What To Watch: 01/17/2020

Apple TV got off to a rocky start, at least programming-wise, but tonight might mark its first critical breakout hit — this one an anthology of true immigrant stories from newly jacked Kumail Nanjiani, a naturalized citizen born in Pakistan himself, and his wife. Brad will point out that its Shamalayan series, which closes its first season, also has a lot going for it.

JASON’S PICK:
Little America [Apple+]
Taking its cue from a popular Epic Magazine story about immigration success stories, this timely new series on Apple+ comes from the Oscar nom’d husband-wife team of Pakistani-American stand-up/actor Kumail Nanjiani and writer Emily V. Gordon, with help from Lee Eisenberg and Master of None’s Alan Yang.

BRAD’S PICK:
Servant [Apple+]
M. Night’s Servant drops its season finale today. The mystery it has been building is very dense and creepy. I have a feeling this episode will leave us with more questions than answers. Bet there will be a twist though.

KATHERINE’S PICK:
Russell Peters: Deported [Amazon Prime]
Russell Peters is back on our screens with an hour from his world tour. His special was filmed in Mumbai.

ALSO ON TAP TONIGHT:

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  • Not sure how the new Hulu kids-in-sci-fi program Endings is getting almost no publicity, but the fantasy series looks charming with its Seuss-ian alien with a thing for endangered species.
  • There’s more engaging children shenanigans tonight with Disney Plus’ new series Diary of a Future President written by Ilana Pena about a precocious 12-year-old Cuban-American (not unlike herself) who is trying to make her way through the shark-infested waters of middle school en route to the greatness hinted in the title.
  • It’s veteran stand-up night on Amazon Prime as Catastrophe star/co-creator Rob Delaney has a new concept special, Rob Delaney: Jackie.
  • It may not be the liberal faux news series we need right now, but HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher returns for an 18th{?!} season, and while Maher tends to veer from provocative to stupid at times, for almost thirty years, he’s been a master in cultivating great conversation from an impressive guest list of actors, celebrities, journalists, and thinkers.
  • One of our favorites, ABC’s Fresh Off The Boat, returns from its sixth-season winter break with one of our favorite characters, Jessica, in a new role. Who are we kidding, all of the Huangs are Screen Scholars favorites.
  • And it’s indicative of Netflix’s over-saturation that a charmingly awkward, edgy, and critically-feted series starring one-time TV goddess Gillian Anderson would kind of get lost in the shuffle, but that’s what happened to Sex Education, but thankfully it garnered enough of a cult following to return for a second season, and that happens today.

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