We’ve lost a lot of the recent wave of great single-camera, character based half hour comedy in the last few years, and so it goes tonight we lose one of the most underrated of the bunch. It was a slow build, but we came to care deeply about the bizarre shenanigans of the flawed employees of the St. Louis branch of the fictional box store Cloud 9. We’ll miss you Cloud 9. It’s the main attraction tonight, but there’s truly a lot of new content today, for folks of all ages, so step right up…
Superstore [NBC, 8p]
It feels like the end of an era for large-universe laugh-trackless shows. This one often flew under-the-radar, but this office comedy was quietly one of the best, and one of the most diverse. Even characters who could have been absolute caricatures like Mark McKinnon’s flustered and barely competent store manager, grew through the show’s six years to be compelling and beautiful; while he was their Michael Scott, and shared a lot of that classic schnook’s traits, Glenn, like his diverse set of workers, was a uniquely ridiculous–yet recognizable in our daily lives–fully formed figure. Best of all, star America Ferrera returns for one last bow.
Nightwatch [A&E, 10p]
A&E’s docuseries about EMS first-responders returns. Now located in New Orleans, the series will follow EMT/EMS on overnight calls, and we will all be grateful for those nights we crawled into our hotel bed at 10 p.m. in the Quarter.
Cake [FXX, 10p]
I’ve said it once and I will say it again – Cake is no Liquid Television, but as it comes into its own that is turning out to be a good thing. A Millennial and Gen Z scream into the void of unknown futures and soulless technology, this grab bag animation, live action hodgepodge of pathos is also… funny
BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:
- We move from virtual to actual cake (and pies and danish and…), as HBO Max unveils its new cooking show, Baketopia, in which cookbook writer and sartorial adventurer Rosanna Pansino. She shows off her creations in a candied paradise that’s Willie Wonka-esque, but with more cubbyholes, and fewer chocolate streams and sociopathic child murderers.
- While we’re there for a true look at the extensive and fascinating history of reality television–from The Loud Family to The Real World to our current state where masked singers and American idols and real housewives and Kardashian after Kardashian dominates the TV landscape–we’re not sure E! is the most reliable narrator for the task. That said, For Real: The Story of Reality TV does boast Andy Cohen as host and he’s been there for a better portion of it. Expect the focus to be on the wine tossing and table turning.
- Sweden’s The Restaurant takes us to a time before TV flourished, but when there was no shortage of reality. The period piece is a sensation in its home country and comes stateside today, streaming on Sundance Now.