What’s on TV Wednesday: ‘Mr. Iglesias’ and ‘Prehistoric Road Trip’


MR. IGLESIAS Stream on Netflix. Mr. Iglesias is back for another season, and this time, he is determined to get his underperforming students into college. The series is a homage to the high school alma mater of Gabriel Iglesias, the comedian who plays the title character: a history teacher heavily invested in the academic success and emotional well-being of his students. Though Iglesias is more recognized for his stand-up comedy than his acting, “He embodies Gabe’s sincerity and modesty in such a natural, unaffected way that he is almost egregiously likable,” Mike Hale wrote for The New York Times.

SICILIA! (1999) Stream on Mubi. Adapted from Elio Vittorini’s novel “Conversazione in Sicilia,” this minimalistic film follows an unnamed Sicilian man (Gianni Buscarino) who has returned home after living in northern Italy. The directors, Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet, cast the film in four “movements,” as Stephen Holden called them in his review for The Times. Through a detached cinematic lens, the man engages in discussion with Sicilian characters: an orange picker, men on a train, his mother and a knife-sharpener. Of the characters, Holden wrote, “The Sicilians who discourse in the film, sometimes casually and sometimes in intense personal conversations, tend to speak in cadences that echo the fervency of Italian opera.”

DEATH OF A SALESMAN (1985) Stream on Pluto TV, Sundance Now and Tubi; rent on Amazon, Google Play, Vudu and YouTube. Widely considered to be an American classic, this play by Arthur Miller first came to Broadway in 1949 and received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It has since been revived on Broadway four times, including a 1984 production that starred Dustin Hoffman as Willy Loman, a traveling salesman whose antiquated version of American-dream success leaves him feeling undervalued and at odds with his two sons — who were Happy (played by Stephen Lang) and Biff (John Malkovich). Hoffman, Lang and Malkovich were cast again in this 1985 screen adaptation, which was created closely with Miller. “The superb performances generate an atmosphere of freshness and spontaneity,” John J. O’Connor wrote for The Times, adding, “This is not simply a showcase for Mr. Hoffman. The rest of the cast is equally admirable, and the ensemble work is perhaps even more impressive in this production than in the stage version.”

PREHISTORIC ROAD TRIP 10 p.m. on PBS. (Check local listings.) This new three-part series kicks off in the northern Great Plains, where Emily Graslie — the show’s host, writer and producer — grew up. There, she’ll visit fossil sites across five states that contain billions of years of natural history. In Episode 1, “Welcome to Fossil Country,” Graslie will start at the beginning, explaining the bacteria, reptiles and other creatures that make up the earliest life forms on the planet Earth.

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