Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Friday, November 8, and Saturday, November 9. All times are Eastern.
The Great British Baking Show: Holidays (Netflix, Friday, 3:01 a.m., season 2 premiere): It’s an early-November, not-even-Thanksgiving-yet miracle! The most recent season of The Great British Baking Show ended just last week, but they’re back again already, in adorable sweaters.
Two episodes featuring eight fan-favorite bakers arrive, perfectly proved, this morning. Kate Kulzick has begrudgingly poured herself a way-too-soon glass of eggnog and is ready to recap the festive goings-on.
Green Eggs & Ham (Netflix, Friday, 3:01 a.m.): How do you adapt a story made up of 50 words total into a 13-episode TV series? With great care, hand-drawn animation, and a celebrity cast.
We weren’t sure we were going to like this on a road or with a toad or what have you, but damned if this isn’t pretty charming. Look for Gwen Ihnat’s pre-air review this morning.
Great Performances: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I (PBS, Friday, 9 p.m.): We—meaning The A.V. Club, but also humanity in general—don’t gush about Great Performances enough. What a treasure. This week, the storied performing arts anthology brings us the 2015 Tony-winning revival of The King & I, starring Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai), renowned Broadway star Kelli O’Hara, and Ruthie Ann Miles of The Americans. All three were Tony-nominated for this production, and the latter two won.
Frankly, the chance to hear O’Hara, one of the world’s best, sing “Hello, Young Lovers” is reason enough to tune in, but this isn’t some glossy, empty-headed revival of a now-dated classic. Here’s The New York Times’ Ben Brantley on this production:
As you probably already know, Mrs. Leonowens’s task in this 1951 musical is to educate a passel of royal Siamese pupils in the ways of the West. The job of Ms. O’Hara — and that of [director Bartlett Sher] and Ken Watanabe, the commanding Japanese film star who portrays the King of Siam — is to educate 21st-century audiences in the enduring and affecting power of a colonialist-minded musical that, by rights, should probably embarrass us in the age of political correctness… [Sher] works from within vintage material, coaxing shadowy emotional depths to churn up a surface that might otherwise seem shiny and slick.
If you’re on the fence, that review is worth reading in full (at least until you get to the line, “Sex has entered the building.”)