What To Watch: 04/22/2021

It’s April 22nd, and not everybody knows today is Earth Day, but thankfully, there’s a bevy of related programming, including specials from conservationists David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg, and Cher. We also have a new program from our favorite show creator Mike Schur. Also, whales!

NAVANI’S PICK:
Rutherford Falls [Peacock]
The Office alum Ed Helms returns as Nathan, who finds himself at a crossroads with his bestie Reagan when the town decides to move the statue of his ancestor. That event becomes the entry point to the bigger picture: a town that undergoes its own reckoning. Hoping the show will capture some of the humor and lots of heart of co-creator Michael Schur’s predecessor,  Parks and Recreation (RIP). In any case, I’m happy to support a show that boasts a diverse writing room made up of Native people from different regions alongside women and other POC. 

KATHERINE’S PICK:
Life in Color with David Attenborough [Netflix]
This docuseries examines how animals “use color to survive and thrive in the wild.”

JASON’S PICK:
Greta Thunberg: A Year to Save the World [PBS, 8p]
Who’s a better person to spend Earth Day with than the teenage Swedish activist whose focus and passion have inspired many in the world–and gets delightfully under the skin of right-wing jerks.

FIONA’S PICK:
Secrets of the Whales [Disney+]
After filming for three years, National Geographic is releasing this new documentary about whales. Produced by James Cameron and narrated by Sigourney Weaver, it promises to uncover new truths about the massive mammal. 

BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

  • Cher & the Loneliest Elephant is just your typical story of an international superstar and pop legend working to free a Pakistani pachydermn. Paramount+ is the spot to watch Cher’s tireless fight to secure release of an elephant who has been shackled in an Islamabad zoo for 35 years.
  • HBO Max’s Generation Hustle was not what we expected when we heard the name. The new docu-series explores the world of scammers, digging deep into the ways they have been able to separate people and their money in new and innovative ways.
  • TruTV’s Big Trick Energy, on the other hand, is precisely what we thought we’d see when checking out the trailer. Four pals travel through a city attempting to con unsuspecting citizens in a much more sinister way: using close-up magic.
  • Shamier Anderson is an accidental astronaut when he wakes up in the bowels of a ship en route to Mars in the new Netflix thriller Stowaway. The good news: his shipmates are Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, and Toni Collette. The bad news: they only have oxygen for three people.
  • Sundance Now brings over the Swedish/Icelandic series set in Greenland, Thin Ice, in time for Earth Day. The sinking of a Swedish vessel and kidnapping the crew off the coast of Greenland turns out to surround Arctic drilling rights and a pressing climate change accord.
  • We aren’t kidding about the abundance of Earth Day content. Nat Geo Wild unfurls Kingdom of the Polar Bear which is exactly what it sounds like: awesome!
  • Melissa Villasenor has often been woefully forgotten in the SNL cast, so it’s exciting to see that she’ll get to be center stage when she hosts the Independent Spirit Awards on IFC and streaming on AMC+. This year the awards finally include television as part of the ceremony.
  • It’s Project Runway for furniture designers as the empire of Ellen Degeneres brings us Ellen’s Next Great Designer on HBO Max. It seemed an odd combo, but it does make sense that a daytime talk show host who famously does her interviews on a living room set would have a knack for that.
  • Shudder’s latest frightfest takes us to Ireland as a work crew is menaced for disturbing graves as they pave a new road in Boys From County Hell.

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