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TV’s Tide Turn on Tropes

This year's Emmys lead actress nominees portray a breadth of complicated characters, and mark the TV industry's continual edging away from ageist tropes to create meaty roles for all women.

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  • ‘Lovecraft Country’

    American history is up for examination in HBO's new drama that uses horror traditions to tell a story of racism.

  • ‘Immigration Nation’

    "Immigration Nation" is a damning indictment of the systems that make ICE so powerful, and a wrenching examination of the human cost.

  • ‘On the Trail’

    The HBO Max doc follows female campaign embeds, a worthy goal, but feels less urgent with 2020 politicking on hold.

  • Critics Pick

    ‘An Easy Girl’

    Rebecca Zlotowski challenges society's biases about promiscuity and female empowerment in this nonjudgmental portrait.

  • ‘Sputnik’

    Egor Abramenko's Cold War-era genre exercise is saved by its familiar roots and strong Ellen Ripley-like protagonist.

  • ‘Endless’

    This teen-targeted tale of young love and demise won't haunt, but it may keep audiences caring.

  • ‘The Bay of Silence’

    Claes Bang, Olga Kurylenko and Brian Cox keep Paula van der Oest's trauma-laced mystery engrossing even when the script goes slack.

  • ‘Richard II’

    Andre Holland leads the cast of a surprisingly intimate audio version of Shakespeare, from the Public Theater's Free Shakespeare in the Park.

  • ‘The Line’

    Meet the COVID-19 pandemic's first responders in this streaming docu-play about health care workers.

  • ‘The Present’

    Helder Guimarães' modest Zoom-based magic show brings audiences together nightly during lockdown.

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