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

Katy Keene turns up in Riverdale

Lucy Hale, Camila Mendes
Lucy Hale, Camila Mendes
Photo: David Giesbrecht (The CW)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Wednesday, February 5. All times are Eastern. 

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Top pick

Riverdale (The CW, 8 p.m.): This week, the RTU (that’s the Riverdale Televisual Universe, naturally) grows larger. The official expansion is still to come, since Katy Keene premieres tomorrow—but fashion maven Katy Keene herself arrives today.
Also: dueling!

We’ll have more on Katy Keene tomorrow (though you can skip ahead and read Gwen Ihnat’s pre-air review now, if you like) and more of Lucy Hale when Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island arrives in theaters next weekend. But for now, know this: Katy Keene is in tonight’s Riverdale, in which there is also dueling, and Charles Bramesco will recap it all. And if you’re not current on Riverdale and thus find yourself thinking, “Dueling, huh? That’s weird,” then please feast upon this brief excerpt from Bramesco’s last recap (a very positive one, we might add):

“Quiz Show” strikes a tactful balance between the obligation to keep the plot moving and the compulsion to do so in the most outrageous way possible; both the wonderfully silly quiz sequence and the detour into the tickling underbelly of Riverdale advance the relationships between the involved characters, and in Betty and Jughead’s case, the season as a whole. This hour puts the “fun” in “functional,” and it does so while plumbing the deviant erotic fringes of smalltown America. What do you know!

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Shine on, you crazy Riverdale kids.

Regular coverage

Vikings (History, 10 p.m.): mid-season finale

Wild card

They’ve Gotta Have Us (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., complete first season): Here’s Ashley Ray-Harris on the series premiere of this docuseries from Ava DuVernay’s film collective ARRAY and director Simon Frederick: 

They’ve Gotta Have Us performs best in its interviews. The late Diahann Carroll discussing her affair with Sidney Poitier and the pride she felt watching him win an Oscar from home is incredibly moving. It’s inspiring to see the late John Singleton talk about the process of making Boyz N The Hood. John Boyega is a joy to witness as he describes the first time he saw himself in a Star Wars trailer. Robert Townsend, however, is a true scene stealer as he brings to life moments like negotiating with lawyers on the MPAA rating for Eddie Murphy’s Raw. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from They’ve Gotta Have Us is that Townsend deserves more opportunities to tell stories on television.

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Look for the rest of the pre-air review later today.

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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