DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

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WEDNESDAY
JANUARY 17
2018

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

BBC America, 9:00 a.m. ET

Continuing its buildup to this Saturday’s premiere of Blue Planet II – which, by the way, I recommend as enthusiastically as I recommend anything – BBC America today presents a marathon repeat of yet another of its previous nature documentary triumphs, 2007’s Planet Earth: Life. All 10 episodes are shown, in order, then repeated again beginning at 8 p.m. ET. Sir David Attenborough, the best in the business, narrates.

 
  
 
 

Fox, 8:00 p.m. ET

Tonight’s new episode is called “Plus One,” and is about people who fear they are being followed, and maybe even stalked, by their own doppelgangers. And our intrepid investigators, Mulder and Scully, are not immune to this particular paranoia. Except it may not be paranoia, if the lookalikes they imagine aren’t really imaginary…

 
  
 
 

Comedy Central, 10:00 p.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: This new 10-episode comedy series goes where one classic workplace sitcom, The Office, has gone before. But this one promises to be even darker. Matt Ingebretson and Jake Weisman, two of the show’s creators (director Pat Bishop is the other), star as unhappy, overworked, underappreciated office drones. Just asking: Are there any other kind?

 
  
 
 

FX, 10:00 p.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: This is FX’s, and Ryan Murphy’s, follow-up to the first American Crime Story outing, the excellent The People v. O.J. Simpson. The anthology nature of this umbrella series is pursued aggressively: This second presentation is a very different type of story, told very differently. And as such, it’s less effective and involving dramatically – the murder of fashion icon Gianni Versace hardly compares, in terms of impact, to the O.J. murder trial. And by focusing primarily on Versace’s killer, Andrew Cunanan, this American Crime Story is more about the crime than the trial, and less compelling by comparison. Darren Criss plays the killer, Edgar Ramirez the victim, and the show’s biggest stars, though not with the biggest roles, are Ricky Martin and Penelope Cruz, portraying, respectively, Versace’s lover and sister. Cruz makes the most lasting impression, but in a relatively small role. For a full review, see Ed Bark's Uncle Barky's Bytes.

 
  
 
 

TBS, 10:30 p.m. ET

Can the Bee make sense of this week’s headline-grabbing S-word? C D B. D B S A B Z B…

 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

  
   Visit our TV We're Watching page for these and other shows on our DVRs right now...



Black Mirror
Netflix
Streaming

The Chi
Showtime
Sundays
10 PM ET

Damnation
USA
Tuesdays
10 PM ET

The Good Place
NBC
Thursdays
8:30 PM ET

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
TBS
Wednesdays
10:30 PM ET

Happy
Syfy
Wednesdays

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Amazon Prime

Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams
Amazon Prime
Streaming

Somebody Feed Phil
Netflix
Streaming

The X-Files
Fox
Wednesdays
8 PM ET 
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

A Little Horsing Around – Looks like you weren’t the only one dancing your way into 2018. Meet Ace, a police horse at a December 27th street event in New Orleans, where his officer decided to join in the festivities before moving along on patrol. Ace gives a whole new slant on the box-step. –Eric Gould
 
 

BUT WAIT... THERE'S MORE!


FRESH AIR FAVES

Audio of Bianculli's favorite 'Fresh Air' reports, and the stories behind them...


FAVES FROM
"THE MORGUE"

Bianculli's favorite newspaper articles, and the stories behind them...


EXTRAS & FEEDBACK

Share your favorite TV in-jokes and first TV loves...
 
 
 
Good news TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is now available in paperback for under $13. Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with quality television: what it is and how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. Interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer are high points... Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post 
 
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This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
TV WWorth Buying
TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$$
Trumbo

Actor Kirk Douglas was recently honored at the Golden Globes and was again applauded for his role in ending the Hollywood Blacklist, hiring then-exiled screenwriter Dalton Trumbo — one of many accused communist-aligned Hollywood writers — to write the screenplay for SpartacusThis 2007 documentary recounts Trumbo’s fall as one of the most renowned writers of his day to spending the next ten years sending scripts from Mexico under pseudonyms. Joan Allen, Liam Neeson and David Strathaim contribute readings and help paint a riveting portrait of a writer committed to his principles and art under the most enormous pressure imaginable. At Amazon for $14. (The 2015 feature about Trumbo starring Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston is here, for $10.–Eric Gould