What To Watch: 12/18/2020

Tonight, we get to see one of the final performances of the tragically late Chadwick Boseman as part of the ensemble in an adaptation of the 1982 play by the also late August Wilson. Meanwhile, the curtains fade on the second season of The Adventures of Lonely Bounty Hunter & Baby Yoda Power Hour.

JASON’S PICK: 
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom [Netflix]
Led by Viola Davis in the title role as the titular Chicago Blues singer of the 1920s, along with Colman Domingo, and in his final role, Chadwick Boseman (a sentence much too sad to write), this adaption of the second play in August Wilson’s 10-part Pittsburgh cycle. This is another of the movies that was supposed to go to theaters but has wound up on Netflix, but lucky us as it should be wonderful–if even sadder given the outside circumstances.

BRAD’S PICK:
The Mandalorian [Disney+]
This show’s second season–not only one of the best TV seasons of the year but darn near one of the best THINGS of the year–reaches its finale. Will Mando, Boba and the gang save Grogu (Baby Yoda to those not in the know) from the vile clutches of Moff Gideon? We all want to know.

KATHERINE’S PICK:
Christmas on the Menu [Lifetime, 8p]
A successful chef finds unexpected romance when she her childhood home (a magical bed and breakfast!) is visited by a renowned critic.

BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

  • Speaking of impressive arts cycles, Steve McQueen closes out his five-movie set of critically hailed London stories with Small Axe: Education on Amazon Prime. This installment examines the nefarious 1970s UK practice of putting an inordinate number of Black students in remedial schools.
  • Call it Perhaps a Little Fast and Not Particularly Furious as the BBC’s The Grand Tour sets off to Madagascar to show off oddball vehicular feats while hunting for pirate treasure (2020, you just keep on, keepin’ on) in Amazon Prime’s The Grand Tour Presents: A Massive Hunt.
  • If you’re a fan of the Seattle style of Drag, then you surely know about this debut, but two of more genteel queens in RuPaul’s Drag Race herstory, Season 5 Champ Jinkx Monsoon and Season 6’s Miss Congeniality BenDeLaCreme team up for The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Special on Hulu. Expect an extravaganza eleganza of guest stars.
  • Unlikely universes are leaning into the “Holiday Special” this season, and the latest to do this is the Twilight Zone‘s more sinister sister, as we get the Creepshow Holiday Special on Shudder which has roped in some stars in Anna Camp and Adam Pally.
  • The second ballet-themed show this week comes from Disney+ with the debut of On Pointe, presenting a group of kids aged 8 to 18 intensely practicing to put on a performance of the Nutcracker.
  • Also for the second time this week, we have a new Netflix Christmas title that is surprisingly a series. In this case, it’s the Norwegian comedy Home For Christmas about a prodigal daughter whose life devolves into tangled-web chaos when she hastily invents a boyfriend at a family dinner. She’s now entering her second season of trying to make her Christmas love story a reality.

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