‘Nice Performances: Merry Wives’
When to look at: Friday at 9 p.m. on PBS. (Verify native listings.)

This manufacturing of the Shakespeare comedy “The Merry Wives of Windsor” was filmed final summer time in Central Park and was additionally the topic of the HBO documentary “Reopening Evening.” Tailored by the playwright Jocelyn Bioh and directed by Saheem Ali, this model units the story in present-day South Harlem, and the streamlined script and modern staging have an exuberant, nearly sitcom-y vibe. Past the play qua play, the draw right here is witnessing the ecstatic power between the performers and the viewers; dwell theater throughout a pandemic is hard to return by, and the sense of pleasure and aid captured right here is its personal vital artifact.

‘George Carlin’s American Dream’
When to look at: Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., on HBO.

The comic George Carlin stays a fixture in American cultural discourse greater than a decade after his loss of life, and this two-part documentary offers a complete if diffuse exploration of his life and work. The archival supplies unearthed right here, particularly private letters and diary entries, are potent and illuminating, and a number of the commentary affords actual depth and perception. That impression is blunted, nonetheless, by way of too many talking-head segments whose function appears to be to inform us issues which might be already self-evident. Would possibly you be higher off simply watching or rewatching one in every of Carlin’s stand-up specials, a lot of that are streaming on quite a lot of platforms? Maybe! However should you demand extra context in your comedy, watch this.

‘The Porter’
When to look at: Now, on BET+.

Holy moly, a sturdy drama that isn’t a cop present, not a supernatural present and never a split-timeline thriller. This dazzling eight-episode Canadian import is about within the early Nineteen Twenties amongst Black practice porters, a few of whom are trying to prepare their racist and harmful office and a few of whom discover extra success — and definitely more cash — in bootlegging. The present doesn’t draw back from violence, sorrow or the degradation its characters face, however it isn’t a distress manufacturing facility; tonally, it’s much like “Name the Midwife,” and story strains cowl a ton of floor, together with dangerous dads, harsh mothers, disappointing boyfriends, festive brothels, the labor motion, company espionage, colorism in present enterprise and racism in medical care. “The Porter” has a refreshingly frank strategy, and the performances are terrific throughout the board.