Fritz on film

While he loomed large in American politics and progressive causes, Minnesota's humble hero Walter "Fritz" Mondale wasn't exactly a giant on screen like his opponent in the 1984 presidential election. You have to dig a little to find great footage of the former vice president after his passing this week at 93. The Minnesota Historical Society's website includes a deep collection of speeches, interview clips and even family videos. Melody Gilbert's loving 2008 documentary "Fritz: The Walter Mondale Story," narrated by his late daughter Eleanor, can also be streamed via Vimeo for $3. and (Chris Riemenschneider)

'Mr. Nelson on the North Side'

We can't vouch for its quality without seeing it, but we can at least cheer the idea of this new Prince documentary — which focuses on how the Black community of north Minneapolis shaped his music and activism. A crew of Canadian indie filmmakers teamed with Minnesota civil-rights fighter Spike Moss and other North Side vets from The Way community center, gathering old photos and footage from the 1970s and new commentary from the likes of Chaka Khan and Chuck D; but none of his family, close musical associates or music are in it. It premieres online at 2 p.m. Saturday ($12). (Chris Riemenschneider)

'Romeo & Juliet'

William Shakespeare's most accessible play just got even easier to appreciate with this latest film version, shot at London's National Theatre over the course of 17 days. Jessie Buckley and Josh O'Connor are heartbreaking as the star-crossed lovers, handling the dialogue with such ease, you'll think you're watching an episode of "Dawson's Creek." Those wary of the Bard's language have nothing to fear. 9 p.m. Friday, TPT, Ch. 2 (Neal Justin)

'Secrets of the Whales'

James Cameron's quest to be his generation's Jacques Cousteau continues in "Secrets of the Whales," a four-part docuseries filmed over three years in two dozen locations. The Oscar-winning director used his clout to recruit Sigourney Weaver as narrator and some of the best underwater photographers in the business, capturing the mighty animals as they hunt for stingrays, care for their young and perform rituals as elegant as any numbers from the Bolshoi Ballet. Starts streaming Thursday on Disney Plus (Neal Justin)

'Ellen's Next Great Designer'

You don't see a lot of Ellen DeGeneres in this new reality-competition series, but fans of funky chairs and tables won't mind a bit. The seven earnest designers are entertaining enough as they try to wow judges in contests like conjuring up furniture based on Portia de Rossi's art collection. Those who need hand-holding from a celebrity will have to settle for "Felicity" star Scott Foley, who serves as the show's designated shoulder to cry on. HBO Max (Neal Justin)

'20 Feet From Stardom'

On the eve of this year's Oscars, with an unusually strong-but-grim roster of documentary nominees, why not revisit one of the most entertaining recent winners? "20 Feet From Stardom" looks at backup singers of the 1960s and '70s, including Patti Austin and Darlene Love. A highlight is Merry Clayton listening to an isolated track of her ferocious vocals on the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" but in all the scenes, whether they're expressing frustration at the recognition they didn't get or glorying in the fun they had, these women are stars. Amazon (Chris Hewitt)

'Rutherford Falls'

Ed Helms co-created and stars in this sitcom about a small town coming to terms with its flawed heritage, but it's Jana Schmieding who steals the show as a resident striving to celebrate her Native American roots without shattering her friendship with Helms' ignorant character. Schmieding, who also writes for the series, balances out the often heavy-handed dialogue with over-the-top expressions of anxiety and joy that will remind you of Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Peacock (Neal Justin)

'In & Of Itself'

Yes, magic is part of the picture but don't let your rhabdophobia keep you from this mind-blowing, beautiful show. It's a filmed play and it's among the best examples of that sometimes-oxymoronic hybrid. The theme is how we see ourselves and how others see us, a topic the solemn Derek DelGaudio explores with a few card tricks, stories about growing up as the picked-on child of two moms and two audience participation scenes that are difficult to describe but are virtually guaranteed to leave you gasping and sobbing. Hulu (Chris Hewitt)


The setup leads viewers to believe they'll see evidence that Bigfoot exists. But the premise turns out to be a hoax. This three-part documentary, produced by the DuPlass brothers, quickly shifts its focus to the all-too-real racism in California's Emerald Triangle, proving once again that humans are more frightening than any mythical beast. Hulu (Neal Justin)

'Cher and the Loneliest Elephant'

A pop star may get top billing, but this documentary about the efforts to save an elephant named Kaavan from a neglectful Pakistani zoo is more about the challenges of transporting the animal to safety than a celebrity ego trip. That said, Cher fans do get the opportunity to hear her warble "My Way," Kaavan's favorite tune. Paramount Plus(Neal Justin)