SESAME STREET: ELMO’S PLAYDATE 7 p.m. on Boomerang, Cartoon Network, HBO, HBO Latino, PBS Kids, TBS, TNT and truTV. As people around the world try to find creative ways to stay connected — through virtual dinners, watching parties and more — “Sesame Street” wants to do the same with its young viewers. In this half-hour special, Elmo, Grover, Cookie Monster and other furry muppets come together for a virtual play date, joined by the guest stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anne Hathaway and Tracee Ellis Ross. The gang celebrates emergency medical workers, doctors and others who are helping societies survive the health crisis. They also provide young fans a chance to escape from reality with dance breaks, songs and games, including “Elmo Says” and “Old McDonald Had a Farm.”
FLEABAG (2019) Rent on Amazon. Phoebe Waller-Bridge dropped a surprise announcement on Twitter last week: A recording of “Fleabag,” her hit solo stage show that inspired an Emmy-winning comedy series, is available to download for $5 as a fund-raiser for British charities helping health care workers and artists affected by the coronavirus. The play debuted at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2013 and was revived last year for Off Broadway and West End runs. You won’t see the hot priest (Andrew Scott) or Fleabag’s uptight sister (Sian Clifford) in this performance, filmed at the National Theater in London, but it offers something the series adaptation can’t. In his review of the Off Broadway production, the New York Times critic Ben Brantley wrote: “Onstage, ‘Fleabag’ throbs with a concentrated, combustible vitality that a camera is incapable of capturing, even with pore-probing close-ups.”
RAY & LIZ (2019) Rent or buy on Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu. The British photographer and artist Richard Billingham documented much of his life through intimate portraits of his family. This somber drama, Billingham’s debut as a writer and director, is an extension of that work. It revisits the photographer’s troubling childhood in England’s Black Country, with this alcoholic father, Ray, his chain-smoking mother, Liz (the younger version of whom is played by Ella Smith), and younger brother. We catch a glimpse of Ray in his older years, played by Patrick Romer, living alone in a single room and guzzling what he calls home brew. Then two extended flashbacks bring us to Billingham’s childhood, one of poverty, neglect and squalor. The film stars actors playing real-life characters, but Billingham shot it with a documentarian’s touch, capturing rich details and hard-hitting moments.
CHRIS D’ELIA: NO PAIN (2020) Stream on Netflix. The comedian Chris D’Elia (“Whitney,” “Undateable”) bursts with energy in this irreverent stand-up special. Performing in Minneapolis, D’Elia jumps from bit to bit with razor-sharp speed, shifting accents and topics before you get a chance to digest his earlier jokes. His targets include fans of the fashion brand Supreme, white men and self-censorship.