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In 1973, PBS aired "An American Family," a docuseries that shattered the image of picture-perfect life in the suburbs. Early seasons of MTV's "The Real World" showed that young adults had more on their minds than scoring Mariah Carey tickets.

But over the past 20 years, reality TV has become a substitute for sitcoms, a home for washed-up stars, bone-headed beauties and socialites promoting their brands. "The Real World" became a science lab to see how bad fragile people will behave after eight shots of booze.

"Jerrod Carmichael Reality Show" is something else entirely. Over the course of eight episodes, we watch the Emmy-winning comedian as he chastises his parents for not fully embracing his homosexuality, cheats on his boyfriends with a rotating door of Grindr dates and alienates friends.

Some of the scenes are so dramatic that you may suspect they are fake. But I doubt Carmichael would allow himself to often look like a jerk if he wasn't truly committed to being real.

Like he did in his excellent NBC sitcom "The Jerrod Carmichael Show" and various stand-up specials, the comic treats the screen like a confessional booth, as if the only time he can truly be honest with himself is when the cameras are rolling. It may not be the healthiest form of therapy, but it does make for an enlightening viewing experience.

Also this week

'Testament: The Story of Moses'

ABC will broadcast Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments" at 6 p.m. Saturday, an Easter tradition for roughly 50 years. Those wanting to mix it up can check out this three-part docudrama with theologians weighing in between redramatized plagues. Christians may be surprised to learn that Moses also played a role in other religions, which leads to different takes you won't find in the King James Bible. The special effects are fine, but nothing here quite matches the spectacle of watching Charlton Heston part the Red Sea. ABC


Shirley Chisholm's 1972 presidential campaign was a flop, but John Ridley's film makes the argument that it successfully laid the groundwork for other Black female politicians. It's a fairly paint-by-numbers biopic, elevated by Regina King's terrific performance. Scenes of the congresswoman sucking down McDonald's shakes, dancing at a Brooklyn street party and resigning herself to late-night TV dinners go a long way in humanizing the historic figure. Lance Reddick, who died in March 2023, brings quiet dignity to his role as activist Wesley Holder. Netflix


Daniel Patrick Moynihan never ran for the country's highest office, but the late New York senator still made a huge impact in Washington, D.C., by making full use of his charm, intellect and willingness to work both sides of the aisle. Jeffrey Wright narrates this eye-opening edition of "American Masters" with commentary from Republicans (Henry Kissinger) and Democrats (Joe Biden). 8 p.m. Friday, TPT

'Tig Notaro: Hello Again'

This stand-up special taped in Brooklyn features a lot of familiar beats with the veteran comic recounting her latest medical scare and awkward parenting skills. If there's anything new, it's Notaro name-dropping celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and Adele, a reminder to fans that she's now on the A-list. A closing bit that revolves around her inability to play piano goes on a little too long. Prime Video