Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Friday, August 17 and Saturday, August 18. All times are Eastern.
Disenchantment (Friday, Netflix): Once upon a time, a princess wanted more than the dull story that had been written for her. She struggled against her parents’ wishes, gained a charming sidekick or two, and chased after her own happily ever after. Disenchantment’s Bean (Abbi Jacobson) is that girl, but with a Matt Groening spin—she’s essentially a Disney princess with an overbite and a drinking problem. Her teen rebellion involves accidentally skewering the prince she is being forced to marry. Her charming sidekicks are her own personal demon and an elf who’s becoming acquainted with human customs. In Groening’s first new series in 19 years, he’s Simpson-ized the classic medieval fairy tale, populated his Dreamland with the likes of John DiMaggio, Eric André, and Nat Faxon, and written in a female lead—a first for him. He promises that “Disenchantment will be about life and death, love and sex, and how to keep laughing in a world full of suffering and idiots, despite what the elders and wizards and other jerks tell you.” In our own world of suffering and idiots, Disenchantment might be the magic potion to make it all a little bit better. Danette Chavez has the review, and Vikram Murthi’s recaps will run through the weekend.
Magic For Humans (Friday, Netflix): Justin Willman first came to believe in magic when, as a kid, he made the decision to ride his bike while wearing roller blades. He subsequently broke both of his arms and spent six months confined to double arm casts, until his doctor prescribed magic as a way for him to regain dexterity and, presto! A magician was born! Now, he’s appeared on Ellen, Conan, and The Tonight Show, built a huge online presence, and even landed his own comedy/magic stint on Comedy Central, Sleight Of Mouth. He’s been praised for his whimsical tricks and charming comedic persona that, according to The L.A. Times, are “making magic cool again for grown-ups.” Magic For Humans takes Willman off the stage and into the streets for a more personal approach to magic. He says, “I’ve spent my life attempting to master the art of magic. Now, I’m using magic to master the art of being human.” Apparently, that process involves spitting various toppings onto froyo, giving a little girl the money that she “made,” and altering the marshmallow test to make the marshmallow disappear before the eyes of distraught young test subjects. Tune in tonight to see what else Willman has up his sleeve.