What To Watch: 02/03/2020

We’re all about learning here at Screen Scholars (hell, it’s in our name), and whether that’s delving into racial and class disparities, rooting out corruption in unlikely places, or getting tips on how to create your own version of Girl Scout Cookies, we’ve got ideas.

JASON’S PICK:
McMillions [HBO, 10p]
The McDonald’s Monopoly contest has been a part of life since the 1980s. I was a kid when it started and always wondered if anyone actually won those contests. Turns out, for a long time, the answer was “no.” For 12 years that spanned the entirety of the ’90s, not one person ever won, well, no one in the general public anyway. And the story is crazy, involving a corrupt ex-cop, a marketing company, the mob, and in a roundabout way 9/11. This six-part docu-series is from HBO (always a great sign) and the trailer promises a compelling tale.

KATHERINE’S PICK:
Girl Scout Cookie Championship [Food, 9p]
Alyson Hannigan hosts this new baking competition series where adult bakers (seems like an important distinction to make, with all those kid bakers on at 9…) make new treats with Girl Scout Cookies. For tonight’s premiere the pros create cake pops.

BRAD’S PICK:
Independent Lens: Cooked [PBS, 10p]
Cooked: Death By ZIP Code is part of PBS’ Independent Lens. The Heatwave in 1995 claimed over 700 lives. A fascinating study of privilege that is very timely in the age of climate change.

ALSO ON TAP TONIGHT:

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  • Taking the concept of The 1900 House and blowing it out to a whole village, The 1900 Island places its “contestants” into a Welsh fishing village and sees how they survive. It’s a BBC show that was picked up by, who else, Acorn TV. Well, it could have been PBS, but it isn’t. It’s Acorn.
  • The first season of true crime drama anthology Manhunt was on Discovery three years ago and dealt with Ted Kaczynski, better known as the Unabomber. The show finally returns for a second season, but it’s now exclusively to Spectrum, for the subscribers of their cable service, and looks into the crazy story of the bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Cameron Britton (who coincidentally, most recently shined on the underappreciated and now defunct Mindhunter) plays Richard Jewell in Manhunt: Deadly Games.
  • Scott Conant joins Chopped Sweets, the spin-off of the popular cooking competition Chopped. The concept is self-explanatory, but click the hyperlink if you want more info. Logically, like its source, it’s on Food Network.

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  • One of the most original (and lively) talk shows on TV, Desus & Mero returns on Showtime for a second go-around. Desus Nice & the Kid Mero promise illustrious guests and tonight’s season premiere’s featured player is no joke, and in fact the most bearded legend of the game, Daaaavid Letterman!
  • Our love/hate relationship with the name Below Deck Sailing Yacht is so profound that we’ll mention it here, but we’ll be damned if we find out more than what’s revealed in its crazy episode titles. It’s on Bravo. Let your minds run wild, but we’re betting it’s probably just a lot of implied casual sex!
  • Is that a Twisted Sisters pin on your uniform. First off, where did you get it, as we doubt the barebones ID Network made pins for the Khloe Kardashian-produced program. Second, there might not be much overlap for our initial ’80s hard rock reference. Third, and most importantly, you might like its spinoff, Twisted Love, a six-part series about relationships that go terribly, and sometimes gruesomely, wrong.

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