What’s on TV Thursday: ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ and ‘The Whistlers’


UNSOLVED MYSTERIES Stream on Netflix. When the docu-series “Unsolved Mysteries” debuted on NBC in the late 1980s, it became a hit through a potent blend of reality and folklore. The show ran for a decade, telling stories of missing-persons cases and supernatural events, before moving to other networks. Now, Netflix has rebooted it for the streaming age. This new “Unsolved Mysteries,” a collaboration between makers of the original series and the production company behind “Stranger Things,” consists of six episodes that each focus on a different crime or mystery — U.F.O.’s, unsolved deaths — while preserving the show’s mix of fact and fiction. “We like the mix,” Terry Dunn Meurer, one of the show’s creators, said in a recent interview with The New York Times. “We’ve always thought of ourselves as a mystery show, not as a true-crime show.”

DEAD MEN DON’T WEAR PLAID (1982) Rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. The comic performer, writer and director Carl Reiner died this week at 98. Those wishing to revisit some of his work have decades’ worth of choices, from Reiner’s early collaborations with Mel Brooks and his work on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” to his appearances in “Ocean’s Eleven” and its sequels. Somewhere in the middle lies “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid,” one of four films Reiner made with Steve Martin. A film noir spoof directed by Reiner, the movie casts Martin as Rigby Reardon, a sleuth who, through filmmaking tricks that involve clips from old movies, interacts with Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Barbara Stanwyck and other stars.

THE WHISTLERS (2019) Stream on Hulu; rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. “If the Coen brothers were Romanian,” A.O. Scott wrote in The Times last year, “they might have made ‘The Whistlers.’” A sprawling, self-aware crime caper from the Romanian writer and director Corneliu Porumboiu,” “The Whistlers” revolves around a group of gangsters who communicate in Silbo Gomero — the whistled language used in the Canary Islands — and a corrupt cop (Vlad Ivanov) who teams up with a femme fatale (Catrinel Marlon) to blow down the gangsters’ operation.

CHARLIE’S ANGELS (2019) 7:10 p.m. on Starz. After taking a digital magic-carpet ride in Disney’s “Aladdin” remake last year, the British actress Naomi Scott wiped the floor with bad guys in this “Charlie’s Angels” reboot. She plays Elena, a programmer who is recruited to work as a detective alongside a pair of other operatives (played by Kristen Stewart and Ella Balinska), who team up to take down deep-pocketed villains. “The stars are appealing and seem to be having a fine time delivering the bad dialogue amid punches and location changes,” Manohla Dargis wrote in her review for The Times. “For all the globe-trotting, though, the whole thing looks generic (the product placements turn the world into a mall), which wouldn’t matter if the story itself had something going for it beyond forced quips and casual violence.”

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