What To Watch: 01/26/2020

Our literal president has become all the more cartoonish as he settles into his role as the third president to be tried in the Senate. And since you know the Republicans aren’t going to do a damn thing, sometimes we need to make fun of it along with the people who put it in perspective. Also, old people give out music awards.

Our Cartoon President [Showtime, 8:30p]
As our real POTUS gets crazier and crazier, Stephen Colbert’s version (barely an exaggeration at this point) gets better and better. Its fifteenth season starts tonight. Oh, wait, that’s third, it only feels much longer.

The Outsider [HBO, 10p]
This new thriller has been immensely satisfying. With Jason Bateman’s accused murderer already dead, we wallow in the mystery left in his wake as the investigator struggles to understand how a man could have evidence stacked in his favor and simultaneously against him. The answer, which is Too Stephen King, is boring on paper, but compelling on the screen–and now we get Cynthia Ervio’s private investigator, which livens up an endless parade of cranky white men. It helps, too, that the series has been heavily influenced by True Detective and Fargo–the lighting, editing, and visual composition have been an utter delight.

Avenue 5 [HBO, 10:30p]
Farce-master Armando Ianucci’s escape from politics into space has earned tepid reviews, so if those chased you away from the first episode, I’m gonna say give it a shot. The first episode may have tried to cram in too much, but there were plenty of beautiful slapstick moments and top notch actors (from Hugh Laurie to Josh Gad to Zach Woods) crafting promising characters. If it gets its chance, this could get good.



  • Then there’s John Heilmann and Alex Wagner’s look at all the miscegoss of our accidental presidency and the altered image above of the Republican Party’s first hero says it all. The Circus returns on Showtime as we cruise into the 2020 election.
  • The Recording Academy throws its garbage up on stage as the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards airs tonight on CBS. We suspect Billie Eilish will factor in heavily.
  • Irrepressible Indian stand-up Vir Das releases his latest hour-long special on Netflix today, titled simply enough: Vir Das: For India.
  • The History Channel actually addresses the subject in its name as it tells sad tales in its WWII memorial Auschwitz Untold.
  • Reelz goes in the other direction (or is there a Unabomber movie coming out we’re missing), horning in on History’s job with their expose on the complicated life of Ted Kaczynski with The Lost Unabomber Tapes.
  • And we end, as per the usze, with the new Lifetime Movies and movies that are like Lifetime Movies. On the original Lifetime, we’ve got Adopted in Danger, which you can easily piece together from the title and the network it’s on (or you can click on the title). Up brings us Late Bloomer, the story of Jenny who finds love in spite of once wearing glasses.

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