Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

All aboard the Infinity Train

Infinity Train
Image: HBO Max

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Thursday, April 15. All times are Eastern. 

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Top pick

Infinity Train (HBO Max, 3:01 a.m., complete fourth season): No kids’ cartoon since Adventure Time has nailed the intersection between animated absurdity and heartfelt human feeling better than Infinity Train—the show that dares to dive deep into codependent relationships one minute, then team up a Margo Martindale-voiced Old West caterpillar with a giant pig baby voiced by J.K. Simmons the next. The show’s fourth (and, for now, final) book delves into the relationship between teen rockers Min-Gi (Johnny Young) and Ryan (Sekai Murashige), who find themselves undergoing high-impact, long-form couples therapy after stumbling onto the titular magical train in the midst of an argument about their diverging lives. All of the things that have made Infinity Train such a delight over the last five years are still in evidence here: the rapid-fire comedy (best embodied by Minty Lewis, going 100 words per minute as talking hotel bell Kez), the inventiveness of the absurdist train cars that form the spine of each episode, and especially the willingness to go for the emotional jugular when required. Throughout its run, one of the core tenets of Infinity Train has been that learning to be a better person is a high-stakes endeavor; even at its silliest, the show never backs down from the harm we can inflict on others when we let our unacknowledged fear and grief take the wheel. Plus, again: Giant J.K. Simmons pig baby. What’s not to love? [William Hughes]

Regular coverage

From Film Club

The Banishing (Shudder, 3:01 a.m., premiere): “Thankfully, boring is one word you couldn’t use to describe The Banishing, which defies expectations of understated British horror with giallo maximalism. Where so many directors would have made one choice, Christopher Smith (Severance, Black Death) makes 10: Mirrors! Dolls! Masochist monks! Bishop gangsters! Nazis! Time travel? Poltergeists! Child possession! A critique of Neville Chamberlain’s pre-WWII policy of pacifism! The patriarchy! And on and on. Over its modest runtime, the film keeps cramming in new ideas and plot elements, right up until the penultimate scene.” Read the rest of Leila Latif’s review of The Banishing. 

Wild cards

Spy City (AMC+, 3:01 a.m., series premiere): This espionage drama stars Dominic Cooper as a pensive and polished English spy with a remarkable name to boot: Fielding Scott. As the premiere kicks off in March 1960, Fielding finds himself in the crosshairs due to his involvement in the death of a diplomat while in West Berlin. A year later (and just months before the Berlin Wall is supposed to go up), he returns to the city to find out who tried to kill him and also help extract a defector, an East German scientist. Titled “Operation Beethoven,” the pilot focuses on Fielding’s mission and his challenges, with an emotional twist at the end that sets up the remaining five episodes of season one. Parts of this premiere feel arbitrary, especially as they cram in multiple narratives—Fielding seeks redemption, reunites with an ex, helps a former friend, not to mention navigates the unrest and political turmoil of 1960s Berlin. Luckily, it all starts to come together before the final cliffhanger drops. Cooper is perfectly cast as a broody and well-dressed agent. He stars along with Romane Portail, Ben Münchow, Leonie Beneschas, Johanna Wokalek, and Seumas F. Sargent. [Saloni Gajjar]

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 9 p.m.): We don’t know what’s going to happen this evening in the hospital formerly known as Seattle Grace, but we do know that it makes Miranda Bailey go, “WHAT?! WHAT???? WHAT?!?!??!?!” and she dealt with the whole bomb-inside-a-guy thing more than a decade ago. If it freaks her out, it’s gotta be big.