What’s on TV Monday: ‘The New Pope’ and ‘On the Basis of Sex’


THE NEW POPE 9 p.m. on HBO. Three years ago, the finale of “The Young Pope” concluded with the title character, Pius XIII (Jude Law), in a heart-attack-induced coma. Its sequel begins in the aftermath: St. Peter’s Square is brimming with supporters praying for the contentious Pope Pius XIII’s recovery while the Vatican, facing external pressures of its own, appoints a new pope. The new man on the job — who goes by John Paul III — is played by John Malkovich, whose iconic personality inspired the character, Phoebe Reilly writes for The New York Times. While John Paul III’s serene temperament seems to balance out Pius’s chaos, scandal still abounds in the new series.

THE GOOD DOCTOR 10 p.m. on ABC. For a brilliant surgeon whose autism makes emotional connection challenging, Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) certainly finds himself in a difficult position when Season 3 of “The Good Doctor” picks up. His abusive father, who was on his deathbed in the winter finale, has died, and Shaun is exploring the joys and complications of his relationship with Carly (Jasika Nicole). Shaun’s team must also operate on a patient who refuses anesthesia. While the show still falls under the category of medical melodrama, Shaun’s condition, James Poniewozik wrote in his review for The Times, also invokes a deeper question: What does it means to be a “good” doctor?

ON THE BASIS OF SEX (2018) Stream on Showtime and Sling TV; Rent on Amazon, Google Play, Vudu and YouTube. “This is, almost literally, the story of how Ginsburg found her voice,” A.O. Scott wrote in his review for The Times. Directed by Mimi Leder, the film stars Felicity Jones as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court Justice. Rather than reciting Ginsburg’s biography, Leder focuses on the first sex-discrimination case she argued in federal court in the early 1970s, and on the development of a legal strategy to challenge injustices so deeply ingrained as to seem perfectly natural.Armie Hammer plays Marty, the ultimately supportive husband, and Cailee Spaeny is their inquisitive daughter, Jane; both help and challenge Ginsburg, who is dealing with her own experiences of sexism in day-to-day life.

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG (1968) Stream on Netflix; Rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. This musical film adaptation of Ian Fleming’s 1964 fantasy novel is, at its core, deeply strange and perfectly crafted for children. It stars Dick Van Dyke as Caractacus Potts, a widowed inventor who creates a magical car — Chitty Chitty Bang Bang — that can float and fly. Renata Adler wrote in her review for The Times that the movie contains “the joys of singing together on a team bus on the way to a game.” It has everything from a number about candy, to an evil villain who snatches children, to a screenplay by Roald Dahl and Ken Hughes. Potts, his two children, and a beautiful woman named Truly Scrumptious brave it all with their “fine, four-fendered friend.”


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