Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
David Hornsby, Charlotte Nicdao, Jessie Ennis, Rob McElhenney, F. Murray Abraham
David Hornsby, Charlotte Nicdao, Jessie Ennis, Rob McElhenney, F. Murray Abraham
Photo: Apple TV+

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Friday, February 7, and Saturday, February 8. All times are Eastern.

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Top picks

Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet (Apple TV+, Friday, 3:01 a.m., complete first season): “It’s to the credit of Apple TV+’s new half-hour comedy series, Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet—sharing its name with the multiplayer medieval role-playing game its protagonists spend most of their lives toiling to create—that it doesn’t just take the modern gaming landscaping as its setting; it’s also the major topic on its blood-soaked plate. Streaming culture, toxic masculinity, the evils of crunch, rampant sexism, Nazis, micro-transactions, doxxing, and the tendency of human beings to draw a digital phallus with whatever tools come to hand… it’s all in service of a story about the push and pull of the creative process, which wobbles back and forth between surprisingly affecting, and fodder for frequently funny, if occasionally lazy, jokes.” Read the rest of William Hughes’s pre-air review. 

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High Maintenance (HBO, Friday, 11 p.m., fourth-season premiere): “Since High Maintenance first premiered as a modest webseries in 2012, a lot has changed. The show’s DIY success led to Vimeo funding new original episodes on its platform, which paved the way for an HBO acquisition. Formerly married co-creators Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld… have fine-tuned a brand of grounded, casually diverse character-driven storytelling that maintains a remarkably humble tone. At its best, High Maintenance’s style of ever-expanding humanism makes room for everyone to be the center of the narrative.” Read the rest of Vikram Murthi’s pre-air review. 

Locke & Key (Netflix, Friday, 3:01 a.m., complete first season): “This is one horror fantasy that is inclusive of all ages, grappling with the dark, developmental struggles of addiction as well as the isolation that comes from a group of people protecting a child.” Read the rest of Joelle Monique’s pre-air review later today.

Regular coverage

Saturday Night Live (NBC, Saturday, 11:29 p.m.): host RuPaul Charles, musical guest Justin Bieber

Leave it to Ru to make sure that the week’s promo is soundtracked by RuPaul’s “Sissy That Walk,” now available on iTunes.

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Wild cards

Honey Boy (Amazon, Friday, 3:01 a.m.): “Shia LaBeouf knows that he’s hatable—which, paradoxically enough, is also the key to his likability. Once famous as a meathead ex-child actor prone to throwing drunken tantrums in public, LaBeouf has reinvented himself—as a weirdo performance artist and as an actor—in the decade that’s passed since he quit the Transformers franchise. (He’s still getting into trouble, though.) LaBeouf’s best performances, like his turn in Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, tap into the essential dirtbag quality he seems to carry at the core of his being. And that quality is more evident than ever in his new film, Honey Boy, in which LaBeouf plays a fictionalized version of his own deadbeat father.” Read the rest of Katie Rife’s film review.

Horse Girl (Netflix, Friday, 3:01 a.m.): “Trauma sprawls outward in Horse Girl, a new drama from filmmaker Jeff Baena and actor and co-writer Alison Brie. The movie’s twee dressings—woven friendship anklets, colorful God’s eye votives, and, well, horses—decorate an uncomfortable portrait of a young woman struggling with loneliness and isolation. Horse Girl is sympathetic to Brie’s character, but the film’s ambiguous ending undermines its thoughtful consideration of mental illness.” Read the rest of Roxana Hadadi’s film review.

The Shop: Uninterrupted (HBO, Friday, 9:30 p.m.): Friday’s episode of LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s unscripted conversational series has an off-the-hook guest list. Tune in to watch Megan Rapinoe, Whoopi Goldberg, Sue Bird, Stacey Abrams, Malcolm Jenkins, and Hasan Minhaj have a chat. That is a hell of a dinner party.

Democratic Debate (ABC, Friday, 8 p.m.): Great news for anyone who wants to spend their Friday evening frustrated, terrified, maybe inspired, and probably just generally really pissed about all kinds of things: There’s another debate tonight.

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

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