Like Eddie Murphy, Pete Davidson came out of an outer borough of New York City to snatch the standup’s dream job — as cast member of Saturday Night Live — at the age of 19. Each also would quickly become scarce on the show as other pursuits would take up the bulk of his time. Unfortunately, where for Murphy it was major film roles, for Davidson it’s been becoming part of celebrity couples of the sort with which TMZ will swiftly become obsessed. Or maybe that’s a better path in a way. In any case, Davidson makes light of his fame and his distractions in the title to his debut Netflix special. Beyond that, there’s no shortage of network shows and dramas carrying on tonight.
Pete Davidson: Alive From New York [Netflix]
While I’m getting a bit tired of Davidson’s extra-curricular schtick (it doesn’t help when he plays the “poor-little-x” card), his uneven SNL career (he’s hit-or-miss in sketches, but brilliant when riffing on his personal struggles) can make you forget he practically mastered the art of stand-up as a teenager. As long as the self-deferential side of his personality shines through and he allows himself to bleed raw, this could be one of those standout stand-up specials that gives us more insight into our own struggles.
Man v. Food [Cooking Channel, 10p]
In the days of the Caronavirus and the insane leaders, maybe a guy eating crazy things isn’t the most messed up thing out there, but it may be a nice distraction. Casey Webb hosts.
mixed-ish [ABC, 9p]
A Black family moves into Rainbow’s mostly white neighborhood. Hooray! But it sounds like Bryce and Rainbow have to break up. I know she’ll handle it with maturity and grace (it’s why I admire her!) but I’m sorry to see the end of TV’s sweetest couple.
ALSO ON TAP TONIGHT:
- Over on the CW, The Flash has one of the better episodes we’ve seen, taking the piss out of one of rival CBS’ odder concepts with “Grodd Friended Me.” The action has the titular fast dude — in basic Barry form — seeing his plans fail, thus putting him in direct competition with General Grodd.
- That pairs well with DC’s Legends of Tomorrow where the gang battles Genghis Khan in 1990s Hong Kong — like ya do in “Mortal Khanbat” (how do they keep coming up with these?!). Thankfully, it’s also on The CW, so it’s easy to find.
- There’s more wisecracking ABC families in Bow’s origin black-ish and Roseanne-without-Roseanne The Conners. In the former, Dre is horrified to find out his son is a nerd [it IS a comedy] when Jack, an ex-baller, joins his school’s robotics team. The latter also deals with fathers and sons and education, but in this case 60-something Dan is mad at his own dad for treating his half-brother’s college education more generously.
- NBC’s best This Is Us scientists are still working on their project to jerk the most tears humanly possible as Toby makes a grand gesture tonight.
- In a line-up that reads like a Bojack Horseman riff, Lisa Ling and Laura Linney link limbs to line up lineages (were Lisa Loeb and Lucy Liu unavailable) on PBS’ personal 23-and-me game Find Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Soledad O’Brien also seeks answers in her ancestry, but we think it’s only to ruin our fun with alliteration.
- Finally, the last remnants of our once proud democracy continue to burn as Bernie, Elizabeth, Michael, Amy, Papa Joe and Mayor Pete match wits in an effort to take on the dimwit currently in the White House in the last Democratic Presidential Debate. Then we just have to wait and watch for Super Tuesday. Trump with his oafish ways and consistently sub-45% approval rating should be easy to beat, but leave it to the Pokemon-Go!-To-The-Polls coining Democrats to snatch defeat from the Montana-wide jaws of victory.