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What’s on TV Monday: ‘Eighth Grade’ and ‘The Passage’

Category: Art & Culture,Arts

Stream a dramedy about a nerve-racking week in the life of an eighth grader. Or watch the new fantasy drama series “The Passage.”

EIGHTH GRADE (2018) stream on Amazon; rent on Amazon, Google Play, Vudu or YouTube. Possibly the most awkward, anxiety-inducing time in a teenager’s life is examined with a delightful blend of humor and sensitivity in this debut feature by Bo Burnham. Elsie Fisher earned a Golden Globe nomination for her lead role as Kayla, a shy eighth grader navigating the final week of middle school. At school, Kayla keeps to herself and wins an award for “most quiet.” At home, she records affirmational self-help videos for her vlog and tries to maintain some sort of social life through Instagram. What makes the movie so relatable is its portrayal of everyday interactions — talking to a crush, striking up a conversation with the cool kids — through the eyes of a self-doubting teenager. “Eighth Grade,” Manohla Dargis wrote in her review in The New York Times, “is a simple story of an unremarkable girl, tenderly and movingly told.”

THE PASSAGE 9 p.m. on Fox. This new series, based on Justin Cronin’s fantasy trilogy of the same name, begins with the federal agent Brad Wolgast (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) being sent out to retrieve a girl (Saniyya Sidney) who has been chosen as a subject in a medical test for a virus that could lead to the rise or fall of the human race. The show carries some weight thanks to its strong source material and writer, Liz Heldens, who was a writer and supervising producer on “Friday Night Lights.”

HAPPY TOGETHER 8:30 p.m. on CBS. The first season of this sitcom about Jake (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Claire (Amber Stevens West), who host a pop star (Felix Mallard) in their suburban home, wraps up with an intimate concert that gives the couple of homebodies a reason to enjoy a night out. Writing in The Times, Mike Hale called the premise “this season’s most artificial situation.” “It’s not a bad idea,” he said, “but the writing tends toward the bland and sentimental.”

DAUGHTERS OF THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADERS (2018) 9 p.m. on Starz. The documentarian Dana Adam Shapiro charts the creation of the new-and-improved Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader squad that made its debut in 1972. Original members look back at their time on the sidelines with nostalgia, while the squad’s former director, Suzanne Mitchell, recalls the high-stakes nature of her job. The movie suggests that the cheerleaders’ highly sexualized and demanding roles may have, at once, liberated and exploited them during a time when American women were increasingly demanding control of their bodies.

LAST CALL 9 p.m. on Bounce TV. After his manager drains his bank account, a former N.F.L. player (Charles Malik Whitfield) opens a comedy club in the back room of his last remaining asset: a bar in his hometown called Last Call.


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