What To Watch: 05/13/2021

Today’s a good day for sci-fi, sports documentaries, and a one-time Designing Woman whose yeoman TV work over the last four decades embodies why we watch too much television. We stan Jean Smart here, sons! Here’s our four choices and the rest of the intriguing content for this mid-May Thursday.

NAVANI’S PICK:
Hacks [HBO Max]
I have only two words for this: Jean Smart. Okay, okay I’ll say more. Yes, it’s the older-comic / fresh new young comic trope where they are paired together reluctantly and kinda despise it until finally a mutual respect is born, but it’s Jean Smart and I’ve stanned for her since Designing Women. And it’s funny! I’m here for any inkling of a heart-warming, women-centered bond on a show. Also, I’m here for second acts, and I’m thrilled Jean Smart is getting one –in the show as an OG comedian and in real life. Also, I peeped a corgi cameo so I’m obviously sold. 

BRAD’S PICK:
Intergalactic [Peacock]
Do you like Prison Break? But wish it was set… in space? Well have a got a show for you! This series starring Savannah Steyn hits Peacock today and, yes it’s a prison break set in space. I kid, but this is a pretty cool idea that I’m surprised hasn’t been tried before. The question is does it have enough story to keep us happy interested for a series or would have been better served by being a movie?

FIONA’S PICK:
144 [ESPN, 9p]
ESPN Films takes us inside the WNBA bubble and documents their 2020 season. Watch these incredible athletes overcome the challenges of working in a pandemic and come together to raise their voices for social justice.

KATHERINE’S PICK:
From Cradle to Stage [Paramount+]
Today’s mother-son rockstar relationship is Pharrell and Dr. Carolyn Williams.

BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

  • Of all the problems for VICE’s specials series Dark Side of Football could address, “diva wide receivers” feels way down the list, if it should even be there at all. Well, maybe when they go full Antonio Brown, but the antics of Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco (pictured above) were often a heck of a lot of fun.
  • Even as hip-hop heads (well, many of us editors here are), WE’s Growin Up Hip-Hop is an ambivalent follow. It does have some crazy awesome Old School and Golden Age names like Rev Run, Treach, and Pepa, it’s still very much of the reality show formula. However, the topic isn’t uninteresting. Its sixth season debuts today.
  • One of the Ol’ G’s of action-adventure games, Castlevania returns dark and fiery as ever in TV form for a fourth season on Netflix today.
  • The tone of the Discovery+ docu-series Homemade Astronauts changed quickly during filming when one of its main “characters,” Mike Hughes died while trying to launch his DIY spaceship into orbit. As he was a flat earther, it’s tempting to laugh ruefully, but (1) he was a human and (2) the following-your-dreams part is an easy (well easier) one for which to root. Anyway, there’s also three other teams profiled in this fascinating subculture.

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