Troop Zero on Amazon Prime (review) plus Dateline true crime | Raleigh News & Observer
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Happiness is a Warm TV

What to Watch on Friday: New true crime, plus ‘Troop Zero’ lands on Amazon

Troop Zero (Amazon Prime) - This Amazon Prime original movie has an all-star cast and a tremendous amount of heart. Set in rural Georgia in 1977, “Troop Zero” follows a little girl named Christmas and her efforts to connect with her dead mother by becoming a Birdie Scout, winning a talent show at the Birdie Scout Jamboree, and sending her voice into space. The cast is fantastic, from top to bottom. Viola Davis plays Christmas’ reluctant Birdie Scout troop mother, Allison Janney plays the school principal (and scout mother to a rival troop of monsters), Jim Gaffigan plays Christmas’ affable but struggling father and Mckenna Grace (“I, Tonya”) is both inspiring and heartbreaking as Christmas Flint. And there’s another delightful bonus: Apex’s own Johanna Colón makes her film debut as Smash, part of the rag-tag Birdie Scout Troop #0. “Troop Zero” is directed by Bert & Bertie, from a screenplay by “Beasts of the Southern Wild” co-writer Lucy Alibar and inspired by Alibar’s 2010 play “Christmas and Jubilee Behold The Meteor Shower.”

[Interview with Johanna Colón: A little older and wiser, viral video star gets R-E-S-P-E-C-T from her acting]

20/20: Overboard (9 p.m., ABC) - ABC looks at the bizarre mystery surrounding Tom and Jackie Hawks, retired grandparents who vanished in California in 2004 while preparing to sell their 55-foot yacht. The true crime documentary special recounts the bone-chilling confession from an accomplice that helped crack the case, and how a surveillance video led investigators to uncover Skylar and Jennifer Deleon’s tragic plot to murder the Hawks, and also the surprising potential motives behind the murder. We’ll learn the status of the case now, with an update on Skylar’s life on death row.

Dateline NBC (9 p.m., NBC) - Keith Morrison reports on how a childhood memory reignited an unsolved murder investigation in Iowa. During a childhood sleepover, nine-year-old Jessie Becker glimpses a woman sobbing and lighting black candles, and the image is seared deep in her memory. Decades later she reveals what she saw, leading to a new investigation of the unsolved murder of local bartender Corey Wieneke. The report includes interviews with Wieneke’s neighbor Jessie Becker, investigator CJ Ryan, district attorney Alan Ostergren and more.

Little America (Apple TV+) - This new documentary series is inspired by the true stories in Epic Magazine, which show funny, romantic, heartfelt and inspiring stories of immigrants in America. It’s executive produced by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon.

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Some programming descriptions are provided by networks.

Brooke Cain is a North Carolina native who has worked at The News & Observer for more than 20 years. She writes about TV and local media for the Happiness is a Warm TV blog, and answers CuriousNC questions for readers.
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Happiness is a Warm TV

It's must read television! We have DVRs. We have cable. We have armchairs. That makes us highly qualified to talk about television. Join us as we explore what's good, what's bad, what's too bad to miss, and anything else TV has to offer. Contributors are Brooke Cain and Thad Ogburn.
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