What To Watch: 01/31/2021

In what is now a rarity, every program in our nightly round-up is on traditional television. Ironically, the one show that is primarily on streaming is a sports event–you know, that thing that keeps more people than from cutting the cord than anything else (save maybe laziness). However, even that is available on NFL Network tonight. Also, it’s likely the most derided day in the four major sports leagues.

The Lady and the Dale [HBO, 9p]
On the surface, this tale of a 1970s motorcar mogul seems like the forgotten, yet inspiring story of a trans woman who built a company on the back of an innovative design. Then again, on the surface, Tiger King is the tale of an eccentric gay man who built a successful zoo. This HBO mini-series promises to be just as bizarre as Liz Carmichael is just as much a con artist as Joe Exotic and her story contains the requisite oddball side characters, kooky crimes, twists, turns, and FBI chases as 2020’s biggest docu-series hit.

The Long Song [PBS, 10p]
The US debut of this BBC series, adapted from Andrea Levy’s critically-acclaimed 2010 novel, follow the final years of slavery in Jamaica in the 1830s, through the life of July, played by Tamara Lawrence. The series’ three episodes are directed by Mahalia Belo.

Axios [HBO, 6p]
In the new episode of the other hip news show, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and Washington Football team president Jason Wright are interviewed. Both men should have a lot to say about current affairs. Oh and it’s totally ok if you hope Zelensky spills the dirt on Trump. Journalism lives.


  • The Pro Bowl might be the only game where the fact that it’s not actually being played makes it more real and more exciting. Due to the Pandemic, the NFL is foregoing its all-star game in favor of a celebration of the league’s top players followed by a simulated game played on the long-running video game Madden 21. The NFL is pushing for people to watch it on its various social media platforms–from Twitch to Facebook–but it can also be viewed on the NFL Network.
  • Perhaps the best late night talk show duo in the biz, Desus & Mero return to get a week in of its third season on Showtime before going up against HBO’s master of the deep dive, John Oliver. It’s a shame no one has invented any methods to watch both of them. Pity. In any case, the hilarious trailer hyperlinked above boasts that the debut will feature an on-court battle of LeBron vs. Jordan; however, the real guest might be an even greater titan: savior of our democracy, the political kingmaker out of Georgia, and next whatever-the-hell-she-wants-to-be, Stacey Abrams.
  • Reelz’ latest music bio features the long-running Boston hard rock band famous for enlightened pop hits like “Love in An Elevator,” “Dude (Looks Like a Lady),” “Janie’s Got a Gun” and “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Cash Grab.” Aerosmith: Breaking the Band premieres tonight.
  • We close with tonight’s Lifetime/Hallmark Movies round-up, and it’s one movie and it’s not on either of those networks. That said, we feel like Love is a Piece of Cake on UP fits the bill.

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