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Stay Tuned column: ‘Wolfwalkers’ is a magical animated adventure

Melissa Crawley
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One of the best animated films this year, "Wolfwalkers" makes its TV debut.

Amazon tackles its first YA series, HBO offers a documentary about an iconic musical trio and Apple TV+ premieres an enchanting animated film.

Dispatches: Weekly TV news

Apple TV+ ordered a six-part documentary series that will go behind-the-scenes of the World Surf League (WSL). Each episode will follow the athletes who are part of the 2021 WSL Men’s and Women’s Championship Tour as they compete for the WSL title and fight to stay on the tour. The action kicks off in Hawaii and will take viewers on a journey to surfing locations across the world.

Issa Rae and Adam McKay are joining forces to adapt the podcast “Nice White Parents” into a half-hour series for HBO. The show will be a satirical look at the humor and conflict that happens when well-meaning white parents use their influence over generations of black and brown students in the New York public school system.

Contenders: Shows to keep on your radar

Teenage girls navigate a “Lord of the Flies” scenario in “The Wilds” (Dec. 11, Amazon). Amazon Prime Video’s first young adult series, it follows a group of nine young women who are stranded on an island after a plane crash. The ensemble cast is strong, and the plot interestingly moves between the girls’ backstories, their present predicament and life post-island.

Series regulars get into the spirit of the season with versions of holiday classics, popular hits and a medley of Hanukkah favorites in “High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special” (Dec. 11, Disney+).

“Wolfwalkers’’ makes its TV debut (Dec. 11, Apple TV+). The animated fantasy adventure film follows Robyn, a young girl who travels to Ireland with her father, a hunter, who is tasked with killing the last of the wolf pack. When Robyn meets Mebh, a member of a mysterious tribe thought to transform into wolves at night, she is drawn into an enchanted world and fights to save the very thing her father is out to destroy.

Brothers Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb are the subjects of “The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” (Dec. 12, HBO, 8 p.m. ET). The film explores the career of the iconic brothers who wrote over 1,000 songs, including 20 number one hits.

Tommie Smith’s famous fist-raising gesture at the 1968 Olympics is the focus of “With Drawn Arms” (Dec. 13, Bounce). The documentary chronicles how his choice remains an enduring image for activists and athletes today.

PBS has two holiday specials on tap. On Dec. 14, “Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir” features the Emmy Award-winning choir in an Americana-themed program (9 p.m. ET) and on Dec. 15, the American Pops Orchestra in collaboration with the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation presents “Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas” (8 p.m. ET). Vanessa Williams hosts the celebration of holiday classics.

Rachel Griffiths (“Six Feet Under,” “Brothers and Sisters”) plays a Prime Minister who uses an indigenous woman’s sudden fame to boost her political party and save her career in “Total Control” (Dec. 17, Sundance Now).

Report Card: Ratings winners and losers

Winners: AMC renewed “Fear the Walking Dead” for season seven.

Losers: “Superstore” (NBC) will end after its current sixth season.

Melissa Crawley is the author of “Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington: Shaping the President on Television’s ‘The West Wing.’” She has a Ph.D. in media studies and is a member of the Television Critics Association. To comment on Stay Tuned, email her at staytuned@outlook.com or follow her on Twitter at @mcstaytuned.

Wellington Daily News