Top Picks: The Lone Bellow's new album 'Then Came the Morning,' American Masters' 'August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand,' and more

Frances McDormand wows in the title role in the HBO miniseries 'Olive Kitteridge,' Diana Krall's album 'Wallflower' keeps it simple with her take on classic pop songs, and more top picks.


Life in Maine

The acclaimed HBO miniseries adaptation of Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book Olive Kitteridge is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. Frances McDormand stars as Olive, a cantankerous New Englander, in a series that explores small-town life in Crosby, Maine. McDormand’s performance has been called one of her best. 

Urban country

Brooklyn is an active incubator of thousands of bands these days, but none is more distinctive than The Lone Bellow. The trio’s sophomore effort, Then Came the Morning, is a lively, passion-fueled demonstration that alt-country music can be much more than dreary Dust Bowl-ballads. Lead vocalist Zach Williams punches way above his weight with a charged, emotional delivery that separates The Lone Bellow from the Americana pack. 

An American Shakespeare

“American Masters” on PBS presents August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand, a documentary of the poet and playwright exploring the creative processes that influenced and shaped his award-winning 10-play cycle. It features archival footage and new interviews with Viola Davis, Charles Dutton, Laurence Fishburne, James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad, and others. “August Wilson” premières Feb. 20 at 9 p.m. (check local listings) and will be available on DVD Feb. 24. 

African-American lenses

The documentary Through a Lens Darkly brings into focus the experience of African-American photographers. Director Thomas Allen Harris explores how the medium allowed the artists to present their own perspectives and transcend racial stereotypes. The photos not only changed how African-Americans saw themselves but also how others viewed them. It premières on “Independent Lens” on PBS Feb. 16 at 10 p.m.

Krall enthralls

The Grammy-winning jazz singer/pianist Diana Krall takes a trip down Top 40 memory lane, 1970s and ’80s style, on Wallflower. Krall lends her husky delivery to a dozen familiar pop songs such as “California Dreamin’, ” “Desperado,” “Alone Again (Naturally),” “I’m Not in Love,” and the gorgeous “Don’t Dream It’s Over.” Krall keeps it simple and lets these great pop standards shine. 

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