Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Crystal Methyd, Gigi Goode, Jaida Essence Hall
Crystal Methyd, Gigi Goode, Jaida Essence Hall
Screenshot: VH1

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Friday, May 29, and Saturday, May 30. All times are Eastern.

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Top picks

RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1, Friday, 8 p.m., 12th-season finale): This would have been an odd finale no matter what. Since the beginning of the season, VH1 has included a title card informing viewers that competitor Sherry Pie was disqualified from RuPaul’s Drag Race—a decision that occurred after filming the season and the cast announcement but before the premiere—and would not be appearing in the finale. That’s still true, but a lot of other things have changed since that development. Like last week’s reunion special, this finale was filmed remotely, meaning the three finalists (Sherry Pie would have been the fourth) will be lip-syncing for their lives from the comfort of their own homes. Whether it will be all that effective remains to be seen, but it certainly won’t be the same old format.

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Choose your fighter! Gigi Goode:

Jaida Essence Hall:

Or Crystal Methyd:

Kate Kulzick will recap the end of this very strange season and its very strong final three.

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Can you binge it? Some of it. Hulu and Amazon Prime have some early seasons (Amazon has one through five, Hulu has one through six, plus two seasons of All Stars and several of Untucked), but that should get you started.

Central Park (Apple TV+, Friday, 3:01 a.m., series premiere, first two episodes available): “Though past Loren Bouchard projects Home Movies and Bob’s Burgers harbor few similarities (beyond H. Jon Benjamin’s strong presence in each, that is), both animated comedies can boast of stellar musical moments that strayed from their typical narration style. Bouchard’s latest venture, Central Park, stretches those once-occasional happenings into a brassy musical series with the help of his co-creators, fellow Bob’s Burgers producer Nora Smith and Broadway veteran Josh Gad… A series like this seems poised for success. After all, it has a lot going for it: an animation style identical to one of its beloved predecessors, thoroughly catchy musical numbers, a star-studded cast, and a proven audience for stories about relentlessly passionate municipal workers in deceptively menial jobs.” Click here to read the rest of Shannon Miller’s pre-air review.

Space Force (Netflix, Friday, 3:01 a.m., complete first season): “Much of the season revolves around Mark [General Naird, played by Steve Carell] and his troops fighting for legitimacy, beset by skeptical legislators, an Air Force chief hostile to Space Force’s very existence, and the other nations who’ve established a significant lead over the U.S. in the new space race. The show takes Naird and his mission seriously enough that the punchlines aren’t entirely unflattering uniforms, launchpad accidents, or headline-grabbing snafus—but those are often the sources of its biggest laughs, like a cutaway during an argument about the relative pittance Space Force didn’t spend on plastic button covers for its mission control panels.” Click here to read the rest of Erik Adams’ pre-air review.

Ramy (Hulu, Friday, 3:01 a.m., complete secon season): “The exceptional first season of Hulu’s Ramy established its protagonist, Egyptian American Ramy Hassan, as a quiet, perpetually confused man who often finds it challenging to balance both sides of his hyphenated identity. He knows he wants to be a good Muslim and is really struggling to get to that point. Even so, he’s committed to understanding his faith and roots. The show stands out amidst a sea of new comedies in the last few years—especially those hailing from young comedians with a singular voice—because of creator Ramy Youssef’s distinct lens and the way his on-screen character relies on religion for guidance. In a great second season, the show doubles down on this with extreme enthusiasm. Despite a couple of misses in the middle, season two is a remarkable experience that retains Ramy’s charming storytelling and comedic nuances.” Click here to read the rest of Saloni Gajjar’s pre-air review.

Can you binge it? The complete series-to-date awaits you on Hulu.

Regular coverage

On stage At home

The Sparrow (The House Theatre Of Chicago via YouTube, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.): In 2007, the then-young company The House had a major hit on its hands with The Sparrow, an original play focused on a young woman’s return to her hometown 10 years after she became the sole survivor of an incalculable tragedy. On Saturday, The House will stream that production for the world to see, with members of the cast and creative team participating in a live chat throughout. It’s inventive, moving stuff, and well worth your time.

Wild cards

Somebody Feed Phil (Netflix, Friday, 3:01 a.m., complete third season): This food and travel series from Phil Rosenthal (Everybody Loves Raymond) returns for a third season of unadulterated niceness and charm.

Russo Bros. Pizza Film School: The Evil Dead (Instagram TV, Friday, 3 p.m.): Every week, Joe and Anthony Russo (of Marvel fame) take to Instagram to discuss a classic movie and eat pizza from a local pizza joint. This week’s pick is Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead, and the brothers will be joined by screenwriter Christopher Markus, film critic Pete Hammond, and presumably at least two pizzas.

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Haircut Night In America (CBS, Friday, 8 p.m., one-hour special): So, this is really happening:

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

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