What We’re Streaming: Key & Peele Commentate the Super Bowl

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Since Key & Peele wrapped up after five brilliant seasons, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele have been among the busiest men in show business. On one of the biggest nights in television — and for the second year in a row — the pair spend some extra time focusing their comedic aim on the pigskin sports game airing tonight (this year it’s only streaming online for Squarespace, the online website fixins superstore).

Playing off the legendary litigious nature of a certain bunch of Native Footsports Lawyers, the two will comment on the game in character, but the delightful catch is they cannot mention any of the match events by name. So, as the Cats take on the Horses on the Christian sabbath on a field with numbers and lines to throw an oblong projectile and earn more (but different) numbers — so one of the groups of men can hoist a metallic object as tears and alcoholic beverages from France fly, Key & Peele will have to come up with inventive names to convey the action going on on our national screen. While the able comedians’ imaginations sprint, a lawyer will be on hand to throw some sort of bunched fabric if they get too specific.

In any case, it should be hysterical fun for anyone who loves a certain country’s most popular sport, comedy, and language stretched to its glorious extremes.

 

What to Watch: 02/07/2016

Today’s TV landscape is pretty well dominated by one thing, things parodying said thing, things offering harbor for people who don’t like said thing, but if you are not ready for some of that thing, Katherine and Jason have some other options for you, while Navani suggests you bask in all its extravaganza-of-music-and-funny-ads glory.

NAVANI’S PICK:
Super Bowl 50 [CBS, 6:30]
Carolina Panthers at Denver Broncos means Cam Newton dabbing and performances by Coldplay and Beyonce. Is it weird that I’m most excited about the Heinz “Weiner Stampede” commercial though?

JASON’S PICK:
Downton Abbey [PBS, 9p]
C’mon, we gotta know how Lord Grantham comes back from spitting up blood in front of the future Prime Minister. I mean, even if 1920s medical technology can treat him, coughing up fluids at a fancy affair is just not done in their circles. Aw, who am I kidding, while I always say I won’t watch “it” if my team’s not in it (and my team’s never even close and it’s never ended well, when they are), I’ll probably peek into…dammit, watch that big game.

KATHERINE’S PICK:
Pitch Perfect [NBC, 8:30p]
I love apps but hate football. The rise of a fiesty all-girl a capella group is just right for meatballs and cheesy dip!

ALSO ON TAP TONIGHT:

 

What to Watch: 02/06/2016

As the Saturday after yesterday’s Friday, it’s still pretty quiet. For our viewing enjoyment, we’re picking out shows on Lifetime and Hallmark (and one of the longest running shows on network television).

JASON’S PICK:
Saturday Night Live [NBC, 11:30p]
In the classic tradition of celebrities meeting their imitators, teen idol and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will make a guest appearance on tonight’s Larry David-hosted show.

KATHERINE’S PICK:
Appetite for Love [Hallmark, 9p]
With a plot ripped from hundreds of Hallmark Christmas movies, a woman must rebrand a restaurant in her smalltown and manager feelings of disappointment when her longtime beau doesn’t propose on Valentine’s Day. While home, she falls in love with a good ol’ (and too cute for Hallmark, seriously) country boy. But is she from the big city? And will she realize metropolitan areas are full of filth and bad values? Will she give up her lucrative career for her hometown?!

NAVANI’S PICK:
Manson’s Lost Girls [Lifetime, 8p]
Okay, so truth be told I never knew what ‘Helter Skelter’ meant besides the 90s hip-hop duo until today. Now, I’m ready to learn what led up to the hellish murders from Charlie’s Manson’s cult following.

ALSO ON TAP TONIGHT:

  • Sleep. Catching up on sleep. You really should get a good 7-8 a night.

What We’re Streaming: 02/05/2016

Hannibal Buress: Comedy Camisado

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While one of the most hilarious comics rising on the scene, Hannibal Buress’ comedy is a special kind of slow burn. The laid back comic’s style is an unusual combination of self-deprecation and unwavering confidence that few performers possess — maybe Louis C.K. and Buress.

On his third longform special, Comedy Camisado, this one a Netflix exclusive, Buress is unflappable even as the first ten or so minutes elicit a lot of titters, and a few scattered laughs. It’s not that his riffs about his LASIK, potential blindness, Stevie Wonder, and birthdays are not clever or amusing — but it’s pretty quiet for a comedy showcase of a brilliant comedian. However, if Buress has any doubts, it will never show; he has the air of someone who knows by the time the show is over, the audience will be right along with him.

Indeed, the energy starts to pick up when he rails about being carded: “you want ID, how about you look at my body, I don’t have the metabolism of a 20-year-old?” From there, it’s over — in a longago promo, Buress jokingly (semi-mockingly, even) referred to his comic style as his “laid back take on the mundane,” but while some of his premises are familiar, this is certainly a bit of misdirection. From teenagers getting toasted at brunch, to air travelers binging on Wipeout, Buress’ material lives in the absurd — and he’s among the keenest in spotting crazy. Moreover, Buress is a master of building energy, fomenting into hysterical rage to penetrating effect at just the right time, as when reacting to people concerned about his fly.

As to the rampaging elephant wearing a colorful sweater, clutching a pudding pop in its trunk, of course it comes up. It had to. About 30 minutes into his performance, the audience captured, he punchlines a joke with “is this a set up? did Bill Cosby send you?” He then pauses and reflects, “boy, that situation got out of hand…yikes!” He makes a few jokes about the backlash and tweaking the media’s minimizing of him with monickers like “unknown comedian Hannibal Buress.” For the record, if you don’t know, he was already one of the brightest young stars in the stand-up universe when his casual riff in a local show went super-viral. I’d first come across him years earlier, when Chris Rock mentioned him in an article as his favorite young comedian, sending me on a YouTube clip jag. Anyway, it’s a quick routine (maybe a minute), punctuated by a perfect closer, and then he’s on to a bit on gambling.

Comedy Camisado is merely another step on the slow-but-steady soar of the laconic Buress. Is it classic? Time will tell, but as with pretty much everything he does, it’s a quietly mesmerizing and genuinely hilarious hour plus.

What to Watch: 02/05/2016

It’s the Friday before the Super Bowl and after the Iowa Caucuses, so if you aren’t interested in seeing people shout over each other their opinions about sports and/or politics, the pickings are somewhat slight, but we’ve got some things for you, whether you’re yearning for supernatural adventure, real life financial drama, or a wistful romance. If it’s anything else, well, you have some nerve!

JASON’S PICK:
Sleepy Hollow [FOX, 8p]
I almost feel irresponsible for suggesting this often ridiculous program, but when it’s working, the adventures of Detective Ichabod Crane in the 21st Century can be a wacky wonder of the television world. Its Winter return finds Crane crossing realms to reunite with his partner Abbie.

NAVANI’S PICK:
Shark Tank [ABC, 9pm]
Are “smart” gloves for the ski slopes the next big thing? Maybe it’s a decluttering service or handbag company that uses upcycled materials. I always wonder how many of my random ideas could’ve gotten funded watching this show.

KATHERINE’S PICK:
Love’s Complicated [Hallmark, 8p]
Holly Marie Combs is a woman whose boyfriend enrolls her in a conflict resolution class so she can find herself and inner peace.

ALSO ON TAP TONIGHT:

  • Friday is the night for creatures, detectives, and miles-over-the-top plotlines, so if Sleepy Hollow is not enough for you, flip over to NBC where Grimm has got you covered. This week, it’s a lake monster.
  • For a change of pace, there’s Second Chance. This detective’s back from the dead. It’s actually supposed to be fairly good. It follows Sleepy Hollow oon FOX, so it might seem relatively grounded.
  • If you’re in the mood for love, or just want to see some families debating over fashion — especially if there’s a Southern lilt in their passive-aggressive intonations — TLC’s got a whole bunch of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta coming atcha.
  • ABC s got Last Man Standing and Dr. Ken, soooooooo…

Thursday’s Best Reviewed: Colony

It says something about yesterday’s line-up that — well,of the shows with more than one online graded review — the least complex is the one named after a physics theory vis a vis the creation of the universe. Luckily, Thursday’s child is full of grace. Ratings wizard The Big Bang Theory intro’d Sheldon’s “meemaw” to mixed reception (although everyone seemed tickled by the nickname). Meanwhile, The 100 built its burgeoning cult legend with sparks flying by all sorts of definition. However, the night was won by Colony, as its dystopian landscape has so far lived up to the hope and excitement stirred by the re-teaming of Lost‘s Carlton Cuse and Josh Holloway.

Thursday, February 4th’s Best: Colony (8.8/10)

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The players are digging deeper into the muck as they take sides, and of course assuredly no one will be who he or she seems, as almost one year into their arrival, the mysterious and murderous “hosts” hover over everything. Vulture lauds Colony for “present[ing] its humane side, articulating the matters of trust that ground other dramas — The Americans and Homeland, in particular — and mak[ing] this dystopian nightmare intimately relatable, if a bit contrived.” While TV Fanatic simply adds the “show gets better and better.”

The Rest of the Night:

The 100 – 8.1

You, Me, and the Apocalypse – 7.7

Baskets – 7.5

Elementary – 7.0

The Big Bang Theory – 6.7

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – 6.2

What to Watch: 02/04/16

We’re 3-for-3 in touting groundbreaking half-hour comedies — two in their initial stages, and one conquering veteran (but a program that’s wildly reinventing itself in its sixth season in a most exciting way).

KATHERINE’S PICK:
You, Me and the Apocalypse [Fox, 8p]
It’s not as good as it could be–except Megan Mullaly, who outshines everyone every precious moment she’s onscreen.

JASON’S PICK:
Baskets [FX, 9p]
Martha, the world’s most pliant and patient insurance adjuster — and one of television’s terrific new characters, teams up with titular clown Chip Baskets to solve a murder. This is gonna be fun — very moderately paced fun.

NAVANI’S PICK:
Portlandia [IFC, 10p]
Our favorite tree hugging-hipsters are back to show us the ways of life in Portland.

ALSO ON TAP TONIGHT:

  • Beat Bobby Flay. You know you want to. It’s on Food Network.
  • Dapper and versatile Paul F. Tompkins returns to the telly with his team of debating puppets on Fusion’s No, You Shut Up!
  • Animal lovers should really boycott Comedy Central’s Workaholics (they know what they did), but the Stoners Three admittedly are a funny lead-in to one of the most inspired new shows, coming off its crazy coming-of-age funeral road trip, Idiotsitter.