What To Watch: 03/20/2020

Footballers and tigers and authors, oh my!

The English Game [Netflix]
Julian Fellowes has taken up the Merchant-Ivory mantle as master of the period piece after helming one of the most talked about programs of the ’10s with Downton Abbey. This time around he explores the origin story of the English football league (known around these parts as soccer), and it couldn’t possibly be any worse than the recent motion picture attempt at FIFA’s early days.

Self Made: Inspired By The Life of C.J. Walker [Netflix]
So interesting to see the origins story of the woman behind many of the hair products I actually have in my bathroom right now. Octavia Spencer shines in the four-part biographical limited series that tells the amazing story of how Madam C.J. Walker (born Sarah Breedlove) rose up in a time when slavery was just ending and women still couldn’t even vote, to become a self-made entrepreneur and millionaire. She dons the title of the FIRST female self-made millionaire at that. It’s got everything — overcoming obstacles against all odds, fighting all the isms: racism, colorism, sexism and coming out the other side. I think at a time like this we could all use a little inspiration wherever we can get it. Plus, it boasts a stellar cast including Blair Underwood — which is great since I won’t be able to see him on his Broadway run for a bit.

Margaret Atwood: A Word After A Word After A Word Is Power [Hulu]
With the success of Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood is pretty well known. But the author is pretty private about her life. This new documentary on Hulu aims to shine a light on what makes her tick.



  • We first met zookeeper Joe Exotic — essentially all of Florida Man rolled into one in spite of being from Oklahoma — when he was featured in a John Oliver deep dive about third party candidates. He declared himself “broke as shit” — in his own campaign ad no less, where he also talked about his drug use, “kinky sex,” and the judgement against him by “some bitch in Florida” (there it is!) — and Oliver called Exotic “truly the candidate you’d want to sit down and have a beer with, then another beer, and then several more beers until you’re drunk enough to try meth for the first time.” Well, his story somehow managed to get even stranger since as in 2018, that judgment turned into an attempted murder rap as he hired an assassin to kill Carole Baskin, the head of Big Cat Rescue. Getcha popcorn ready as Netflix tells this truly American story in its latest docu-series Tiger King.
  • Not sure how you follow all that up with a new episode of The Blacklist, but there we are as James Spader is still running down his special list of baddies, scooping them up for his special brand of Red Reddington justice. The Blacklist. On NBC.
  • Friggin’ 2020. We’ve been looking to RuPaul’s Drag Race as some solace, and a reminder of the good in life as everything falls apart around us, but now we find out season 12’s most hilarious queen is a serial catfisher and RuPaul’s fracking… fracking{?!?!?!}. It all sounds like a reality made up in 2010 for a movie titled something like Not Another Dystopian Movie, and who would be the ridiculous President in that film — if not Mark Cuban or Richard Simmons, probably Donald Trump. Sigh. We’re done here. We’re not even gonna mention there’s the second elimination of the year on RDR.


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