TV Picks: 'Moone Boy,' 'Sing It On,' 'Animal Childhood'

TV Picks: 'Moone Boy,' 'Sing It On,' 'Animal Childhood'
Chris O'Dowd, left, plays Sean, the imaginary friend of Martin (David Rawle), in the third season of O'Dowd'sHulu series "Moone Boy." (Patrick Redmond)

"Moone Boy" (Hulu, Wednesdays). The third season of Chris O'Dowd's wonderful, eccentric series about "an idiot Irish boy," his imaginary friend, his real friend (with an imaginary friend) and sister-filled family, comes this week to Hulu. (The two preceding seasons are there for you as well, and you are advised to begin at the beginning, the better to know these folk.) Set now in the early 1990s in O'Dowd's own small hometown of Boyle, County Roscommon, Ireland, where it is also filmed, it stars David Rawle as eager young Martin Moone, full of fanciful, ill-informed notions, and O'Dowd as Sean Murphy, a fairly conventional thirtysomething male usually dressed like, and no more clever than, the child in whose head he lives. (He sometimes lives out of it: When Martin leaves him behind on a trip to Dublin -- "tinkers' Tinseltown … the city that rarely sleeps" -- in the new season's opening episode, Sean attempts to attach himself to Martin's sisters; on occasion, he will hang out with other local imaginary friends.) A lovely good time, not without mayhem. O'Dowd, who co-writes the series with Nick Vincent Murphy, directed the new season himself.

"Sing It On" (Pop, Wednesdays). Former college a cappella singer John Legend is an executive producer of this series, which follows five collegiate a cappella groups with their eyes on a prize. Press materials make references to "Pitch Perfect," a movie I haven't seen, but it seems pretty clear at least that six seasons of "Glee" have helped shape a generation's ideas of music and fun -- the part that turns out for group singing, anyway. (I know that a cappella singing is not the same as show choir, but they have their resemblances.) Although the docu-series is marred by the formalized tics and narrative economies of reality TV -- cutting away from interesting action to show a talking head describing how she or he feels about the action you could be watching instead, for instance, or not letting any conversation run longer than three lines, or scenes that at least seem to have been suggested by a helpful producer -- there are still things to snatch from it. It offers an interesting peek into a world -- a "community" is the word the singers like -- most of us won't know, "Glee" and/or "Pitch Perfect" notwithstanding, but which some take mighty seriously; the company of some talented kids who are good to watch when they're living the emotional moment and not merely describing it; and the hair-raising pleasure of fine voices massed in thick chords.

"Nature: Animal Childhood" (PBS, Wednesday). I generally prefer my baby animals on YouTube, where adorable comedy is a given and the point and I do not have to worry about any of them being shot or eaten. (Not in the videos that come through my various critter feeds, anyway; I realize that Ted Nugent's mileage may vary.)

Still, I will brave a full-on animal documentary now and then, with one eye half-closed and a finger on the remote. This latest edition of the PBS series "Nature," alluringly titled "Animal Childhood," got my attention, and though practically the first words spoken in it are, "There's no doubt that a childhood in the wild can be dark and dangerous," I kept watching. (I am going to go ahead and kill some suspense: The baby mountain goat evades the fox, the baby elephants make it across the river. And day-old ducklings, though they have no wings to speak of, are so light and fluffy that they bounce when they they hit the ground after jumping from the nest. You will not need to be told that this looks good in slow motion.) There are baby tigers and baby bears and baby monkeys, oh my! They grow up in an animal way, which is to say, not unlike the animals we are -- playing to practice adult skills and grow social, learning stuff from grown-ups, getting into trouble because they weren't paying attention. (And the teenagers -- they're animals whatever animals they are.) If they could text, they would, and if I have anything to say about it, they never will.

Robert Lloyd does not bounce when he jumps from the nest @LATimesTVLloyd