What To Watch: 09/15/2021

It’s a day about experiments, revolution, and that sassy animated spy voiced by H. Jon Benjamin who is never far away from our hearts. As we approach premiere season, tonight’s a day of this, that, and the other thing.

Nailed It! [Netflix]
The premise of this baking reality competition show has always vexed me a bit as bringing together awful bakers but then awarding the best of them 10k seems a bit logically unsound–why wouldn’t a ringer sneak in and half-ass their way past the expected culinary abominations. Also, between the intricate designs and the compact time limits, I suspect many a Star Baker from The Great British Bake-Off would falter. However, none of that really matters because even though the premise may seem mean, there is genuine joy in watching the comfortable rapport between charmingly bawdy comic Nicole Byer and genteel master chocolatier Jacques Torres and their interplay with the array of amateur “bakers” who parade through.

My Son [Peacock]
Having a child kidnapped has to be one of the worst things a parent can face. And that’s just what transpires in this experimental Peacock feature. We have had movies with a similar premise, but what makes this different is that star James McAvoy does not know what is going to happen in advance and totally improvises his lines. This sounds too interesting to miss. Steaming now on Peacock.

Archer [FX, 10p]
Archer and the gang celebrate “another barely successful mission,” either with or after a combination of sex, drugs, and monster trucks. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this season, even as it re-treads old patterns, and I sincerely hope there’s a reference to Grave Digger tonight. Even if it doesn’t, I’m preemptively delighted by my new favorite portmanteau, Pampage, which includes custom tee shirts.


  • A couple years ago, John Oliver did a tremendous deep dive into Venezuela and, among other things, the mess that Nicholas Maduro’s reign has been. The new HBO Max documentary, A La Calle, takes an even deeper dive into the protests who are trying to change the nature of the South American country’s government.
  • Krysten Ritter’s Apartment 23 b-word has nothing on Yazmin, the actual witch she plays in the new Sam Raimi movie Nightbooks debuting on Netflix today. In it, she threatens a young boy in a haunted house to produce a scary story a night or else she will brutally murder him. And you thought content mills were bad.
  • Step aside Lysistrata, take a seat Seinfeld The Contest episode, the Too Hot To Handle concept of hot singles having to abstain from sex while on an island full of other hot singles in order to win a cash prize is now a franchise as a Spanish-speaking offshoot is now a reality. Too Hot To Handle Latino drops today on Netflix.
  • The German documentary Schmacher tells the tale–both tragic and inspiring–of near mythical Formula One racer Michael Schumacher who ruled the dangerous sport, but who suffered a tragic accident while pursuing another sport on his own time–he has been in a coma since a 2013 skiing accident. The documentary has the family’s approval and hits Netflix today.
  • Marvin Gaye’s demise in 1984 at the hands of his own father shocked the world and inspired two different top ten memorial songs (The Commodores “Nightshift” and Diana Ross’ “Missing You”). Given Reelz new twin obsessions of death and music documentaries, it was inevitable that Marvin Gaye: Life, Death & Money would happen.
  • Discovery+’s wonderfully titled Secrets, Lies & Private Eyes follows the lives and pursuits of four real-world female private detectives. In a rare turn, there’s a trailer to watch on YouTube, so click on the title as it looks suprisingly compelling.

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