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

Nicolas Cage knows a whole damn lot about the History Of Swear Words

Illustration for article titled Nicolas Cage knows a whole damn lot about the History Of Swear Words
Photo: Adam Rose/Netflix

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


Top pick

History Of Swear Words (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., complete first season): “In his first TV appearance—not counting all those National Treasure reruns—since hosting Saturday Night Live in 2012, Nicolas Cage hosts Netflix’s History Of Swear Words, a ribald look at the etymology of blue language. The six-part series explores the origins, cultural impacts, pop culture usage, and even science of curse words. Joining Cage in reveling in saying the soft part loud are Joel Kim Booster, DeRay Davis, Open Mike Eagle, Nikki Glaser, Patti Harrison, London Hughes, Jim Jefferies, Zainab Johnson, Nick Offerman, Sarah Silverman, Baron Vaughn, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. But History Of Swear Words doesn’t want to just dwell in the gutter.” Read the rest of Danette Chavez’s early thoughts in our TV preview, and keep an eye out for Josh Modell’s pre-air review.

Regular coverage

This Is Us (NBC, 9 p.m.): Fifth mid-season premiere

Wild cards

Time for another wild card lightning round.

Finding Your Roots (PBS, 8 p.m.): Issa Rae, Jordan Peele, and Gayle King are the latest famous folks to take a stroll through their family histories with Dr. Henry Louis Gates.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC, 8 p.m., second-season premiere): Jane Levy and company return for another season of pop covers, whimsy, and solid performances.

American Portrait (PBS, 9 p.m., series premiere): This innovative crowd-sourced docuseries “blends stories filmed by everyday people into documentaries revealing what it really means to be American today.”

Underground (OWN, 9 p.m.) and Revisiting Underground (OWN, 10:30 p.m., premiere): Expanded editions of this excellent, ill-fated WGN series begin airing tonight on OWN; between now and May, the network will show both seasons in full, with episodes running weekly. After the first expanded episode, check out a special about Underground’s impact. If you missed this terrific series the first time around, now’s your chance to dive in—and fans of Lovecraft Country in particular should consider it, as it was created by Misha Green and stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell.