DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

GERALD JORDAN

CANDACE KELLEY

TOM BRINKMOELLER

MONIQUE NAZARETH

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

DAVID SICILIA

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
 
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TUESDAY
FEBRUARY 21
2017

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

Amazon Prime Video, 3:00 a.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: How many iterations of the same crime drama series idea will we be able to see? The answer, apparently, is: at least three. First there was the Danish-Swedish co-production called The Bridge, which was imported after FX presented its own adaptation with the same name. Both shows began with a dead body found on the border between two different jurisdictions – a body that, memorably and horrifyingly, actually was a gruesome connection of two bodies, severed at the waist and pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle, with half of each victim placed on a different side of the border. This time, the border is the one between France and the United Kingdom, the location is the famed Chunnel, and the body parts are the top half of a French politician and the bottom half of a British prostitute. Stephen Dillane and Clemence Poesy co-star in this version, which premiered abroad in 2013.

 
  
 
 

Netflix, 3:00 a.m. ET

SPECIAL: Filmed at the Beacon Theatre in New York, this new standup special gets the host of The Daily Show out from behind his desk, and pacing the stage like an uncaged animal, where he talks freely about various cultures, various politicians, and his own fascinating background.

 
  
 
 

PBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

This new documentary includes an interview conducted with the performer, writer and activist shortly before her death in 2014. She’d already told her own story, quite compellingly, in her bestselling and influential autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – but this film, by Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack, uses archival photos and footage to bring Angelou’s story, especially her early years, to very vivid life. Check local listings.

 
  
 
 

NBC, 9:00 p.m. ET

In this week’s new episode, Randall takes his sick father on a road trip to Memphis. As they drive towards the city limits, I wonder if the Mississippi Delta is shining like a national guitar. That was the opening line of Paul Simon’s “Graceland,” drawing upon his own road trip, with his son, to that same city of Memphis. They were following the river down the highway through the cradle of the Civil War...
 
  
 
 

ABC, 10:00 p.m. ET

Last week, the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. completed their mission, rescued colleagues, and returned safely to headquarters. Well, that’s how it appeared – except it also appeared, based on recovered footage from security cameras, that many members of the team were replaced by lookalike humanoids. Tonight, it’s an exercise in pure, and purely understandable, paranoia. Are they real? Or are they Memorex?

 
  
 
 

TBS, 10:00 p.m. ET

SEASON PREMIERE: For the Season 2 premiere, Jason Jones and Natalie Zea, as frazzled parents Nate and Robin, take their family off their extended road trip, and head to New York City – where Robin’s past, from when she lived there, looms especially large. Two new episodes are shown back-to-back to launch the new season.

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

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

Inside Stephen Colbert — Bob Odenkirk will return for Season 3 of Better Call Saul in April and also has a new movie opening this week, Girlfriend’s Day. Odenkirk visited The Late Show with Stephen Colbert recently to discuss both and he also showed rough clips for another movie idea, Late Show: The Movie in which he stars as Stephen Colbert. Turns out, Colbert also appears in it — in the role of Bob Odenkirk. But the Inception-like reversals don’t stop there. This takes late night fare smartly to the fringe... with more wigs. –Eric Gould

 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

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


Baskets
FX
Thursdays
10 PM ET

Legion
FX
Wednesdays
10 PM ET

Girls
HBO
Sundays
10 PM ET

The History of Comedy
CNN
Thursdays
10 PM ET

HUMANS
AMC
Mondays
10 PM ET

Last Week Tonight
HBO
Sundays
11 PM ET

Man Seeking Woman
FXX
Wednesdays
10:30 PM ET

Riverdale
CW
Thursdays
9 PM ET

Taboo
FX
Tuesdays
10 PM ET

Victoria
PBS
Sundays
9 PM ET
Check Local Listings
 
 

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 available on Amazon for under $20.

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, 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. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
TV WWorth Buying
 TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$
House of Lies: Season One

Don Cheadle’s Showtime vehicle ran out of steam and was cancelled last year, but it’s safe to say Season 1 was a rocket launch. Based on Martin Kihn’s book about the debauched, back-stabbing world of high-stakes business consultants, the 30-minute comedy originally lived on high-style art direction. It liberally borrowed freeze-framed asides, vari-speed rates, super graphics and other editing tricks seen in Guy Ritchie films like Snatch, and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Cheadle was nominated four times for an Emmy for his role as Marty Kaan on the series, and Kristen Bell (in a decidedly different role from her current run on The Good Place) costarred as Marty’s partner, rival and love interest, Jeannie. On sale at Amazon for $9.  – Eric Gould