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What’s on TV Friday: ‘The Pale Horse’ and ‘Stargirl’ | Press "Enter" to skip to content

What’s on TV Friday: ‘The Pale Horse’ and ‘Stargirl’

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AGATHA CHRISTIE’S THE PALE HORSE Stream on Amazon. Fans of Rian Johnson’s recent Agatha Christie-style, murder-mystery “Knives Out” can get a taste of the real thing in “The Pale Horse,” a mini-series adaptation of Christie’s novel of the same name. The series, which aired overseas earlier this year on BBC One, stars Rufus Sewell ( “The Man in the High Castle”) as a man whose name is found on a note in a dead woman’s shoe. That discovery thrusts him into the center of a mysterious string of deaths, which are the apparent product of witchcraft. But their actual cause may be even more sinister.

STARGIRL (2020) Stream on Disney Plus. For a novel adaptation that’s more “who am I” than “whodunit,” hold off on “The Pale Horse” and consider instead this coming-of-age drama, based on the Y.A. best seller by Jerry Spinelli. Directed by Julia Hart (“Fast Color”), “Stargirl” follows Leo (Graham Verchere), a teenager at a small-town Arizona high school who quits trying to fit in after the arrival of a new, freewheeling student, who goes by the name Stargirl (Grace VanderWaal). In his review for The New York Times, Jason Bailey wrote that “some of the story beats and character qualities (particularly those of the rather precious title character) have congealed into cliché.” (The novel was published in 2000.) But Bailey added that Hart “is such an enchanting filmmaker, her storytelling style so warm and welcoming, that those concerns fade — particularly in the picture’s second half, as her characters’ interactions and motivations become more complex.”

LOST GIRLS (2020) Stream on Netflix. The documentarian Liz Garbus (“What Happened, Miss Simone?”) makes her fiction-feature debut with “Lost Girls,” a drama based on Robert Kolker’s nonfiction book “Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery.” Like the book, the movie revisits a string of unsolved murders on Long Island. It stars Amy Ryan as a mother who presses law enforcement to search for her missing daughter, a mission that conjures up questions of gender, power and social justice. The film is “serious, respectful, gravely melancholic,” Manohla Dargis wrote in her review for The Times. “Yet anger best describes the movie’s atmosphere, its overall mood and its authorial tone.” Dargis called it “a sober chronicle of victimization and empowerment.”

PORTALS TO HELL 9 p.m. on Travel Channel. “There’s bones in here, guys,” the TV personality Jack Osbourne says in the Season 2 premiere of this paranormal investigation series, which is hosted by Osbourne and the investigator Katrina Weidman. The episode finds that pair exploring an old, purportedly haunted jail in Paulding, Ohio. The building, they are told, is home to several spirits, including that of a murder victim from the mid-20th century. When Osbourne discovers bones in a neglected basement jail cell, he sounds a bit triumphant — and a bit spooked.


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