What's on TV This Week: "Simple as Water" and the American Music Awards

Between network, cable and streaming, the modern television landscape is vast. Here are some of the shows, specials and movies that wil...


Between network, cable and streaming, the modern television landscape is vast. Here are some of the shows, specials and movies that will air on TV this week, November 15-21. Details and times are subject to change.

HOLIDAY PASTRY CHAMPIONSHIP: GINGERBAIN SHOWDOWN 9 p.m. on Food web. There can be few culinary situations more intense than cooking for the blood relatives. Food Network nods at that fact with this holiday baking contest show, which kicks off Monday night by challenging its contestants to create snow globe scenes from coconut shavings and gingerbread. .

SIMPLE AS WATER (2021) 9 p.m. on HBO. Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Megan Mylan gives an intimate and complex look at the effect the civil war in Syria has had on families in this ambitious documentary. Mylan follows a range of Syrian families whose lives have been turned upside down by the war. They include a woman and four children living in a refugee camp in Greece; a man working as a delivery driver in Pennsylvania while claiming asylum for himself and his younger brother; and a husband and wife in Masyaf, northwestern Syria.

“These stories avoid the banality by dwelling on the everyday and unpretentious routines of their characters,” Claire Shaffer wrote in his review for the New York Times. The result, Shaffer said, is a film that is “anything but simple when it comes to its technical achievements, weaving together familiar immigrant tales in a way that always manages to surprise and stun.”

HARRY POTTER AT WITCH SCHOOL (2001) 6.30 p.m. on Syfy. This first film in the “Harry Potter” franchise hit theaters 20 years ago this month. The film made celebrities out of its three young stars, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, and defined the look of the so-called wizarding world in which the stories take place, which until then had only existed in the imagination of readers.

In a recent interview with The Times, recalls Radcliffe of the filming. He returned to certain elements, like the use of practical special effects, fondly (“one of the great things about movies in the beginning,” he said). Memories of, say, riding brooms, came with more of a grimace. “It was a broomstick with a thin seat in the middle, and you didn’t have stirrups – or, if you did, they were very, very high,” Radcliffe explained, “so you were basically leaning on with all your weight on your junk when you lean forward.

BOOGIE NIGHTS (1997) 11 p.m. on Show time. Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson to release his latest film, The Coming-of-Age Story of the 1970s “Licorice Pizza,” next week. This new film shares its setting with Anderson’s 1997 drama “Boogie Nights” – both set in the San Fernando Valley, Southern California.

The story of “Boogie Nights” follows a young man, Eddie (Mark Wahlberg), who is discovered in the late 1970s by a successful pornographer (Burt Reynolds) and becomes a star. The film, Anderson’s second feature film, was about how many viewers discovered Anderson for the first time. In his review for The Times, Janet Maslin wrote that “Anderson’s display of talent is as large and exuberant as the handwriting from the sky.” Everything about “Boogie Nights,” she wrote, “is weirdly unexpected.”

STRONG ANXIETY (1977) 10 p.m. on TCM. Mel Brooks parodies Hitchcock as the director and star of this satirical crime film. Brooks plays an anxious psychiatrist accused of murder. The Doctor’s quest to clear his name allows Brooks to riff on stages of “Vertico,” “Psycho,” “Spellbound” and “The Birds,” using the same brand of disgruntled humor that he used with great effect in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (1974), which TCM broadcasts at 8 p.m.

GREAT PERFORMANCES: REOPENING EVENING OF THE SYMPHONY OF SAN FRANCISCO 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). Current San Francisco Symphony Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen was finally greeted in person last month when he conducted a reopening concert featuring contemporary dance company Lines Ballet and jazz star Esperanza Spalding , and works by John Adams, Alberto Ginastera and Wayne Shorter. This PBS show is built from a recording of this concert, which was performed in front of an audience at the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. For those who have watched Salonen’s virtual debut last year, it is a step towards normality.

INTRODUCTORY CEREMONY AT THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME 2021 8 p.m. on HBO. This year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees include Tina Turner, Carole King, the Go-Go’s, Jay-Z, Todd Rundgren, LL Cool J and Foo Fighters. The ceremony in their honor, held last month in Cleveland, brought together an equally impressive array of artists to talk – and sometimes sing. Among them were Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Angela Bassett, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Lopez, all of whom appear on HBO’s broadcast of the ceremony.

THE HUNT FOR PLANET B (2021) 9 p.m. on CNN. This documentary by filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn (“The price of everything”) follows scientists working on NASA’s latest space telescope. Launch planned for December, the new telescope is three times bigger and seven times more powerful as the Hubble Space Telescope, and is believed to be its successor. Its development was long and complicated, which gave Kahn plenty of discussion as he gathered insights from engineers, astronomers, and other researchers.

AMERICAN MUSIC PRIZE 2021 8 p.m. on ABC. Cardi B is expected to host this year’s edition of the American Music Awards, which will be held Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Pop singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo is the most nominated artist this year with seven nominations, including one for Artist of the Year. Other nominees for this honor are Ariana Grande, BTS, Drake, Taylor Swift and The Weeknd. Sunday’s ceremony is expected to include performances from Rodrigo, BTS (with Megan Thee Stallion), Bad Bunny, Carrie Underwood and several more.

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Newsrust - US Top News: What's on TV This Week: "Simple as Water" and the American Music Awards
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