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NEW THIS WEEK: 'Zack Snyder's Justice League' premieres today

by The Associated Press | March 18, 2021 at 1:34 a.m.
“Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” starts today (left); and “Operation Varsity Blues,” a documentary about the college admissions scandal, debuted Wednesday on Netflix. (Netflix/HBO Max/Netflix via AP)

Here's a collection written by The Associated Press' entertainment journalists of what's arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.

MOVIES

◼️ Four years after "Justice League" underwhelmed critics and audiences, filmmaker Zack Snyder has come back to finish what he started. He left the original film amid a family tragedy and conflicts with the studio, and says he's never actually seen it (Joss Whedon took over and finished the film that came to theaters in 2017). This version, debuting on HBO Max today, is a four-hour epic about Ben Affleck's Batman, Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa's Aquaman, Ray Fisher's Cyborg and more. There are new characters and plot-lines and more than 2,500 new visual effects, but amazingly only one brand new scene was filmed, with Jared Leto's Joker. The Snyder army will no doubt be watching "Zack Snyder's Justice League" in one sitting, but the good news for everyone else is you can break up the four hours however you like.

◼️ From Chris Smith, the man who brought us "Tiger King" and one of the Fyre Festival documentaries (the Netflix one), comes the documentary "Operation Varsity Blues" about the wild college admissions scandal involving children of immense privilege. The story is told with the help of transcripts of wiretaps and actor re-enactments. Matthew Modine plays the admissions mastermind Rick Singer. It debuted on Netflix on Wednesday.

◼️ "Community's" Joel McHale and "Halt and Catch Fire's" Kerry Bishé star in the new dark romantic-comedy "Happily," about a married couple whose honeymoon phase has continued in earnest for 14 years. Directed by BenDavid Grabinski, who was behind the recent "Are You Afraid of the Dark" reboot, "Happily" takes a turn when the couple realizes their friends resent them. There's also a dead body in the mix. Co-starring Stephen Root and Paul Scheer, "Happily" will be available to rent on demand Friday.

Lindsey Bahr, AP film writer

MUSIC

◼️ Zoom has become the top communication tool for the world in the pandemic era. And Ringo Starr worked with his collaborators remotely to complete his new EP "Zoom In," out on Friday. The Beatle recorded the project at his home studio between April and October. The first single, "Here's to the Nights," was written by Diane Warren and features all-stars like Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Dave Grohl, Jenny Lewis, Lenny Kravitz, Sheryl Crow, Corinne Bailey Rae, Chris Stapleton, FINNEAS, Ben Harper, Steve Lukather, Yola and Eric Burton of Black Pumas.

◼️ Loretta Lynn's new album is a celebration of women in country music and it features collaborations with Tanya Tucker, Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Margo Price. "Still Woman Enough" will be released Friday and the 13-track set was produced by Lynn's daughter, Patsy Lynn Russell, and John Carter Cash, the son of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.

Mesfin Fekadu, AP music editor

TELEVISION

◼️ Children who stutter and an organization that takes an unusual approach to help them are profiled in "My Beautiful Stutter," streaming now on the discovery+ service. The documentary focuses on five children, ages 9 to 18 and from across the United States, who have been stigmatized for stuttering. They join with other children in an interactive, arts-based program, The Stuttering Association for the Young in New York, and are introduced to the association's tenet: It's OK to stutter. The film details the program's effect on the youngsters over the course of a year.

◼️ Katherine McPhee, of TV's "American Idol" and "Smash," plays an aspiring country singer, Bailey, who's suffered career and personal setbacks in the Netflix series "Country Comfort," debuting Friday. Enter rugged cowboy and widower Beau (Eddie Cibrian) and his five musically inclined children, who might help her find an unexpected path to stardom. Turns out Bailey, although an untested nanny, has something to offer the family as well: a can-do attitude and Southern charm.

◼️ Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard are back as deeply stressed parents Paul and Ally in the 10-episode second season of FX's comedy series "Breeders," debuting 9 p.m. Monday. There's a new set of challenges for them to face, with offspring Luke and Ava (Alex Eastwood, Eve Prenelle) fast-forwarded from childhood to their early teen years. Paul and Ally's parents are older as well, creating new demands on their time, patience and the strength of their relationship.

Lynn Elber, AP television writer

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