Credit Joe Pugliese/Netflix
David Letterman’s new talk show comes to Netflix, while new adaptations of Philip K. Dick stories come to Amazon.
MY NEXT GUEST NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION WITH DAVID LETTERMAN on Netflix. David Letterman’s Santa Claus beard, which he sprouted after leaving “The Late Show” two years ago, seemed to be a clear symbolic gesture that his days of thoughtful interviews with cultural dignitaries were over. “The beard is a good reminder to me that that was a different life,” he said in an interview with The New York Times. But after a well-deserved break, Mr. Letterman will return to the screen. And although he’s no longer on network TV, his interviews will still pack a wallop: His first guest is Barack Obama, with later episodes to feature George Clooney and Malala Yousafzai.
Credit Seacia Pavao/Netflix
THE POLKA KING on Netflix. In the films “Nacho Libre” and “Walk Hard,” Jack Black rolled out Mexican and British accents that were so bad they actually became endearing. He tries an exaggerated Polish accent in this movie, in which he stars as the real-life polka star Jan Lewan, who ended up in jail for running a Ponzi scheme (perhaps unknowingly). As with all of his best roles, Mr. Black imbues his character with a mixture of manic glee and tragedy. Jenny Slate plays his wife, while Jason Schwartzman plays his best friend.
PHILIP K. DICK’S ELECTRIC DREAMS on Amazon. The worlds of Philip K. Dick seem to be multiplying. An adaptation of his novel “The Man in the High Castle” rolls along on Amazon, while the bleak cityscape of “Blade Runner 2049” arrived in theaters in October. Now, more of his hallucinatory and terrifying visions arrive on Amazon, with 10 stand-alone adaptations of his short stories. These episodes explore future scenarios both distant and very close, from parallel universes to global warming; plenty of stars show up, from Bryan Cranston to Steve Buscemi to Janelle Monáe. But the critic James Poniewozik of The Times was mostly unmoved: “This license and talent, plus lavish scale of production, add up to little that feels freshly imagined or newly provocative,” he wrote in his review.
What’s on TV
HELL’S KITCHEN 8 p.m. on Fox. Gordon Ramsay hosts this furiously paced cooking competition. In this episode, contestants must use their senses to re-create a dish, and whip up a meal with mystery ingredients.
Credit Scott Henrichsen/PBS
TONY BENNETT: THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS GERSHWIN PRIZE FOR POPULAR SONG 9 p.m. on PBS. As music’s attitude and center have frantically shifted from decade to decade, one of the few constants has been Tony Bennett — since 1950 he has been relentless in his charm, gravitas and commitment to the American Songbook. (He remained steadfast even in an extended collaboration with Lady Gaga.) The Library of Congress honors him in this star-studded event, which includes appearances by Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, Gloria Estefan, Chris Botti and more.