FAMILY COMEDY CAPER “SLEEPOVER;” CW FALL TV PREVIEW 2020

A TV Review by Tim Riley

 

THE SLEEPOVER” ON NETFLIX An action caper with heart, “The Sleepover” is a family adventure-comedy that takes an interesting turn when teenager Clancy (Sadie Stanley) and her younger middle-school brother Kevin (Maxwell Simkins) discover the secret life of their stay-at-home mom. The parents seem like normal suburban folks. The father, Ron (Ken Marino), is a pastry shop owner always willing to test his latest concoctions with the family. The mother, Margot (Malin Ackerman), volunteers as a lunch monitor at the local school.

Kevin’s goofball antics get him into trouble at school. A class presentation of his father’s biography is such farfetched fiction that his teacher requires a do-over. His outlandish dance moves in the school bathroom get caught on camera and go viral.Clancy, a talented cellist with daunting stage fright, is more subdued, and yet highly irritated that she’s the only one in her grade without a cellphone that her overprotective mother won’t let her have. Kevin has a sleepover with his nerdy friend Lewis (Lucas Jaye), a bedwetter who happens to be uptight about anything outside of his dull routine. Meanwhile, Clancy wants to sneak out to a party with her friend Mim (Cree Cicchino), a social media maven.The kids’ plans for the night are upended when Margot and Ron get kidnapped at gunpoint. It turns out that Margot has a secret past unknown to the rest of the family. She’s been in witness protection for years after turning state’s evidence against her old crew.

Unlikely as it seems, Margot was a master jewel thief in league with a bunch of fellow crooks, including her ex-flame Leo (Joe Manganiello), a hunky stud who’s bound to elicit pangs of jealousy from Margot’s somewhat awkward husband.Following a trail of clues left behind by Margot, the kids locate a storage locker filled with gadgets that would be the envy of James Bond and other action heroes. Now it’s up to the spunky quartet to get from Cape Cod to Boston where a major heist is to occur at a gala affair.

Put to the test of one last job, Margot is tasked with stealing a jeweled crown from a royal couple, and Ron is forced to tag along disguised as an assistant with an amusing lack of control over various bodily functions and inability to maintain a French accent.When the time is right, Margot reveals that she’s got the chops of a skilled fighter that match those of someone like Charlize Theron in “Atomic Blonde” and the recent Netflix film, “The Old Guard.” Nothing about “The Sleepover” suggests that a groundbreaking twist on the family-centered adventure genre is at hand. That hardly matters when the hyperactive rescue mission results in a pleasant and enjoyable caper that is watchable fun for the family.Netflix is certainly the right platform for “The Sleepover,” a perfectly serviceable made-for-TV movie that is more appropriate for home entertainment than viewing at the multiplex that might not be open for business anyway.

THE CW NETWORK FALL SEASON PREVIEW

 

An asterisk continues to haunt the legend of Roger Maris breaking the home run record of Babe Ruth that occurred when regular season games had expanded from 154 to 162. Something similar hangs over sports this year, but also on programming for the fall television season.The CW network is not alone for what has been described as a heavily asterisked schedule looming for the upcoming 2020-21 TV season. The pandemic has scrambled not only production of shows but the timetable for new programs to be premiered.

Nevertheless, CW has one new series coming this fall in “Devils,” an international thriller that follows Massimo Ruggero (Alessandro Borghi), the head of trading at an investment bank, and his mentor, Dominic Morgan (Patrick Dempsey), the CEO of the bank.After Dominic appoints another colleague above Massimo following a nasty promotion battle, Massino ends up the prime suspect in a murder investigation. To clear his name, Massimo becomes involved in a financial war and is forced choose whether to support or oppose Dominic.

The greatly anticipated “Superman & Lois” is now set to debut in January 2021. The Man of Steel aka Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin) and journalist Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) are now dealing with the stress and pressures of being working parents in today’s society.Complicating the daunting job of raising two boys, Clark and Lois must concern themselves with whether or not their sons Jonathan (Jordan Elsass) and Jordan (Alexander Garfin) could inherit their superhero father’s Kryptonian superpowers as they grow older.

Returning to Smallville, Clark and Lois are reacquainted with Lana Lang (Emmanuelle Chriqui), a local loan officer and Clark’s first love, and her Fire Chief husband Kyle Cushing (Erik Valdez).Dull moments are not found in the life of a superhero, as Lois’ father (Dylan Walsh) expects Superman to vanquish a villain at a moment’s notice. Idyllic life in Smallville for Clark and Lois is also upended when a mysterious stranger (Wole Parks) enters their lives.

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