Start with a pair of films about roaming New York. “Little Fugitive” (1953) is a scrappy fable about a boy who leaves home to spend the day exploring Coney Island. “Downtown 81,” shot in the early ’80s but released in 2000, stars Jean-Michel Basquiat as an artist wandering the streets of Lower Manhattan, where he meets some legends of early ’80s New York. Yes, that’s Debbie Harry as a fairy princess.
Or try two films that ponder what it means to be young and in search of yourself. In “Brother to Brother” (2004), Anthony Mackie’s character develops a friendship with a fellow Black gay artist whose life was shaped by the Harlem Renaissance. In Noah Baumbach’s dry comedy “Frances Ha” (2013), Greta Gerwig plays a young dancer struggling with ambition, friendship and elusive happiness, Manhattan-style.
A Family Watch
“Lego Masters” is a family-friendly reality TV competition, streaming on Hulu, in which teams of two are asked to create artistically fantastic and architecturally demanding Lego structures.
Kids will get a kick out of how Lego are transformed into wearable hats, cuddly animals and smash-em-up vehicles. Adults, especially those who grew up as Lego builders, will appreciate the engineering skill required for structures to withstand heavy winds and even tremors. Expect heart-pounding, creative fun no matter the episode, especially with the charming goofball Will Arnett as host.
Head to IMDb TV to watch “All in the Family,” the CBS sitcom that ran from 1971 to ’79. When Archie, Edith and their Queens neighbors argue over race, feminism and politics, the rancor sounds ripped from today’s headlines. Season 2 has several very funny episodes, including “Sammy’s Visit,” in which Sammy Davis Jr. memorably gives Archie a smooch.
For a darker day of retro television, tune into Decades for a three-day “Twilight Zone” marathon starting on New Year’s Eve. Friday’s schedule features two of the series’s best episodes: “The After Hours,” about a woman wandering through an eerie department store, and “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street,” about a neighborhood that turns paranoid amid a possible alien invasion.