What’s on TV Wednesday: ‘Pitch Perfect’ and ‘Survivor’

What’s on TV Wednesday: ‘Pitch Perfect’ and ‘Survivor’


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Rebel Wilson, left, and Anna Kendrick in “Pitch Perfect.”

Credit
Peter Iovino/Universal Pictures

The original “Pitch Perfect” runs just before the release of its third installment. And “Gunpowder,” starring Kit Harington, wraps up on HBO.

What’s on TV

PITCH PERFECT (2012) 8:30 p.m. on NBC. The third installment of “Pitch Perfect” arrives on Friday, with the franchise not only a box office blockbuster but also a transformative cultural force. It’s easy to forget that it was initially an upstart project made on a modest budget of $17 million; the first film charmed its way to over $115 million at the box office with sass and charm. A big reason was Anna Kendrick: She eye-rolls, smirks, riffs, raps, dances and beams her way through the film as Beca Mitchell, an undergraduate who energizes and modernizes an all-female a cappella group on a college campus. Rebel Wilson provides some brassy comic relief.

SURVIVOR 8 p.m. on CBS. “Survivor” may not get the colossal ratings it received when it debuted 17 years ago, but it still generates a reliably large and rabid fan base. The show’s 35th season comes to a close with five contenders still in play, including Ben, a former Marine who has narrowly escaped the last two weeks by using some cunning gamesmanship and an immunity idol. After a winner is crowned, a reunion show will air at 10, with all the contestants returning to rehash their time in Fiji.

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Kit Harington, left, and Tom Cullen in “Gunpowder.”

Credit
Robert Viglasky/HBO

GUNPOWDER 10 p.m. on HBO. This three-part historical series following the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 comes to its less-than-explosive end (are there spoiler alerts for history?) under J Blakeson’s direction. As Robert Catesby (Kit Harington) begins unloading 6,000 pounds of gunpowder into a secret cellar underneath the British Parliament, the government catches wind of the plan. And as Catesby ponders fleeing, Guy Fawkes (Tom Cullen) waits underground. “The series is handsomely dressed, and Mr. Blakeson has the blunt ability to ratchet up tension,” Mike Hale wrote in his review in The New York Times.

THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH 11 p.m. on Comedy Central. Since he took over “The Daily Show” in 2015, Trevor Noah has shown a penchant for standing up for and empathizing with the vulnerable. In this year-end special, he looks back at some of 2017’s most disastrous events — mass shootings, a record-breaking hurricane season, a refugee crisis, escalating nuclear tensions — and tries to find humor, or maybe a bit of solace.

What’s Streaming

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Mads Mikkelsen, center, in “Doctor Strange.”

Credit
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

DOCTOR STRANGE (2016) on Netflix. In May you can see Benedict Cumberbatch folded into the greater Marvel world as one of more than 20 superhuman characters in “Avengers: Infinity War.” But his stand-alone feature, “Doctor Strange,” stands apart from the rest of that cinematic universe for its trippy visual bent. “The space-and-time warping and mirrored realities in ‘Doctor Strange’ are a blast,” Manohla Dargis wrote in her review in The Times. “They’re inventive enough that they awaken wonder, provoking that delicious question: How did they do that?”



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