Singing agent man
As spies go, John Tavner is only slightly more capable than Maxwell Smart, whether he’s inadvertently passing the money bag to the enemy or casually slipping classified information into folk songs at dive bars. His ineptness makes “Patriot” an addictive new addition to the genre with a terrific blank-faced performance by star Michael Dorman. Also terrific: Kurtwood Smith as a recovering addict who seems to be the only person on Earth sober enough to realize Tavner is an imbecile.
Now streaming on Amazon Prime
They shall overcome
Dustin Lance Black is an activist first, a screenwriter second. That’s evident in “When We Rise,” an eight-hour miniseries that, like his Oscar-winning script for “Milk,” honors the gay civil rights movement in San Francisco. Every character in this exhaustive mission speaks as if he or she has just taken the mic at a political convention. Be warned: Ads promise appearances by well-known actors, but most show up only for cameos, and Rachel Griffiths and Mary-Louise Parker are nowhere to be found in the first two installments.
8 p.m. Mon. and Wed.-Fri., KSTP, Ch. 5
The road not taken
Someone needs to starts fining the networks for slapping the titles of popular movies on nearly unrelated TV series. In “Taken,” no one is kidnapped and our hunky hero (Clive Standen) is a newbie CIA operative who outruns cars and beats up bad guys six at a time while working out the guilt he feels over the assassination of his sister. The action scenes are top-notch; the con game with viewers is not.
9 p.m. Mon., KARE, Ch. 1