What’s on TV This Week: ‘9to5: The Story of a Movement’ and ‘The Equalizer’


Between network, cable and streaming, the modern television landscape is a vast one. Here are some of the shows, specials and movies coming to TV this week, Feb. 1-7. Details and times are subject to change.

INDEPENDENT LENS: 9TO5 — THE STORY OF A MOVEMENT 10 p.m. on PBS. The filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar (“American Factory”), co-directed this new documentary about the founding of 9to5, National Association of Working Women. The organization was started by a group of secretaries in Boston in the 1970s. The documentary revisits its roots, and the larger groundswell of feminist activism from which it grew. It includes interviews with the organization’s founders and others related to the movement — including Jane Fonda, who starred alongside Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton in the 1980 farce “Nine to Five,” which took inspiration from the organization’s back story.

MO’ BETTER BLUES (1990) 6:50 p.m. on Showtime. You can watch a trio of Spike Lee movies on Showtime on Thursday night, beginning with Lee’s 1994 Bed-Stuy coming-of-age story “Crooklyn” at 4:55 p.m., and ending with Lee’s 1989 opus “Do the Right Thing” at 9 p.m. In between those two, the network will show “Mo’ Better Blues,” Lee’s music-heavy comedy-drama about a jazz trumpeter, Bleek Gilliam (Denzel Washington). The music in the movie is largely by Lee’s father, the jazz bassist and composer Bill Lee; its plot involves Bleek’s complicated love life and his band’s financial issues, which are driven by their gambling-addicted manager (Lee), and which raise questions about the relationship between art and money. “An artist has to be a businessman today,” Lee explained in an interview with The Times in 1990. “Money means a lot. It equals power. If my films did not make the money they make, I couldn’t make the demands I make. A studio knows I’ll have final cut.”

BADLANDS (1973) 6:15 p.m. on TCM. Terrence Malick took inspiration from a brief, bloody real-life episode for this, his directorial debut. Based loosely on a string of murders committed in the 1950s, “Badlands” casts Martin Sheen as a 25-year-old Midwestern garbage collector and Sissy Spacek as an underage girl who runs off with him. The two take a murderous road trip across the Midwest. The film, Vincent Canby wrote in his review for The Times in 1973, is “ferociously American.”

THE EQUALIZER 10 p.m. on CBS. The 1980s action series “The Equalizer” got a pair of ultraviolent film adaptations during the 2010s, with Denzel Washington taking over for the original series’s star, Edward Woodward, on laying-waste-to-bad-guys duty. The franchise comes full-circle with this new TV reboot, which stars Queen Latifah as a fresh version of the show’s fleet-footed vigilante. CBS clearly has high hopes for the new series; they’re airing it right after the Super Bowl, which begins on the network at 7 p.m.


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