What To Watch: 05/20/2021

We tend to have a wide variety of tastes here at Scholars U, but we do share many basic fandoms. That said, today’s four selections inhabit four distinctly different universes–from edgy, yet charming animation to dark thriller to inspiring true musical journeys to legendary TV drama.

Too Close [AMC+]
Unlike my first thoughts, this is not an adaptation of either the Next hit from the ’90s or the Alex Clare hit from the ’10s, but a taut psychological thriller miniseries starring Emily Watson as a therapist seeking the truth from an amnesiac murder suspect played by Denise Gough. Ok, that’s probably better.

Adventure Time: Distant Lands [HBO Max]
Finn and Jake are back together! The third special hits HBO Max today and as a change will focus on the show’s original stars. If you have kids you have a excuse to expose them to this treasure of a show. If you’re an adult well just light a jay and enjoy the ride.

Grey’s Anatomy [ABC, 9p]
Tonight the focus is on nostalgia as the show says goodbye to Jackson Avery! He’s off to Boston to take a bigger role in the foundation, taking April and Harriet with him. Jackson’s departure officially leaves Meredith as the last standing from her intern class.

From Cradle To Stage [Paramount+]
Tonight’s relationship featured in Dave and Virginia Grohl’s show is country singer Miranda Lambert and her mother Bev.


  • The Italian import Gomorrah has been surprisingly going strong since 2014 and the fourth season of the picturesque but intense mafia drama set in Naples drops today on HBO Max.
  • While I get the point of the name–turning a condescending label on its ear–Special is an absolutely terrible name from our perspective of getting it onto one of these round-ups as its so generic its easy to forget what it is. Ryan O’Connell’s semi-autobiographical comedy about a gay man with cerebral palsy making it in the writing world is charming and earned well-deserved good reviews in its first season. It also features the awesom Putnam Patel as his friend whose love interest will apparently be Charlie Barnett–aka the other person unable to die in Russian Doll, a show we’re also excited will be back soon.
  • You can get a semi-serious look at the supernatural with Mysteries of the Abandoned which is on Science Channel, so it must be science-y and all that.
  • Given the pandemic-fueled limitations of comedy in 2020-21, comedian Carmen Christopher goes the Billy Eichner route, only a tad less aggressive, with a standup special that has him performing for unsuspecting New Yorkers (and tourists) all around the town on the Peacock special Carmen Christopher: Street Special.
  • That Crackle show that sinisterly casts the spectre of college debt, lack of affordable healthcare and other predatory American habits squarely on the shortcomings of the victims returns for a very quick second season of excusing the broken system. It’s Going For Broke and it can seriously fuck off.
  • Aaaaand now over at Discovery+ we’re debating the merits of eugenics. Louis Armstrong would look at 2021 and think to himself “What a Fucked Up Mess.” Anyway, at least Genius Machine has some artistic merit as it examines the children created by a controversial (read: asshole) doctor who wanted to churn out brainiacs.

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