What To Watch: 01/15/2022

It’s a Saturday of a holiday weekend, so as could be expected there’s not much action, but there is a new SNL. It’s hard to tell what that will mean in this stage of the pandemic. When we last saw the players, they were understandably not ready for prime time as reportedly many in the cast and crew had contracted COVID and Paul Rudd’s five-timer club was scaled down to Rudd and Tom Hanks in a bare-bones studio with Steve Martin and Martin Short calling in remotely. From the cast, just Kenan and Che were there (which led to the obvious joke of why only those particular two) and Tina Fey joined Che on folding chairs for a graphics-less Weekend Update. Mostly, it was a mix of already filmed new material and classic Christmas moments.

We’re not really through the danger yet; however, many don’t want to admit this. The promos show a maskless Bowen Yang with host, and star of West Side Story, Ariana DeBose and musical guest Jack Antanoff (Bleachers, fun.) suggesting business as usual. Or it could be another stripped down version. Or it could even be a Zoom call like a few of the 2020 episodes. If it is anywhere near normal, we are a bit excited as we suspect that DeBose could be one of those left-field hosts whose natural charm carries an episode if the writing is solid, and so far the 47th season has had some of the best writing of recent years.

  • Is there anything that Marsai Martin can’t do? The black-ish star also produced (at 14?!) the underrated body-swap comedy Little, in which she starred with Issa Rae. Today on Discovery+, the young actress and renaissance human tries her hand at interior design, surprising a fellow teen with a room makeover on Remix My Space with Marsai Martin.
  • The NFL Playoffs start today with the Cincinnati Bengals hosting the Las Vegas Raiders followed by the New England Patriots traveling to Buffalo to take on Jason’s favorite team, the Bills, so if you don’t watch, you might be able to guess the winner of the second game by the tone of this column. The first game is on NBC, the second on CBS.
  • And we’re already at the LHV (Lifetime-Hallmark Vortex–and we will never stop trying to make that happen)–where each of the namesake networks have something new for y’all. Over on Hallmark, it’s the so-so-Hallmark-y titled The Perfect Pairing. As the title suggests, the busy businesswoman is a wine expert and she’s of course tasked with writing about a vineyard in her hometown. Will there be a meet-cute with a hometown hunk-ero? You betcha! And over on Lifetime, we’ve got Safe Room, about an autistic child who witnesses a murder and the mom who has to protect him from the villains who come after him to silence him. A fun positive: the villains are played by Drea de Matteo and Mackenzie Astin.

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