The United States of Axis powers
Philip K. Dick’s novels have inspired such sci-fi blockbusters as “Minority Report,” “Blade Runner” and “Total Recall.” But Hollywood avoided one of his earliest works, “The Man in the High Castle,” no doubt because the enemy wasn’t overly advanced machines, but the German and Japanese governments, which he imagined had defeated the Allies in World War II and taken over the United States. Kudos to Amazon for taking on this daunting twist that takes history into the twilight zone. Alexa Davalos plays a plucky San Francisco woman swept into political intrigue when her sister hands her grainy movies that suggest the results of the war may not be as clear-cut as they seemed. She’s aided by a mysterious trucker (Rupert Evans) who may be a Nazi agent. The villains are cartoonish and the bare-budget action scenes get repetitive, but this is the rare drama whose top priority is stimulating the mind. All 10 episodes available for streaming Friday for Amazon Prime subscribers. First episode free at amazonoriginals.com.
Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”) and David Cross (“Arrested Development”) reunite more than 15 years after their little seen but highly influential sketch comedy series, “Mr. Show,” for more loosely tied-together nonsense that tackles everything from reality cooking shows to the pope. “W/ Bob & David” wisely avoids the temptation to reprise past characters, instead blazing new frontiers of absurdity. Streaming on Netflix
The ghost of “Kung Fu” gets a kick in the head from “Into the Badlands,” a superior salute to the martial arts genre. Dashing Daniel Wu plays a have-chops-will-travel warrior, loyal to his dying baron, who is trying to stave off a deadly disease and competitors who crave his share of a futuristic American Midwest trying to recover from a second Dark Age. The fight scenes are so well choreographed you can tell your hoity-toity pals you just spent a night at the ballet. 9 p.m. Sunday, AMC
Our man in Havana
Even with the recent thaw in relations between U.S. and Cuban governments, it’s unlikely you’d know the story of William Morgan unless “American Experience” had dedicated an hour to his strange, sad tale. “American Comandante,” produced by Mark Samels, chronicles the rags-to-riches-to-rags adventures of an ambitious hothead who stumbled into Fidel Castro’s revolution and momentarily achieved hero status before being brought down by political reality and his own hubris. Oliver Platt narrates. 8 p.m. Tuesday, TPT, Ch. 2