What To Watch: 08/06/2020

In some senses, tonight’s new comedies feel like something out of Jack Donaghy’s fictional tanking of NBC on 30 Rock: Seth Rogen time travels through pickle brine? Animated Star Trek, but the below deck workers? Two former Great British Bake Off hype women as hitmen? But, no, these are shows that are actually happening and, more over, that Screen Scholars is here for!

An American Pickle [HBO Max]
Seth Rogen stars in his directorial debut as a struggling immigrant in 1920s America. After he falls into a vat of pickles, he walks out of his life and into present-day Brooklyn, without having aged a day, and confronts his great-grandson (also played by Rogen). Adapted from the short story “Sell Out” by Simon Rich, who wrote the screenplay.

Star Trek: Lower Decks [CBS All Access]
Who knew CBS had it in them, but the streaming service that started slow has amassed a pretty cool array of programming. Today, we get an animated comedy that imagines the support deck of the USS Enterprise, with primo voice talent led by Tawny Newsome and Eugene Cordero. One of its writers also had an endearing tweet, as if I needed more encouragement to watch this one.

Hitmen [Peacock]
Want to see the original presenters on The Great British Baking Show play hitmen in a workplace sitcom? May I suggest Hitmen? The British comedy hits U.S. shores on the Peacock streaming app. We’ve seen the professional murderer played for laughs before, but not quite like this.



  • Slightly (only slightly) more on the beaten path, over on Sundance Now’s Upright, Australian musician Tim Minchin plays Lucky Flynn, who en route to see his dying mother with upright piano in tow, like you do (and hence the name), literally crashes into a brash 16-year-old leading to many misadventures.
  • The Danish post-apocalyptic thriller The Rain has its share of fans as it goes into its third season — released today on Netflix. However, given that a virus has created this fictional dystopia, perhaps it hits a bit too close to home.
  • For those wishing to relive the insanity of the 2020 Democratic Primary for the right to take on (and hopefully down) Donald Trump, HBO Max has the documentary On The Trail: Inside the 2020 Primaries.
  • A famous Latin folk tale gets a Shudder twist as in La Llorona, a genocidal dictator’s family has to decide how diligently to defend their murderous patriarch as threats both real and supernatural descend on the clan.


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