What To Watch: 03/04/2021

March the 4th be with you! Today is a busy day, especially if you’re feeling nostalgic for the 1990s as we have a reunion of the classic MTV reality show that started it all (thanks, question mark?) and a movie of AND a spin-off of that famous animated children’s entertainer who lives in that pineapple in the bottom of the sea. Really, it’s a night featuring something for a wide variety of tastes, so let’s stop being real, and start becoming friends, TV friends! Oh, and most of the action is on one new streaming services, but our recommendations kind of reveal that in an accidentally elegant way.

The Real World: Homecoming [Paramount+]
My teenage self is squealing with delight, my very first-ever reality show experience is coming back to life! As part of the rebranding of CBS All Access streaming service they are launching Paramount+ with a bang–by bringing back some of Viacom’s fan faves. Season one of The Real World returns to the same Soho loft where it all began. Will Heather B. and Julie still be bffs? Will Kevin and Becky’s heated debates about race still be relevant? (Sadly, I’m guessing yes). Does Eric still have an acting/modeling career? I love a great where-aret-they-now special, and now we have an entire season to indulge in, swoon!

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run [Paramount+]
Want more Keanu Reeves? More 90s nostalgia? SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run may be just for you. The quirkiness and strangeness appeals to adults and the wackiness appeals to kids. The rebranded Paramount+ service is coming out of the gates swinging. Oh come on you know you’re going to watch it because of Keanu.

Persona: The Dark Truth Behind Personality Tests [HBO Max]
While personality tests can be fun to take online, the novelty wears off fast when what was intended as something between a lark and a self-evaluation tool becomes used by people to judge–as one person in the trailer says–“who’s worthy and who’s unworthy.” This extensive documentary looks into the history of exams like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and takes to task a society that might use these flawed devices to weed out those they might tab “undesirables” leading to a potential personality underclass

  • In addition to a SpongeBob movie, Paramount+ blesses us with a spinoff series. In a tradition going back to Muppet Babies, Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years gives us the familiar characters at a younger age as the gang are all at… well, the title’s pretty clear there.
  • If you’re a fan of documentaries where the filmmakers are part of the story–or of ice cold cases–you’ll likely fall for Paramount+’s true crime docu-series For Heaven’s Sake which examines the 1934 disappearance of Harry Heaven in rural Canada. His great-great nephew and nephew’s true crime lovin’ pal go at trying to solve the mystery in their own unique, if amateur, manner. The trailer’s worth checking out if only for our lead sleuth’s mom’s assessment of the pair’s skillz.
  • If you haven’t guessed it yet, it’s a big rollout day for CBS’ new online streaming platform, Paramount+, and another of its debuts is only sort of a debut. It’s not entirely clear how different 60 Minutes+ will be, but the veteran newsmagazine so long running, its five years older than anyone on our staff.
  • Did you think we were done with Paramount+? Not even close! Well, kinda close as the last title is not a new one but a relocation. Stephen Colbert has fronted a surprising number of animated series–well, including Tooning Out The News, whose second season starts on Paramount+ today, we can think of four offhand. Can you name them? Or challenge our count even, because we were hardly thorough.
  • If the movie’s title is Lucky, and it’s on horror platform Shudder, you can probably guess that the protagonist is quite unlucky. In the case of May, a self-help writer at the center of this tale, she’s the target of a mysterious killer whose attempts to end May’s life have become so predictable that her friends and family barely notice it anymore. The quirky dark drama is from director Brea Grant and its trailer looks good–really good–and the early buzz bears that out as it’s at 88% on RT last we checked.
  • Basketball analysis goes to Inception/Abed Nadir levels of meta as TNT’s The Inside Story looks behind-the-scenes at the long running NBA commentary program Inside the NBA. Will we finally find out what darkness hides behind the fastidious bowtie of Ernie Jackson? Does Shaq regularly steal Charles Barkley’s five buck box?
  • Candice DeLong’s ace sleuthing goes all the way back to when she helped solve the 1983 Tylenol murders. Since then, the federal agent has solved many cases, written many books, and helped fill out a lot of Investigation Discovery’s line-up. This one’s on Discovery+ (but will also live on ID). It’s The Deadly Type with Candice DeLong which makes us wish that it’s going to be about perfect homicide plans foiled by fawlty vintage typewriters, but alas we know that’s not the case.

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