What’s on TV Tuesday: Dolly Parton and Mike Birbiglia


DOLLY PARTON: 50 YEARS AT THE OPRY 9 p.m. on NBC. The newly crowned millennial queen, Dolly Parton, is currently enjoying a renaissance of sorts as the subject of a popular podcast and a Netflix anthology series. But this two-hour special celebrates Parton’s legacy as a performer. At age 73, she is celebrating 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, even though her first performance on the storied Nashville stage was at age 13, following an introduction from Johnny Cash. The special will feature performances from Parton and other country music artists like Emmylou Harris, Dierks Bentley and Toby Keith, as well as new interviews about the star’s life and career.

LINDSEY VONN: THE FINAL SEASON 10 p.m. on HBO. One of the most difficult decisions many Olympic athletes are forced to make at some point in their careers is when to stop competing. This documentary takes viewers inside that emotional process for Lindsey Vonn, a top female skier, who decided to retire at the age of 34 this year. The directors Steve and Todd Jones capture the moments leading up to Vonn’s final World Championship appearance, and retrace the triumphs and setbacks the four-time Olympic gold medalist encountered throughout her career.

CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS (2004) 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. on AMC. This Christmas movie has been voted one of the worst of all time, but that doesn’t mean it can’t grow into a holiday cult classic like “A Christmas Story.” Tim Allen, who has played Santa in other holiday films, stars as this movie’s scrooge. He decides, for budgetary reasons, that he and his wife (Jamie Lee Curtis) will skip Christmas, despite a collective rebuke from members of their festive Chicago suburb. When their daughter decides to return home for the holiday from her stint working in the Peace Corps, the empty nesters scramble to get into the Christmas spirit at the last minute.

MIKE BIRBIGLIA: THE NEW ONE Stream on Netflix. The comedian, storyteller and director Mike Birbiglia has made a career out of deftly observational and confessional comedy, performing one-man shows about his troubles with sleepwalking, joke-telling and, most recently, fatherhood. After a Broadway run and a national tour, this show, which Ben Brantley designated a New York Times Critic’s Pick, is now available to stream. In it, Birbiglia agonizes over the decision to have and raise children, using a list of seven reasons like “I have a cat,” or “consciousness is only a hallucination,” and expands on them, going down detours that explore who he is as an individual, a husband and a father. “As he restlessly circumambulates, verbally and physically, he’s always reaching for explanations that seem to explode on him,” Brantley wrote in his New York Times review. “Yet, in the end, a symmetry emerges from the chaos he describes and embodies.”



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