What’s on TV Wednesday: ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ and ‘Scary Stories’


MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (2015) 9 p.m. on Syfy. In a recent interview with The New York Times, Charlize Theron looked back on her experience shooting this “Mad Max” sequel. “I feel a mixture of extreme joy that we achieved what we did, and I also get a little bit of a hole in my stomach,” she said. Anyone who’s seen the movie will have a sense that shooting it would have been arduous: It revolves around a high-speed desert chase, with characters vaulting between enormous, rusty vehicles cobbled together from spare parts. The main players — the driver Furiosa (Theron) and the warrior Max (Tom Hardy) — are in perpetual motion, threatened by a crazed leader, Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), and an army of his underlings. “The biggest thing that was driving that entire production was fear,” Theron said. “I was incredibly scared, because I’d never done anything like it.”

SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK (2019) 6:10 p.m. on Showtime. The children’s horror book series “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” a sleepover staple since the 1980s, springs to life in this nostalgic adaptation from the filmmaker André Ovredal. While the series, written by Alvin Schwartz with illustrations by Stephen Gammell, debuted in 1981, Ovredal’s adaptation sets the action in 1968, with the Vietnam War and the election of Richard Nixon as a backdrop for small-town American horror. In his review for The Times, Ben Kenigsberg wrote that the movie owes a debt not only to Schwartz and Gammell, but also to decades’ worth of eerie films. “Whether it’s the scene-setting blast of Donovan (‘Zodiac’), the low-height Steadicam work (‘The Shining’), the red-suffused hallways (David Lynch) or ‘Night of the Living Dead’ playing at a drive-in,” Kenigsberg wrote, “the movie takes from the best.” So it’s fitting that Showtime is offering it along with a pair of its forebears on Wednesday night: THE RING (2002), airing at 8 p.m., and THE SHINING (1980), at 11 p.m.

THE BABY-SITTERS CLUB Stream on Netflix. While Alvin Schwartz was raising children’s hair with “Scary Stories” in the 1980s and ’90s, Ann M. Martin was introducing budding readers to “The Baby-Sitters Club.” Martin’s series centered on a group of girls in suburban Connecticut, following each as they navigated friend and family drama, romance and the operation of their business. The Netflix adaptation moves the characters into the 21st century, but retains a focus on the joys and pains of adolescence.

LES BLANCS Stream on nationaltheatre.org.uk. Broadway audiences haven’t seen this final play by Lorraine Hansberry since it debuted in 1970, but audiences at the National Theater in London got to see a production from the South African director Yaël Farber in 2016. Set in the 1960s in a fictional African country, the play follows an intellectual (Danny Sapani) who has returned home from England to bury his father, and an American journalist (Elliot Cowan) covering the country’s fight for independence. In a recent review for The Times, Alexis Soloski called it “a work of the past that speaks — lucidly and startlingly — to the confusions of the present.”

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