitutes. This anthology series is based on the 2009 Steven Soderbergh film of the same title; he serves as executive producer. In the first story, a former escort, Bria (Carmen Ejogo), faces her ex-partner, Donald, in court after leaving him to enter witness protection. The second story deals with the entangled relationship between Anna (Louisa Krause), an escort, and Erica (Anna Friel), a high-powered operative in Washington.

CASH CAB 10 p.m. on Discovery. In the five years that the trivia show “Cash Cab” was on hiatus, ride-share apps like Uber and Lyft flooded the city, threatening the livelihood of cabdrivers and changing the very palette of New York streets. But while the show’s host and driver, the comedian Ben Bailey, considered switching over to driving a ride-share, he ultimately opted to return this month in a classic yellow cab. This week, unsuspecting passengers will be joined by Brooke Shields (at 10 p.m.) and Jeff Garlin and Susie Essman of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (at 10:30 p.m.) for some back seat help.

What’s Streaming

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Andy Serkis in “War for the Planet of the Apes.”

Credit
20th Century Fox

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (2017) on Amazon and iTunes. Last week, the Times critics A. O. Scott and Wesley Morris named their choices for the 10 best actors of the year, and included one whose real face you never see: Andy Serkis. That performance-capture veteran lent a soulful gravitas to the chimp Caesar, who leads the movie’s ape faction with such rectitude and grace that it makes the audience want to root against its own species. “He so harmonizes with the technology that he manages to transcend it,” Mr. Morris writes. “It’s tempting to say he is the Daniel Day-Lewis of performance-capture acting. But what if Daniel Day-Lewis is really the Andy Serkis of regular acting?”



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