What to Watch Over the Fourth of July If You Aren’t Feeling Particularly Celebratory

Given all that’s happening in America, it’s also easy to be less informed about what’s happening in Ukraine (Russia’s war on the country is now about to enter its fifth month), which is why I’m so glad NBC is shining a light on ways to support those who have been affected by the humanitarian crisis. Tonight they’ll air Ukraine: Answering the Call to help raise money, and bring important stories to the forefront. I urge you to tune in. 

There’s also a lot of light-hearted options this week, from the new Netflix reality series, How to Build a Sex Room (with British host Melanie Rose, who is like Mary Poppins with a bag of modern-day sex tricks…that’s a sentence I thought I’d never write) to Hallmark Channel’s Christmas in July programming. And perhaps most comforting of all is the release of Downton Abbey: A New Era on Blu-ray and digital. The film is the hug we all need right now, and Glamour has an exclusive clip about what it was like for the cast to work with Dame Maggie Smith. 

It’s a dark time, yes, but I hope this week’s TV offerings can offer a bit of hope and comfort. And I look forward to seeing you back here next week. 

Sunday, July 3

Ukraine: Answering the Call (NBC): I can’t think of a better program to watch this holiday weekend. NBC will present this hourlong primetime special to raise funds (through the International Rescue Committee) for those whose lives have been shattered by the crisis in Ukraine. Special appearances include José Andrés, Kristen Bell, Brandi Carlile, Brian Cox, Lena Headey, Alicia Keys, Simu Liu, Julianne Moore, Brad Paisley, Rosie Perez and more. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy will address Americans during the special, and audiences will also hear remarks from Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian Head of the Presidential Administration. NBC News will also share stories of real people around the world who are impacted by the ongoing war. For more information, visit: www.ukraineansweringthecall.com7 p.m. ET/PT, 6 p.m. CT

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Monday, July 4

America the Beautiful (Disney+): The story of our homeland and the amazing animals that inhabit our country, this special from National Geographic is narrated by Michael B. Jordan and from the award-winning producers of Planet Earth. You’ll meet the heroes fighting to preserve our wildlife and wild places for future generations. And now that the Supreme Court has ruled in a 6-3 decision that the Environment Protection Agency does not have authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, thereby significantly affecting the Biden administration’s efforts to combat climate change, it’s more crucial than ever to do what we can on an individual level to protect this beautiful planet of ours. Streaming

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