Ryan Coogler’s “Rocky” reboot airs on Paramount Network. And Paul Schrader’s bleak, rhythmic “First Reformed” streams on Kanopy.
What’s on TV
CREED (2015) 8 p.m. on Paramount Network. He may not have been nominated for an Academy Award for best director this week, but Ryan Coogler is still making history. His “Black Panther,” which he directed and co-wrote, is the first superhero movie to receive an Oscar nomination for best picture. And it’s only Coogler’s third feature. “Creed,” his second, resurrected Rocky Balboa for a new generation through a story centered on a young boxer, Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), the son of Rocky’s enemy-turned-comrade Apollo Creed. An older, weathered Rocky (Sylvester Stallone, of course) takes Adonis under his wing. We also see the blossoming of a relationship between Adonis and a Philadelphia musician (Tessa Thompson) and a scene on those Philadelphia Museum of Art steps Stallone ran up about 40 years earlier. The movie manages to be “self-aware without being cute about it,” A.O. Scott wrote in his review for The New York Times. He said that Coogler “looks at the Rocky story and the tradition of Hollywood pugilism through a fresh prism” and that the film itself is at once “soothingly old-fashioned and bracingly up-to-date.”
ROY WOOD JR.: NO ONE LOVES YOU 11 p.m. on Comedy Central. Roy Wood Jr., a correspondent on “The Daily Show,” tackles the N.F.L. national anthem controversy, the challenges faced by black superheroes and many other subjects in this hourlong comedy special, filmed at the Vic Theater in Chicago. “America is a restaurant that sells equality,” he observes from the stage. “Some of you all had some delicious equality, it was good, you had great service. And some of us need to speak to a manager.”
FIRST REFORMED (2018) Stream on Kanopy; rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. “I know that nothing can change, and I know there is no hope.” Paul Schrader’s rhythmic and bleak exploration of faith in the face of depression and environmental ruin stars Ethan Hawke as a tortured Protestant minister who writes lines like the above in his diary. He diligently maintains a small church in upstate New York, even while his health fails, his sense that there is corruption in his own institution grows and his view that the earth itself is deteriorating along with him reaches a boiling point. “It is the portrait of a soul in torment,” A.O. Scott wrote in his review for The Times, “all the more powerful for being so rigorously conceived and meticulously executed.”
A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN on BroadwayHD. Mary Bridget Davies stars in this tribute to the singer, which mixes Joplin’s music with biographical reflections. In his review for The Times, Charles Isherwood called Davies’s impersonation of the singer “positively uncanny,” writing that she sings Joplin’s songs “with a throbbing fervor that is often riveting.”