During this time of social isolation, we’ll be offering weekly recommendations to help put you in an upbeat mood. (In case you missed it, here's last week's list.)
“The Call to Unite”
Another weekend, another star-studded virtual telethon for coronavirus relief efforts — except this one has Oprah herself instead of just Gayle King. She leads an all-over-the-map cast of 200-plus celebs spread over 24 hours that also includes Julia Roberts, Questlove, Common, George W. Bush, Yo-Yo Ma, Quincy Jones, Alanis Morissette, Jewel, Charlamagne Tha God and Deepak Chopra; the latter two could make for a great duet. 7 p.m. Fri.-7 p.m. Sat., unite.us, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Sirius XM.
Chesney in concert
Kenny Chesney was supposed to be at U.S. Bank Stadium on Saturday on his Chillaxification Tour, showing why he’s the king of country stadium concerts. Instead, fans will have to settle for a livestreaming event to celebrate his new album, “Here and Now.” He’s already previewed things with the up-tempo title track and the wistful “Knowing You.” 6 p.m. Fri. Facebook and Sirius XM Ch. 56 and 57. Available for later viewing on Facebook and YouTube.
“Whiskey Sour Happy Hour”
Ed Helms, best known for taking over Steve Carell’s desk on “The Office,” is also one of acoustic music’s biggest cheerleaders, a role he puts to good use as host of this lively show that celebrates Americana with the help of some talented friends, including “Live From Here” regulars Madison Cunningham and Sara Watkins. Helms and other comics, like Jenny Slate, provide the laughs without ever venturing into “Hee Haw” territory. New shows drop every Wednesday through May 12. TheBluegrassSituation.com
Memorabilia collector Dan Lanigan is the ideal tour guide for this eight-part adventure, using his boyish enthusiasm and Hollywood connections to track down artifacts from Kermit the Frog’s banjo in “The Muppet Movie” to Jane Banks’ hat in “Mary Poppins.” Shameless self-promotion for the Mickey Mouse company? You bet. But that doesn’t mean each episode isn’t a joy ride, especially when celebs like “Mystery Science Theater” creator Joel Hodgson ride shotgun. Disney Plus
“Eight Perfect Murders”
Probably what you need right now is a good murder mystery. One that is bookish, engrossing, not overly gory and impossible to solve. Peter Swanson delivers all of this in “Eight Perfect Murders,” his new novel about a bookseller who discovers that a murderer is following his blog and committing copycat murders off his list of eight great mysteries. So we, of course, get to find out about eight more mysteries (including Patricia Highsmith’s brilliant “Strangers on a Train”) while we try to figure out who is committing these crimes. Swanson drops in lovely clues, but good luck figuring it out. William Morrow
Fiona Apple’s “Fetch the Bolt Cutters”
To remember an album that generated this much surprise, discussion and awe, you’d have to go back to Beyoncé’s “Lemonade,” which was similarly released on short notice but came off like a long-festering feminist response to sexist behavior. Like Bey’s opus, this one has a truly groundbreaking, mind-blowing sonic backdrop, although Apple’s one-of-a-kind delivery shines through. The former wunderkind alt-pianist’s first effort in eight years is on all streaming platforms.
If you happen to have a 90-foot domed screen in your living room, you’re in perfect shape to enjoy the Science Museum of Minnesota’s giant-format movies. But they work surprising well on much smaller screens, too — even smartphones. The museum is making three of its movies available for free: “Mummies,” “Dinosaurs Alive!” and “Wild Ocean.” The cinematography in the third film — shots of an array of sea creatures — is the most impressive, and it’s even more impressive how well translates to a format that doesn’t require a warehouse to stage it. smm.org/omnifest
Broadway via Chanhassen
Two Fridays ago, artists associated with Chanhassen Dinner Theatres threw a little “Variety Slam” and 20,000 people tuned in to see the likes of Ann Michels and Matt Riehle, her musician hubby, perform. The lineup included artistic director Michael Brindisi and Michelle Barber, Michael Gruber and Tony Vierling, and broadcasting legend Nancy Nelson, who entertained with her pet parrot. The folks at Chanhassen are coy about this Friday’s lineup, but did confirm that Tony-nominated Broadway star Laura Osnes, who famously played Sandy in “Grease” at the theater before going to New York and stopping traffic, is on the bill. Facebook, YouTube
The endless Opry
For a staggering 4,921 consecutive Saturdays, the Grand Ole Opry has been broadcasting live country music. The radio show that inspired Garrison Keillor to create “A Prairie Home Companion” continues without a live audience at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. This week the Opry presents gargantuan star Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, his wife. He promises to sing some Haggard, Jones and Strait — and maybe some Brooks. 7 p.m. Sat., Facebook, YouTube and Sirius XM
Hosts and BFFs PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman have been getting on each others’ nerves since 2014, when this popular internet-culture podcast launched. It’s nerdy, geeky, marinated in memes and twitter spats — but don’t let that keep you away. Episode 158, “The Case of the Missing Hit,” involves a search to find an old pop song that has no internet presence at all. It’s an amazing story with a knockout payoff, and it’ll hook you on these guys for keeps. Gimlet Media
When sisters Emma, a tough, business-minded boss hardened by the Midwest, and Lyn, a free-spirited hippie type, return to their childhood neighborhood on L.A.’s East Side, they quickly discover a treasure trove of secrets. After saving the bar owned by their late mother, Vida, they must contend with the community’s conflicting perspectives of gentrification. At its core, this is a show about intense family relationships, the complexities of the Latinx community, and queer sexuality. Starz and Hulu
The feel-good movie to end all feel-good movies, “Amélie” is the French charmer about a magical woman who brightens the lives of everyone around her in the Paris neighborhood of Montmartre. With its distinctive look, a delightful lead performance by Audrey Tautou and sunny peek into one of the world’s prettiest (and, currently, unvisitable) cities, it’s a comedy romance that’s impossible not to love. Amazon, Hulu