Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

A very busy TV weekend kicks off with Octavia Spencer, Mrs. Maisel, and an act of Reprisal

Top, from left: Alex Borsterin and Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel; Joe Pera, Joe Pera Talks With You. Bottom, from left: Octavia Spencer, Truth Be Told; Abigail Spencer, Reprisal.
Photo: Amazon, Adult Swim, Apple TV+, Hulu

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Friday, December 6, and Saturday, December 7. All times are Eastern.

Top picks

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon, Friday, 3:01 a.m., complete third season): Midge hits the road in the third season of the Palladinos’ sunny, stylish series—now with both Sterling K. Brown and Liza “Paris Geller” Weil in tow. Arielle Bernstein’s binge recaps will run twice daily, beginning today.

Truth Be Told (Apple TV+, Friday, 3:01 a.m, series premiere): The first three episodes stream today; here’s a taste of Joi Childs’ pre-air review:

“Obsession is not a new concept, but it is one that’s been magnified in the digital era. From stan Twitter accounts and Reddit threads to communities on Tumblr, many collectives are fueled by their fixations. After the premiere of Serial, millions of listeners became obsessed with true crime podcasts. Leveraging storytelling to challenge the criminal justice system in a new way, the case the podcast delved into even made it to the Supreme Court (where the court ultimately denied Adnan Syed’s request for a new trial). Truth Be Told, the latest series from Apple TV+, is based on Kathleen Barber’s 2017 novel Are You Sleeping, but draws just as much from the broader true-crime cultural phenomenon in its search for redemption and truth. And like that genre, the series delivers appealing twists with every episode.”

Reprisal (Hulu, Friday, 3:01 a.m., complete first season): Look for Alex McLevy’s season review of Josh Corbin’s season review of this stylish hyper-noir series, anchored by the formidable Abigail Spencer, later today.

Joe Pera Talks With You (Adult Swim, Saturday, 12 a.m., second-season premiere): Erik Adams’ pre-air review of Adult Swim’s gentlest series will run later today.

Steven Universe Future (Cartoon Network, Saturday, 8 p.m. sixth-season premiere): Rebecca Sugar’s tour de force approaches its end with an “epilogue series” that begins with four back-to-back episodes today—an hour-long mega-sode, if you will. Jourdain Searles takes over recapping duty, and if you think she can’t, she’ll always find a way.

Regular coverage

The Mandalorian (Disney+, Friday, 3:01 a.m.)
Saturday Night Live (NBC, Saturday, 11:29 p.m.): host Jennifer Lopez, musical guest DaBaby


Wild cards

Hala (Apple TV+, Friday, 3:01 a.m., premiere):

“The most striking part about Apple TV+’s Hala is the quietness it quickly settles into. This coming-of-age tale doesn’t feature sudden bursts of background pop music or the central teenager, Hala Masood (Blockers breakout star Geraldine Viswanathan), spiraling loudly or openly. No, she is a Pakistani American living in suburban Illinois with strict, traditional parents. She doesn’t have the freedom to rebel publicly, at least not until she finds that she can no longer suppress her outsize emotions. Writer and director Minhal Baig’s approach to storytelling starts with building up its scenery—the simple Masood house, a mostly empty skate park, dimly lit roads at night, an English classroom. The camera often zooms in to the characters’ expressions, which allows Viswanathan to take advantage of every lingering, close-up shot of her face to deliver a subdued and moving performance.”

Read the rest of Saloni Gajjar’s pre-air review of this excellent film here.

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About the author

Allison Shoemaker

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.