What’s on TV
BAD EDUCATION (2020) 8 p.m. on HBO; stream on HBO platforms. Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney star in this dark comedy-drama, a cross between “Election” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.” The movie, directed by Cory Finley (“Thoroughbreds”), reimagines a multi-million-dollar embezzlement scandal that rocked a high school on Long Island in 2004. The mastermind behind the scheme is Frank Tassone (Jackman), the superintendent of the school district, who wins over parents and students alike with his good-natured charm. His machination lasts years, and it slowly starts to crumble only after he encourages a student journalist (Geraldine Viswanathan) to dig deeper into a puff piece she’s working on. (Big mistake.) In his review for The New York Times, Ben Kenigsberg wrote that Jackman steals the show. His role is “a plum part” and “a chance for the actor to channel his charisma toward dark, mischievous ends.”
HUSTLERS (2019) 9 p.m. on Showtime. This crime drama chronicles a very different real-life scandal, though “Hustlers” and “Bad Education” were inspired by articles in New York magazine. Constance Wu stars as Destiny, a newbie stripper and protégée of a veteran dancer named Ramona (Jennifer Lopez). Much of their tips come from Wall Street clients. But after the financial crisis hits, there’s less money to throw around, and the women have to find new work. When they reconvene a few years later, Ramona hatches a plan to seduce men, bring them back to the strip club and run up their credit cards. The scheme grows darker and tests just how far Ramona and Destiny will go to sustain their expensive lifestyles and get back at disgraced Wall Street types. Critics praised Lopez’s performance, but some argued the movie lacks nuance and character back stories. It roots for the two leads from the get go, leaving much to be explored.
DEFENDING JACOB Stream on AppleTV Plus. A chilling case upends a Massachusetts family’s quiet life in this new mini-series, adapted from William Landay’s novel of the same name. Chris Evans and Michelle Dockery play Andy and Laurie Barber, whose teenage son, Jacob (Jaeden Martell), is accused of killing a classmate. The parents are horrified at the thought and ready to stand by their son. But over the course of eight, slow episodes, their doubts come to the fore, revealing their own long-held secrets.
MET OPERA AT-HOME GALA 1 p.m. on metopera.org. This week, the Metropolitan Opera’s performances take on a new format. A virtual gala features more than 40 artists from around the world performing over Skype, straight from their living rooms. The Met’s general manager, Peter Gelb, and music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, will host from their homes in New York and Montreal. Classical fans may miss the acoustics of concert halls, but unlike a lot of in-person performances, this one is free. It will be available to stream on the Met’s website until 6:30 p.m. Sunday.