What’s on TV Friday: ‘Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings’ and a New Comedy


DOLLY PARTON’S HEARTSTRINGS (2019) Stream on Netflix. “Songs: they’re just stories put to music,” Dolly Parton said in the trailer for “Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings,” a scripted anthology series inspired by her music. Parton is an executive producer of the show, which features eight of her songs, including favorites like “Jolene,” “Two Doors Down” and “If I Had Wings.” For each song, an individual narrative is drawn and added to the series, which stars Julianne Hough, Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Ginnifer Goodwin, among others. “Much of her music is grounded by an authentic sense of insecurity that she’s worked hard to overcome,” Lindsay Zoladz wrote of Parton in The New York Times. “She’s not a one-dimensional paper Dolly. She has bled.”

BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON (2019) Stream on Amazon. This comedy follows the success story of Brittany, a 27-year-old party girl who feels her life is getting away from her. When Brittany, who is played by Jillian Bell, visits her doctor in search of an Adderall prescription, she instead receives a suggestion to abandon her unhealthy lifestyle and lose 55 pounds. Deterred by a gym membership fee, Brittany instead decides to train for the New York City Marathon. Paul Downs Colaizzo directs this feel-good film with a heavy focus on physical health and not the character’s low self-esteem. “Brittany’s kneejerk self-deprecation often feels punishing not only to the character but also to the audience,” Teo Bugbee wrote in her review for The Times, adding that Bell “is working within the framework of a story that seems hellbent on robbing her character of joy.”

VITA & VIRGINIA (2019) Stream on Hulu; Rent on Amazon, Google Play, Vudu and YouTube. Inspired by a true romance and a 1994 stage play, “Vita & Virginia” tells the story of two brilliant writers: Virginia Woolf (Elizabeth Debicki) and the socialite who pursues a relationship with her, Vita Sackville-West (Gemma Arterton). Their scandalous romance, recorded through the 20 years’ worth of letters they sent to each other, incited upset from Vita’s mother, as well as both of their husbands. Despite Vita and Virginia’s real-life passion, “the movie feels muted and joyless and almost suffocatingly well-appointed,” Jeannette Catsoulis wrote in her review for The Times.

COMEDY CENTRAL STAND-UP PRESENTS 11 p.m. on Comedy Central. Charles Gould and Sara Schaefer headline the two-part season finale of this Comedy Central series. Gould, who was named a “Comic to Watch” by Comedy Central in 2015, goes first. He explains the formula of how to win or lose a breakup, including the deep internet hole the loser falls into when obsessing over an ex’s new partner. Schaefer, a former MTV late night show host, follows in her own episode at 11:30 p.m. She pins the decline of civilization on a new trend — specifically, the inspirational quotes written on driftwood that serve as home décor. The series, which is closing out its third season, has recently featured the comedians Jaboukie Young-White and Dulce Sloan in their own episodes.



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