How to watch Joni Mitchell, in fine fettle, perform live — from your couch

A woman with gray hair, weiring a gold beret and dark glasses, sings into a handheld microphone onstage
Joni Mitchell performs at the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song ceremony in her honor.
(Shawn Miller)

Welcome to Screen Gab, the newsletter for everyone who cues up “California” when they’re landing at LAX.

OK, our newsletter editor’s college ritual may not be for everyone. But as TV critic Robert Lloyd writes in this week’s Screen Gab, national treasure Joni Mitchell won’t be around forever, and as long as her fans are still collecting memories, it’s worth tuning in to watch her collect the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, surrounded by multiple generations of music luminaries.

Also in Screen Gab No. 77, a theory about where “Ted Lasso” is headed based on its soundtrack, bonus material from our interview with “Succession’s” Sarah Snook and more. As always, we want to know what you’re watching. Pretend we’re at the water cooler and give us your review of a TV show or streaming movie you’ve loved; it may be included in a future edition of Screen Gab. (Submissions should be approximately 100 to 150 words and sent to with your name and location.)



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Recommendations from the film and TV experts at The Times

A group of men and women in suits surrounds a gray-haired woman wearing a gold beret onstage.
Joni Mitchell, surrounded by politicians, accepts the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
(Shawn Miller)

“You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone,” goes the song — or almost gone, in the case of Joni Mitchell, who wrote it. Eight years ago, a brain aneurysm left her in a coma, but she’s back standing and singing and honored in “Joni Mitchell: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song,” premiering tonight on PBS. All-star musical tributes can often seem a matter of booking whatever performers will juice the ratings, but the guests here — including Annie Lennox, Angélique Kidjo, Cyndi Lauper, Marcus Mumford, old boyfriends James Taylor and Graham Nash and host Brandi Carlile, who last summer sprung Mitchell on the crowd at the Newport Folk Festival — have some genuine connection to the singer. Seated in the front row beside Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, a glass of wine in her hand, and up onstage to perform, appropriately, the Gershwins’ “Summertime,” the honoree is in fine fettle. The material tends to Mitchell’s early years — almost half the songs are pulled from “Blue” — but even were the program three times as long it would make only a dent in a career marked by experimentation and transformation. Attests sometime collaborator Herbie Hancock, “As both Joni and I have said over the years, you can try to put us in those boxes that awards shows have created, but we’re going to break out of them as fast as you can.” (The special also will be available to stream on and the PBS app.) —Robert Lloyd

Two men toast in an office while another looks on
Togo Igawa, from left, Nino Furuhata and Taron Egerton in “Tetris.”
(Apple TV+)

Innocent that I am, I initially blanched at the idea of a film about a video game that consists of fitting together brightly colored blocks. How dramatic could it be? As it happens, plenty. “Tetris,” premiering Friday on Apple TV+, turns out to be the globetrotting tale of Henk Rogers (Taron Egerton), the Dutch-born, U.S.-educated video game designer who helped popularize Tetris — in large part by winning a labyrinthine contest among Japanese gaming executives, a British media conglomerate and Soviet officials for the right to distribute it. Sure, the niceties of contract law are an awkward match for the film’s spy-thriller ambitions, and its understanding of the Cold War would scarcely pass muster in a freshman survey. But from Egerton’s motormouth charisma to the 8-bit intertitles, “Tetris” is spirited enough in its commitment to the shtick that I found myself swept up in Rogers’ alliance with Tetris’ Russian inventor, Alexey Pajitnov (Nikita Efremov), and rooting for them to puzzle their way across the Iron Curtain as though I were watching classic James Bond. “A video game brought down the Wall!” is a silly fantasy indeed, but for a couple hours of ’80s nostalgia, it’s one I’ll happily entertain. —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 woman stands by a swimming pool, talking on a cellphone
Sarah Snook as Siobhan Roy in the fourth and final season of “Succession.”

When “Succession” returned to HBO for its fourth and final season this week, the youngest three Roy siblings — Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Shiv (Sarah Snook) — continued to set aside their differences and maintain a unified front in the fight against their estranged father, Logan (Brian Cox). But surprising absolutely no one, the marriage of Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) and Shiv Roy (Sarah Snook) — one of the most rivetingly dysfunctional couples in a show full of them — is now in tatters (and “The Disgusting Brothers” are ascendant).

When Snook recently sat down with The Times to discuss her career-altering journey on the Emmy-winning series, she also talked about the creative process that has enabled her to take Shiv’s toxic relationship to unexpected places — and what it’s like to follow the twists and turns of the Roy family saga from the inside. Here are some outtakes from that conversation:

Season 3 ended with a really powerful closeup on Shiv’s face as she realized she had been betrayed by Tom. Did you know that was going to happen?

Only when I saw it in the cut. After that take, [director] Mark [Mylod] came up to me and said, “I think we might have an end to this season.” It wasn’t scripted like that; it ended when Tom walked in the room. Mark does this quite a lot, where the script ends and he is like, “Play the real-life situation” and the camera keeps rolling. You can feel it in the room, the actors living out the reality of the moment.

Do you think it’s true what Logan said — that Shiv was only with Tom because she fears being abandoned?


It definitely would have been part of the appeal. Maybe the umbrella of the appeal. I think she knows that he’s an asshole. But we get more insight in Season 4 about what drew them together in the first place. There’s something deeper and more tender that’s revealed. They’re both such complicated individuals. It’s been a really amazing relationship to play with, because Matthew is so available, open and vulnerable.

How are you both able to be so vulnerable, you and Matthew? Your scenes together can be really excruciating to watch and, I imagine, to perform.

The way we work together is similar. It sounds trite, but just learn your lines, show up and be available. If it’s a scene where we don’t know where we want it to go or we’re nervous, then we will rehearse lines the day before or even that morning. That differs when I’m working with Kieran or Jeremy. I wouldn’t rehearse the lines.

Did the much-celebrated sibling bonding scene in the dusty parking lot last season feel as profound while you were making it?

Only in the sense that I have never on camera decided that I am not giving 100%. But I couldn’t. [The temperature] was in the 90s. I was in a tight dress, wearing Spanx, a microphone up my thighs, in heels, on rocks; it was so windy I got dust in my right eye and couldn’t see out of it. It was like top three worst days on any project I’ve ever done. It made sense for the character to be uncomfortable.

You always have to be on with this show, because there are so many group scenes and the camera is always moving.


Part of [series creator] Jesse [Armstrong]’s pitch for the show was always having reasons for them to always be trapped with each other. And because of that, we don’t really see Shiv’s friends or Roman’s or Kendall’s, they’re constantly — and believably — enmeshed with each other, which means that you’re always in the background, even if you’re not the focus of the scene.

What has been the most jaw-dropping moment for you when you read it in the script?

The Kendall mic drop at the end of Season 2. I remember being in the greenroom by myself. And I put my hand over my mouth. It was so subversive, so naughty, so unexpected.

What’s it like for the cast when you get the scripts and find out what’s going to happen?

We have a group text. Someone will say, “Oh my God! Scene such and such.” Then someone else will say, “No spoilers!” That experience — the thrill of finding out where the characters go — is the same for us and the audience that is watching.

Break down

Times staffers chew on the pop culture of the moment — love it, hate it or somewhere in between

A man meditating on a pedestal in a locker room, surrounded by a group of men meditating
Maximilian Osinski and the cast of “Ted Lasso.”
(Apple TV+)

Attention must be paid to the third episode of “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+) — specifically, two brilliant back-to-back needle drops that may reveal one character’s perspective more effectively than any dialogue ever could. The section begins just after Richmond’s ringer Zava (Maximilian Osinski) scores from the halfway line just seconds into his first game. Listen closely, and you’ll notice that the subsequent montage — footage of Zava’s spectacular goals, shots of stores sold out of Zava merchandise, snippets of Zava leading locker-room meditation sessions with the team — is accompanied by “Prisencolinensinainciusol,” the gibberish-filled funk hit that Italian pop star Adriano Celentano intentionally wrote to mimic how English sounds to non-English-speakers and, outside of a few exclamations of the phrase “all right,” evokes absolutely no lyrical weight.

As the tune fades out, Zava scores a phenomenal game-winning goal — a slow-motion, midair moment made even more majestic by the opening chords of “Superstar,” the song from the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” in which Judas stands perplexed by Jesus’ widespread fame. As the game’s announcer describes the move as “a godlike bicycle kick” and deems Richmond’s recent performance a “Zava-fueled miracle streak,” the choir sings on the track: “Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, Who are you? What have you sacrificed? / Jesus Christ Superstar, Do you think you’re what they say you are?”

Including these two 1970s tracks in a gentle 21st century sports comedy is already delightful, especially as some viewers heard one or both songs for the first time ever. Juxtaposing them against each other, and images of a ringer’s reign, is downright ingenious. It’s safe to assume this particular pairing — a widely popular song that’s objectively catchy yet deliberately hollow of deeper meaning, and a “villain”-sung number questioning the soundness of the Messiah’s notoriety — captures the perspective of Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster), who seems to be the only person not falling to his knees at the altar that is Zava (and his corresponding back tattoo). Before this episode, it seemed Jamie was simply jealous of another star player stealing his spotlight, and he also admits to his coaches that calling Zava one of those “self-absorbed glory hunters who only care about themselves” is indeed hypocritical. But in linking these songs, “Ted Lasso” suggests Jamie might be on to something: Is the hype around Zava actually nonsense? Is the hero worship misplaced?

I look forward to seeing how the show answers that question in upcoming episodes, whether it’s on the soundtrack or on the pitch. —Ashley Lee

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Recommendations from Screen Gab readers

A man and a woman stand in a restaurant.
Anthony Konechny and Chloe Bennet in “Married by Mistake.”
(Robert Akester / Mistake Productions)

We recently watched a movie, “Married by Mistake” (E!), about a couple of good friends who got drunk and married even though both knew they had no business doing so. (She had just lost her expected first job as a Stanford MBA; he had a sizable family business from which she could benefit.) Accustomed to watching Lifetime romances, we were not expecting much. But this was surprisingly good.

Norman H. Green
Los Angeles

What’s next

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

Fri., March 31

“Die Hart 2: Die Harter (Roku): Comic Kevin Hart continues his quest to become an A-list action star in new episodes of the satirical series.

“Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.” (Disney+): Peyton Elizabeth Lee returns in a second season of this reboot of the 1989-93 sitcom.


“Eva the Owlet” (Apple TV+): Give a hoot and watch this new family-friendly animated series based on Rebecca Elliott’s children’s books.

“Monumental: Ellie Goulding at Kew Gardens” (FreeVee): The British singer holds court at the Royal Botanic Gardens in London in this new concert special.

“The Power” (Prime Video): Sparks fly when teenage girls around the world discover they have the ability to control electricity in this new sci-fi series. With Toni Collette.

“Tetris” (Apple TV+): “Rocketman’s” Taron Egerton portrays the Dutch entrepreneur who introduced the titular video game to the world in this fact-based 2023 tale.

“TMZ No BS” (Tubi): A new installment charts the life and career of chart-topping “WAP” rapper Cardi B.

“The Unheard” (Shudder): A young woman who underwent a procedure to repair her damaged hearing hears more than she bargained for in this 2023 terror tale. Lachlan Watson stars.


“Whose Line Is It Anyway?” (The CW, 9 p.m.): The improv comedy challenge kicks off another season. Aisha Tyler hosts.

“Joni Mitchell: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song” (KOCE, 9 p.m.): The beloved singer-songwriter is feted by James Taylor, Brandi Carlile, et al., in this new special.

“The Great American Joke Off” (The CW, 9:30 p.m.): Comics put their best gags forward in this new competition hosted by Dulcé Sloan.

Sat., April 1

NCAA College Basketball Tournament (CBS, 3 p.m.): The Final Four face off at NRG Park in Houston in March Madness’s penultimate matchups.

Wrestlemania 39 (Peacock, 5 p.m.; also next Sunday): Pro wrestling’s finest face off at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood in this two-night event.


“Love in the Maldives” (Hallmark, 8 p.m.): A travel writer gets busy with a tropical resort’s guest experience liaison in this new TV movie. With Jocelyn Hudon.

“Saturday Night Live” (NBC, 8:29 and 11:29 p.m.): “Abbott Elementary’s” Quinta Brunson hosts and rapper Lil Yachty performs.

“ACL Presents: Americana 21st Annual Honors” (KOCE, 11:30 p.m.): The aforementioned Brandi Carlile is among the honorees in this new special.

Sun., April 2

WrestleMania 39” (Peacock, 5 p.m.): Pro wrestling’s finest leave it all on the mat as the two-night event at SoFi Stadium concludes.

“2023 CMT Music Awards” (CBS, 8 p.m.): Country music’s finest assemble in Austin. Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown return as co-hosts.


“The Hand That Robs the Cradle” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.): The couple who hired her to care for their son might not be his real parents in this new TV movie.

Mon., April 3

“Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields” (Hulu): The actor and former fashion model tells her story in her own words in this new two-part documentary.

“Martha Cooks” (Roku): Ms. Stewart returns to her well-appointed kitchen for a second season.

NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Game (CBS, 6 p.m.): The tourney’s top two teams hit the hardwood in Houston.

“La Frontera With Pati Jinich” (KOCE, 9 p.m.): The Mexican chef is back on the border for Season 2 of this foodie travelogue.

“Race to Survive: Alaska” (USA, 11 p.m.): Eight two-person teams chase a cool half-a-mil in this new competition.

Tue., April 4

“The Crossover” (Disney+): Teen brothers chase their own hoop dreams in this new drama based on Kwame Alexander’s novel. “Hamilton’s” Daveed Diggs narrates.


“Mo’Nique: My Name Is Mo’Nique” (Netflix): The veteran comic and Oscar winner takes it to the stage in this new stand-up special.

“Redefined: J.R. Smith” (Prime Video): The former NBA star pursues a college education in this new four-part series.

“The Signing” (Netflix): Aspiring Latin music stars vie for a record contract in this new series. Judges include Rauw Alejandro and Nicki Nicole.

“FBI: International,” “FBI” and “FBI: Most Wanted” (CBS, 8, 9 and 10 p.m.): All three teams join forces to stop a terrorist attack in this new crossover event.

“American Experience” (KOCE, 9 p.m.): The new episode “The Sun Queen” shines a light on inventor and solar energy pioneer Mária Telkes.

“Frontline” (KOCE, 10 p.m.; concludes April 11): The new two-part episode “America and the Taliban” gives a full accounting of the United States’ efforts in the 2001-22 Afghanistan war.


Wed., April 5

“Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now” (Netflix): Get up close and personal with the chart-topping singer-songwriter in this new documentary.

“The Pope: Answers” (Hulu): Pope Francis fields questions from a group of Spanish-speaking 20-somethings in this new special.

“Schmigadoon” (Apple TV+): The curtain rises on a second season of this tune-filled fantasy comedy. With Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key.

“Growing Belushi” (Discovery, 9 p.m.): Jim Belushi continues his labors in the cannabis field as the reality series returns.

“Dave” (FX, 10 and 10:30 p.m.): Rapper Lil Dicky hip-hops and he don’t stop as this satirical series drops its Season 3 premiere.


Thu., April 6

“Beef” (Netflix): A near-miss in a store parking lot escalates into a twisted obsession for both drivers in this darkly comic drama. With Steven Yeun and Ali Wong.

“Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies” (Paramount+): Return with us now to 1950s Rydell High in this new comedy based on the hit 1978 musical.

“Slasher: Ripper” (Shudder): The hunt is on for a female serial killer as the horror anthology returns for Season 5. Eric McCormack stars.

“Celebrity Game Face” and “Celebrity Prank Wars” (E!, 9 and 10 p.m.): Kevin Hart hosts a second season of his reality series, then joins Nick Cannon to co-host a new hidden-camera show.

“Ghost Hunters” (Travel, 9 p.m.): The paranormal investigation series scares up yet another season.