How Much Watching Time Do You Have This Weekend?

Our TV critic recommends checking out a terrific basketball drama, a fun music documentary and an odd comedy-reality hybrid.

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By Margaret Lyons

This weekend I have … a half-hour, and I want something lyrical.

‘The Crossover’
When to watch: Now, on Disney+.

At first glance, “The Crossover” could slot in with shows like “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers” or “Big Shot,” earnest sports coming-of-age stories for the middle-school crowd. But the series, based on the Newberry-winning novel in verse by Kwame Alexander, is more like a junior version of “David Makes Man,” poetic and poignant, stylized and smart. The show follows Josh and J.B. (Jalyn Hall and Amir O’Neil), twin brothers who want to follow in their father’s basketball-star footsteps and also differentiate themselves from each other and their parents. If your household is not quite ready for “Friday Night Lights,” but you still want a family drama with depth, watch this.

… an hour, and I could stand to learn something.

‘Great Performances: Now Hear This’
When to watch: Friday at 9 p.m., on PBS.

The violinist and conductor Scott Yoo returns for a fourth season of this ebullient music and travelogue series, which begins with an episode in Buenos Aires that explores the history of tango, in particular the work of the composer Astor Piazzolla. “Hear” covers both the artistic and the mechanical — who among us has not yearned to know how the guts of an accordion work? — but its real calling card is the sense of pleasure radiating from the show’s participants. Making music together is supposed to be fun! Being really good at it makes it even more fun! (Check local listings for broadcast times.)

… a few hours, and I crave novelty.

‘Jury Duty’
When to watch: Begins Friday, on FreeVee.

There are two shows happening inside “Jury Duty”: One is a lovable-weirdos mockumentary like “The Office,” and the other is a real-life “Truman Show,” a psychological experiment designed to entertain. Weirdly … it mostly works. Ronald Gladden believes that he is serving on a jury and being filmed for a documentary. He is not. Everyone else involved is an actor, each moment a scripted contrivance, and while ridiculousness swirls around him, Ronald remains impressively kind and upbeat. I was afraid the show would feel cruel or depraved, but it’s surprisingly endearing. Four episodes drop this week, and two each the next two Fridays.

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