Netflix releases a new comedy special from Katt Williams. And “Black Lightning” spins an empowering superhero story.
KATT WILLIAMS: GREAT AMERICA (2017) on Netflix. Conversations about self-driving cars may typically revolve around safety and potential job loss, but midway through his new stand-up special, Katt Williams cheekily suggests an unseen benefit: a solution to racial profiling in traffic stops. “You pull me over, I don’t know what to tell you,” he says. “Talk to the driver.” Biting commentary is his forte, and in this special, filmed in Jacksonville, Fla., Mr. Williams’s words are delivered from a set made to look like the interior of the Oval Office. America’s political climate is, naturally, a recurring topic, as is aging, technology and Jacksonville itself.
Credit David James/DreamWorks Pictures and 20th Century Fox
LINCOLN (2012) on Showtime streaming platforms and Amazon. Has “The Post” put you in the mood for more Steven Spielberg? Does “Phantom Thread” have you on a Daniel Day-Lewis kick? Whatever your reasons for revisiting it might be, Mr. Spielberg’s film about Abraham Lincoln during the waning days of both the Civil War and the president’s own life is, A. O. Scott of The New York Times wrote, “among the finest films ever made about American politics.” (He also called that “a fairly low bar.”) Mr. Day-Lewis plays Abraham Lincoln, and Sally Field is Mary Todd Lincoln; Tony Kushner wrote the screenplay.
Credit Scott Garfield/Roadside Attractions, via Associated Press
STRONGER (2017) on iTunes and Amazon. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. (Mr. Bauman was the subject of a 2013 feature in The Times, for which the photographer Josh Haner won a Pulitzer Prize.) The story focuses on Mr. Bauman’s relationship with his significant other (played by Tatiana Maslany) and his recovery. It pays particular attention to Mr. Bauman’s position as a heroic survivor — which he has mixed feelings about — and his struggles with PTSD. “His story wasn’t about the conventional idea of the triumph of the human spirit,” Mr. Gyllenhaal recently told The Times. “It was about the struggle with that idea, which I was fascinated by.”
What’s on TV
BLACK LIGHTNING 9 p.m. on CW. While its premise of a reluctant hero being ripped out of retirement might be familiar, this new series, based on the DC Comics offering, has plenty new to say. When it opens, its central vigilante, Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams), a middle-aged African-American man, has retired from his crime-fighting past and taken up a different kind of community service: working as a high school principal. But duty calls, and Black Lightning has to put on his hero cape once again, carrying with him electrically charged superpowers that energize this show, particularly for those viewers whose own identities have been traditionally underrepresented onscreen. “It just got boring, reading about all these really powerful and heroic white guys,” the showrunner Salim Akil told The Times. “I never saw a true representation — an iconic hero — for myself.”