The SoCal crime drama to catch up on this summer

A man on a motorcycle doing a wheelie on a street lined with palm trees
A scene from “Animal Kingdom.”

Welcome to Screen Gab, the newsletter for everyone who’s ready to spend summer California dreamin’.

This week, “Animal Kingdom” star Shawn Hatosy joins us to bid farewell to the Oceanside-set family crime drama “Animal Kingdom” (and gives us his tips on how to channel that Southern California cool). Plus, catch up on the Jan. 6 committee hearings with our day-by-day recaps, two new TV series to check out, our must-read stories of the week and more.

As always, we’re looking for reader picks too: Send your TV or streaming movie recommendations to with your name and location. Submissions should be no longer than 200 words and are subject to editing for length and clarity.



Must-read stories you might have missed

A teenage boy lying in bed texting and smiling
Michael Cimino plays Victor in “Love, Victor.”
( Kelsey McNeal / Hulu)

MSNBC host Katy Tur’s chaotic childhood began in an L.A. news helicopter: The MSNBC host on her news-chasing upbringing, her father’s alleged abuse and gender transition, and more from her revealing memoir, “Rough Draft.”

‘Love, Victor’ broke new ground in LGBTQ TV. Inside its ‘very poetic’ finale: Stars Michael Cimino and Ana Ortiz and co-creators Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger break down Season 3, premiering this week on Hulu and Disney+.

Jeff Bridges’ new TV show is the next deliciously twisty thriller to add to your list: Jeff Bridges excels as a man whose past comes back to haunt him in FX’s exquisitely crafted “The Old Man.”

Gloria Estefan channeled 44 years of marriage into a Latino-led ‘Father of the Bride’: As Estefan’s HBO Max remake debuts, she recalls her husband’s efforts to win over her mother: ‘No matter what he did — poor thing — she was brutal to him.’

Turn on

Recommendations from the film and TV experts at The Times


A police officer looking out the window of his cruiser
AMC’s “Dark Winds” stars Zahn McClarnon as a Navajo tribal cop.
(Michael Moriatis / Stalwart Productions / AMC)

For the record:

4:31 p.m. June 20, 2022An earlier version of this newsletter said “Dark Winds” is set in 1991. It is set in 1971.

Adapted by Graham Rowland from crime novelist Tony Hillerman‘s “The Listening Woman,” “Dark Winds” (AMC) stars Zahn McClarnon, who played the distractible tribal cop Big in “Reservation Dogs,” as Navajo tribal cop Lt. Joe Leaphorn, embodying the casually heroic image Big only hoped to project. Rich with cultural detail, no less vital to the story for being presented incidentally, it’s a period piece as well, set in 1971, so no cellphones or GPS, but a lot of driving around and knocking on doors. Kiowa Gordon plays new officer Jim Chee — a Hillerman regular, the character has been imported into this story and given a novel background — who will have some decisions to make about where his loyalties lie. Rowland has made sure to create or expand the female characters, including Jessica Matten as Sgt. Bernadette Manuelito. As Leaphorn’s wife, Emma, Deanna Allison gets threads of her own to pursue, though some are sure to tie back to the double homicide and an armored car robbery that are being investigated here. (Rainn Wilson appears briefly in one of the four episodes, of six, I was able to see, but I have no idea who he is, or to what purpose he will return). The series makes political points — there are militant radicals in it — but there’s action, romance, domestic drama and comedy, and the Southwestern landscape and palette make it great to look at as well. —Robert Lloyd

Spiritual leader Teal Swan agreed to participate in this docuseries because she wanted to clear her name. In 2018, a Gizmodo podcast was released delving into Swan’s controversial practices, alleging she runs a cult and has encouraged some followers to commit suicide. So even though the podcast creators were involved with “The Deep End,” the 37-year-old agreed to let cameras trail her for three years. The resulting four-part docuseries — made by Freeform but now on Hulu — is as riveting as cult fare like “Wild Wild Country” or “The Vow.” Cameras reveal the strict rules Swan keeps for her inner-circle of employees, who all share a home with her, must seek her approval on their romantic partners and have agreed not to have children so as not to disturb her sleep. Since the program’s release, Swan has said the filmmakers bamboozled her and manipulated the footage, sharing a petition urging the director to release the unedited footage. —Amy Kaufman

Catch up

Everything you need to know about the film or TV series everyone’s talking about

Witnesses are sworn in to testify before a House hearing on the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

With the start of the Jan. 6 committee hearings (various) last week, the House of Representatives’ investigation of the Capitol insurrection entered novel terrain. Opening in prime time, with former ABC News President James Goldston aboard to produce, the hearings are intended to play out more like a dramatic miniseries — or a legal procedural — than the usual congressional fare, and already the approach has seemed to pay off. Twenty million people tuned in to the first night’s coverage (this without the widely watched Fox News broadcasting it live), and many more are expected to consume the hearings via social media, print and online news sources and more over the coming weeks. Following along throughout the hearings is Times television critic Lorraine Ali, offering recaps of each day’s proceedings and analysis of how the dramatic narrative constructed by committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) is resonating with viewers. Don’t miss her day-by-day coverage of what may well be the most important thing you watch on TV this year. —Matt Brennan

Guest spot

A weekly chat with actors, writers, directors and more about what they’re working on — and what they’re watching

A man standing on a dark street at night looking menacing
Shawn Hatosy in “Animal Kingdom.”

Based on David Michôd’s 2010 movie, a debut that earned actor Jacki Weaver an Oscar nomination, TNT’s “Animal Kingdom” (streaming on Prime Video) shifts the action from Australia to Southern California and swaps in Ellen Barkin as Smurf, the tough-as-nails matriarch of a crime family. Smurf’s eldest, Pope (Shawn Hatosy), starts the series fresh off a three-year stint in Folsom, and has spent the seasons since grappling — often violently — with mental illness. With the sixth and final season of “Animal Kingdom” set to premiere Sunday, Hatosy swung by Screen Gab to discuss his favorite moment from the series, channeling SoCal vibes and what he’s watching. —Matt Brennan

What have you watched recently that you are recommending to everyone you know?

“Yellowjackets” (Showtime)! Powerful female characters portrayed beautifully: layered, multidimensional and unpredictable. A fantastic cast. Its ’90s world is ripe with nostalgia that hits home for me, and the creators have expertly crafted a mysterious narrative that keeps me wanting more.

What’s your go-to “comfort watch,” the movie or TV show you go back to again and again?

The one with all the “Friends” (HBO Max).

Set in Oceanside, “Animal Kingdom” effectively conjures surf town vibes alongside its drama of the Cody crime family. What sort of pop culture gets you in the mood for the SoCal side of the show?

Listening to Jane’s Addiction, watching skateboard docs like the fantastic “Dogtown and Z Boys” (assorted VOD) and “Bones Brigade” (Pluto, Tubi, Prime Video) by skate guru and legend Stacy Peralta. Pope does his share of skating this season on “Animal Kingdom” and I was honored to work with Mike McGill (inventor of the McTwist) as a consultant.

What’s your favorite episode of “Animal Kingdom”?

Episode 311 is my favorite because it was my first time directing. I’m still so proud of how it all came together. It’s emotional, action-packed and the family spends a good amount of screen time in scenes together actively dealing with a challenging dilemma. One of my all-time favorite Smurf scenes is her showdown with Lucy when Lucy forces Smurf to admit what she did to Baz. Chilling scene.

What’s next

Listings coordinator Matt Cooper highlights the TV shows and streaming movies to keep an eye on

Fri., June 17

“Cha Cha Real Smooth” (Apple TV+): A bar mitzvah party host (Cooper Raiff) puts the moves on a single mom (Dakota Johnson) in this 2022 comedy-drama.

“Chrissy’s Court” (Roku): Ms. Teigen lays down the law for a second season.

“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” (Hulu): Retired teacher Emma Thompson hooks up with a hunky young gigolo in this 2022 comedy.

“Jerry & Marge Go Large” (Netflix): An old married couple (Bryan Cranston, Annette Bening) exploit a lottery loophole in this fact-based 2022 comedy.

“The Lake” (Prime Video): Step-siblings square off over who gets the family cottage in this Canadian comedy series. With Julia Stiles.

“Spiderhead” (Netflix): Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller and Jurnee Smollett are headed to prison ... not in real life, but in this futuristic 2022 thriller.

“The Summer I Turned Pretty” (Prime Video): A teen girl is torn between two brothers, feeling like a fool in the 2022 coming-of-age drama.

“Variety Studios: Actors on Acting” (KOCE, 8, 8:30, 9 and 9:30 p.m.): Zendaya, Andrew Garfield, Jean Smart and Jennifer Aniston are among the thespians talking shop.

“Watergate: High Crimes in the White House” (CBS, 9 p.m.): This new special revisits the 1970s-era scandal that brought down the Nixon administration.

“Great Performances at the Met” (KOCE, 9 p.m.): I see a little “Rigoletto” of a man in a new production of Verdi’s tragic opera.

Sat., June 18

“After Jackie” (History, 8 p.m.): And here’s to you, Mr. Robinson, and to all of the Black baseball greats who followed in your footsteps.

“Moriah’s Lighthouse” (Hallmark, 8 p.m.): A woodworker in a coastal town in France hooks up with a hunky American architect in this new TV movie.

“Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.): Murder will out in this new fact-based TV movie.

Sun., July 19

“Duck Family Treasure” (Fox Nation): The Robertsons of “Duck Dynasty” fame return in this new spinoff.

“The Torch” (AMC+): Blues guitar legend Buddy Guy takes a bow in this 2019 documentary.

“Civil: Ben Crump” (Netflix): The attorney and civil rights activist is profiled in the 2022 documentary.

“Juneteenth: A Global Celebration for Freedom” (CNN, 5 p.m.): With “Pose” star Billy Porter, country singer Mickey Guyton, the Roots, et al.

“The Black Pack: Excellence” (The CW, 8 p.m.): This special includes a tribute to legendary entertainer Sammy Davis Jr.

“Hotel Portofino” (KOCE, 8 p.m.): The fashionable resort town on the Italian Riviera serves as the setting for this new period drama.

“Brandon Leake: A Family Affair” (The CW, 9 p.m.): The spoken word artist and “America’s Got Talent” winner takes center stage in this special.

“Endeavour” (KOCE, 9 p.m.): DC Morse (Shaun Evans) is back on the case for a ninth and final season.

“Animal Kingdom” (TNT, 9 and 10 p.m.): The crime drama kicks off its sixth and final season.

“Mathis Family Matters” (E!, 10 p.m.): Daytime TV’s Judge Greg Mathis comes off the bench for this new reality series.

“Flatbush Misdemeanors” (11 p.m., Showtime): No sleep till Brooklyn as this comedy returns for Season 2.

Mon., June 20

“POV” (KOCE, 10 p.m.): The murder of a Chinese American man in Detroit in 1982 is examined in the recently restored 1989 documentary “Who Killed Vincent Chin?”

“Mind Over Murder” (HBO, 10 p.m.): This new true-crime series reopens the case of a Nebraska grandmother killed in 1985.

Tue., June 21

“The Future of …” (Netflix): A new docuseries that imagines the wonders and/or horrors that technology may one day bring.

“Hip Hop My House” (Paramount+): Fans’ homes are transformed into shrines for their favorite rappers in this new series.

“Joel Kim Booster: Psychosexual” (Netflix): The writer and one of the stars of the recent TV movie “Fire Island” cracks wise in this new stand-up special.

“37 Words” (ESPN, 5 and 6 p.m.; concludes June 28): This four-part series salutes Title IX, the landmark 1972 legislation that helped level the playing field for female athletes.

“Jon Stewart: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize” (KOCE, 9 p.m.): The Emmy-winning former host of “The Daily Show” collects more hardware.

“Motherland: Fort Salem” (Freeform, 10 p.m.): The supernatural drama begins its third and final season.

Wed., June 22

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” (Disney+): Benedict Cumberbatch suits up for Sam Raimi’s 2022 sci-fi/action sequel.

“The Hidden Lives of Pets” (Netflix): “Downton Abbey’s” Hugh Bonneville narrates this adorable and informative new docuseries.

“Love & Gelato” (Netflix): A young American woman savors local flavors while summering in Italy in this 2022 rom-com.

“Snowflake Mountain” (Netflix): It’s spoiled young adults versus nature — advantage, nature — in this new reality series.

“The Umbrella Academy” (Netflix): The forecast calls for new episodes of this time-traveling fantasy drama.

“Wellington Paranormal” (The CW, 9 and 9:30 p.m.): Move along, folks, nothing to see here as this satirical sitcom returns.

“Chernobyl: The Lost Tapes” (HBO, 9 p.m.; also HBO Max): This documentary takes a deep dive into that horrific 1986 nuclear disaster in the former Soviet Union.

“Planet California” (KOCE, 10 p.m.): From the desert to the sea, the Golden State is the place to be in this two-part nature special.

Thu., June 23

“The Bear” (FX on Hulu): An aspiring chef returns to Chicago to take over his family’s sandwich shop in this new drama.

“Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe” (Paramount+): Mike Judge’s dynamic doofuses are in over their heads once again in this new animated movie.

“Best of the Festival” (Netflix): Highlights from the streamer’s recent “Netflix Is a Joke” comedy fest.

“Gordita Chronicles” (HBO Max): A young girl and her family say, “So long, Dominican Republic. Hello, Miami!” in this new comedy.

“Menudo: Forever Young” (HBO Max): Get a taste of the legendary Latin American boy band in this docuseries.

“Revealer” (Shudder): A young stripper and a fundamentalist Christian form an apocalyptic odd couple in this 2022 thriller.

2022 NBA Draft (ABC, ESPN, 5 p.m.): Meet the pro basketball stars of tomorrow — today! — in this special.

“No Demo Reno” (HGTV, 8 p.m.): Social media star Jenn Todryk’s home renovation series returns.

“Southern Charm” (Bravo, 9 p.m.): We do declare, this reality series is back for Season 8.

“Buckhead Shore” (MTV, 9 p.m.): Young folks from the upscale Atlanta neighborhood cohabitate in this new franchise entry.

“Austin Dillon’s Life in the Fast Lane” (USA, 9:30 p.m.): A new reality series follows the veteran NASCAR driver and his family and friends.