What’s on TV Saturday: ‘The Split’ and a ‘Dateline’ Special


THE SPLIT Stream on Sundance Now, Sundance TV, Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes and YouTube TV. On the first season of this drama, centered around a family of high-powered divorce lawyers, Ruth Defoe (Deborah Findlay), the matriarch, gives a speech at her daughter’s wedding that gets at the heart of the series. “I have found through life that love and hate are so often intertwined,” she says. “Or perhaps, I should say, that the love that’s there at the start is still there at the end.” As Ruth and her daughters Nina (Annabel Scholey) and Hannah (Nicola Walker), both lawyers, help their clients navigate the often heartless legal world of infidelity, prenuptial agreements and divorce, they are forced to come to terms with the emotional challenges in their own relationships. As Margaret Lyons, a television critic for The New York Times, wrote in her Watching column: “If you like ensemble dramas in which smart, elegant people stand in nice kitchens and sadly ponder their lives, watch this.”

ALEXA & KATIE Stream on Netflix. High school can be a difficult time for any kid without the stress of hospital visits, medical tests and worrying about a compromised immune system. But that’s the reality for Alexa Mendoza (Paris Berelc), the teen at the center of this family comedy, who is navigating school along with a cancer diagnosis. Fortunately, she doesn’t have to go through it alone, thanks to her best friend Katie Cooper (Isabel May). In part four of this series, the pair enters senior year together, confronting adolescent challenges like awkward teen romances and the college-admissions process.

LIAR Stream on Sundance Now, Sundance TV and Amazon. Joanne Froggatt, who played the “Downton Abbey” chambermaid Anna Bates, is no stranger to portraying female characters working to overcome unthinkable tragedy. And in this psychological thriller, her character, Laura Nielson, is put through wringer. After a fateful date with a charming widowed doctor (played by Ioan Gruffudd), Laura wakes up the next morning sure that she’s been sexually assaulted and goes straight to the police. But with a lack of evidence, a heated he-said she-said war engulfs their small seaside town, sending Laura on her own crusade for justice and revenge. Of Froggatt’s performance, The New York Times’s Mike Hale wrote, “There’s a fine calibration at work — she knows how to show sharp, sometimes unsympathetic edges and still keep an audience on her side. It’s the kind of survival strategy both Anna and Laura would appreciate.”

THE PLAYBOOK 8 p.m. on NBC. In a special “Dateline” report, Lester Holt takes an in-depth look at the U.S. coronavirus response. He speaks with Beth Cameron, the former head of the National Security Council’s pandemic response and preparedness team, and Jeremy Konyndyk, an expert in international disasters. Cameron and Konyndyk were two of the authors of the 2016 “pandemic playbook,” which was written in response to the 2014-2015 Ebola crisis to help U.S. officials better handle an epidemic. Holt also sits down with Alex Azar, the Health and Human Services secretary, to discuss criticism of the Trump administration’s response.

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