— The Democratic Party has the dubious honor of pioneering the pandemic’s first virtual national convention, with its four-day meeting starting Monday. TV networks are covering the event, but it’s unclear what will replace the usual cheering throngs and balloon drops. ABC, CBS and NBC have committed to an hour of coverage at 10 to 11 p.m. EDT nightly, as has the Fox News Channel, with CNN and MSNBC making both the Democratic and Republican conventions their prime-time focus. The GOP gathering is set for Aug. 24-27. Maybe sports teams can lend bipartisan cardboard fan cutouts to fill the delegate vacuums for both.
— The summer TV doldrums are well upon us, when reruns and reality dominate. Here’s an alternative: films about television that are worth re-watching or, if you’re lucky, discovering for the first time. “My Favorite Year” is a comic charmer about the small screen’s early days, featuring the peerless Peter O’Toole. “Tootsie” starring Dustin Hoffman and “Soapdish” with Sally Field are delicious soap-opera sendups. Clinging to a somber mood? Check out “The Truman Show” with Jim Carrey, a prescient depiction of reality TV, and “Network,” an even bleaker bellwether for the medium and the society it reflects. Each can be rented for about $2 to $3 on various streaming services.
— Pandemic pressures and emotional longing are explored in “Love in the Time of Coronavirus,” a two-night, limited series debuting Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 22 and 23, at 8 p.m. EDT on Freeform (then available on Hulu). The series was shot in the cast members’ homes and includes some real-life partners. The four interwoven stories about a married couple (Leslie Odom Jr., Nicolette Robinson); roommates (Tommy Dorfman, Rainey Qualley); an estranged couple and their daughter (Gil Bellows, Rya Kihlstedt, Ava Bellows) and a wife alone on her anniversary (L. Scott Caldwell).