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

Fall into season 5 of The Expanse

Shohreh Aghdashloo
Shohreh Aghdashloo
Photo: Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Wednesday, December 16. All times are Eastern. 


Top pick

The Expanse (Amazon, 3:01 a.m., season-five premiere, episodes one through three): “Once again, the writers are focused on a single novel—here, it’s Nemesis Games. But thanks to some setup in season four and the scope of Games’s plot, every storyline feels like an equally important piece of the whole. This is critical, because the season also takes the risky move of separating its core ensemble for the bulk of its episodes. The chemistry and interplay among the crew of the Rocinante has always been a major draw, and here, it’s more or less a moot point, with each one stranded from the rest, isolated in part by the massive crisis that serves as the season’s main threat. The fact that this works as well as it does is both a testament to the quality of the source material, and proof positive of how much time the show has put in making sure all of its core cast is worth watching.” Read the rest of Zack Handlen’s pre-air review.

Can you binge it? Everything that precedes these three episodes awaits you on Amazon. It makes a good binge!

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Regular coverage

The Masked Singer (Fox, 8 p.m., two-hour fourth-season finale): Keep an eye out for our news coverage, as well as Angelica Cataldo’s coverage (created with some help from her dad).

Wild cards

The Art Of Political Murder (HBO, 9 p.m., premiere): “This film comes with a little celebrity wattage of its own in the form of executive producer George Clooney. And, as one might expect from a Clooney cosign, the film deals with human rights issues, specifically the genocide of Mayan people by the Guatemalan government from the early 1960s through the ’90s. If you need an introduction to the genocide for international audiences, however, The Art Of Political Murder isn’t it.” Read the rest of Katie Rife’s review of HBO’s recent slate of true-crime documentaries.

The Ripper (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., complete limited series): Sound the true crime klaxon once more. This docuseries looks at the Yorkshire Ripper killings, which occurred in the north of England in the ’70s.

The Amazing Race (CBS, 8 p.m., 32nd-season finale): This season of TAR was filmed pre-pandemic, and given the show’s entire conceit, it’s unclear when it’ll be safe for filming to resume. So enjoy the amazing racing while it lasts.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!

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